Social Learning Raises Sales Training to New Heights in Challenging Times

Excelling in sales in today’s volatile economic climate is challenging, to say the least.

Fierce competition, inflation and other economic disrupters, plus highly sophisticated and demanding clients place enormous pressure on sales teams. Many companies face the reality that they must work with the sales team they currently have, so they seek new ways to improve their performance. This can be a daunting task.

In today’s business environment, sales professionals must be superior relationship builders and trusted advisors. They must provide high value with their offerings while projecting a persona of credibility and trust. The proliferation of technology and demand for transparency requires sales professionals to assume a more consultative approach.

Consultative salesmanship requires deep capabilities, developed ideally through contextualized and highly social experiences. Brandon Hall Group Smartchoice® Preferred Provider NovoEd understands this, and its collaborative learning platform enables leading-edge cohort-based sales learning at scale.

With a leading-edge social learning platform, sales pros – from rookies to veterans – can improve their communication and interpersonal skills through role-play, group practice, and by applying new skills in realistic scenarios specific to their industry.

Brandon Hall Group research shows that 55% of organizations believe social and collaborative learning technologies are important to address future-of-work requirements, and developing sales professionals who can drive revenue in a VUCA world is certainly one of them. Between 2021 and 2022, the percentage of organizations planning moderate or heavy investment in social and collaborative learning jumped by 32%.

At the end of the day, sales is about building relationships. Therefore, the best learning occurs when peers learn together. The best digital social learning platforms enable learning experiences to be designed from the ground up to meet the five imperatives of great sales training:

  • Immediate applicability. Salespeople should leave a learning event knowing they can immediately apply their skills and knowledge.
  • Recognition of past experiences. People generally come to sales training with various levels of knowledge and experience. The learning needs to take that into account.
  • Engaging experiences. Sales professionals are busy people who are easily distracted by other priorities. The learning must grab their attention and keep it.
  • Sharing and learning from others. Sales professionals love to share what they know.
  • Expert coaching and feedback. They also love to learn from experts who have more experience.

Great collaborative learning platforms enable the coaching and feedback that sales pros need. Collaborative learning fosters connections between learners, mentors, managers and leadership and builds networks of mentorship and guidance contextualized to a company’s culture, values and strategic direction.

Clearly, the time has arrived to leverage social and collaborative learning to improve critical sales enablement initiatives.

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Mike Cooke



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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.

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