The limits of AI, and why B2B lead generation is becoming more “human” w/ John Girard

May 24, 2018

John Girard, CEO of Cience, talks about why, admist the deluge of technology and artificial intelligence systems transforming sales, B2B prospecting is actually become more reliant on human-to-human contact and conversation.

Main takeaways:

* While AI bots may be useful for automating many rote, systematic sales-related tasks, the technology is not yet capable of navigating the complex give and take of most B2B sales processes and interactions.

* The automation of some parts of the sales process has highlighted the value of so-called "soft skills" unique to humans -- the ability to listen, to tell stories, to read body language and connect on an emotional level.

* Trainers and coaches have increasingly important roles to play in helping sales people and other employees hone their soft skills.


Why Women Are Leaving Your Company and How to Keep Them From Leaving w/ Melissa Lamson

May 22, 2018

Melissa Lamson, founder of Lamson Consulting, talks about why roughly 17% of women leave their corporate jobs for better opportunities and what businesses can do to make their workplaces less likely to lose female employees. 

Key takeaways:

* Many women, like men, leave jobs because they don't find the work to be very meaningful. But women also have a greater concern for being able to climb the ladder and make a career. And, generally, women are less socialized to ask for what they want. Leaving to find a better opportunity is often seen as easier or less confrontational.

* 17% of women leaving jobs every year matters because there's global competition for talent, and businesses around the world are struggilng to fine qualified, trained talent. Also, research shows the having a more diverse leadership in terms of gender increases financial performance.

* Many women struggle with delegating and try to do it all themselves. Melissa tries to help women understand that by delegating, they're helping their teams learn new skills and take on new challenges. 

* Companies that make a conscious effort to make leadership more diverse in terms of gender set an example for the entire company and encourage younger female employees to stay and work their way up.


Why L&D need to see themselves as value creators w/ Ed Holinski and Jim Rush

May 17, 2018

Ed Holinski, who leads solution strategy at Performance Development Group, and Jim Rush, founding partner of MEM partners, talk about why L&D professionals need to position themselves not just as curriculum developers but as value creators who help solve business problems and meet company wide goals.

Key takeaways:

* In order to add value, L&D leaders need to look at things from the perspective of the CEO and know the business inside and out. CEOs want solutions to pressing business problems, and so L&D professionals need to market what they do as helping to solve those problems today.

* A key way for L&D to add value is to meet the desire for real-time, pinpoint learning. Doing so helps the company compete for the most talented employees. 

* Another key for L&D is listening to the CEO and c-suite executive to learn about the issues they're facing, the problems hitting them over the head, and opportunities for solving those problems. Then using that knowledge to leverage the L&D function to add value by helping to address those problems.

* Businesses spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year on L&D yet often don't see ROI and consequently don't see L&D as a particularly valuable part of the organization. It's incumbant on L&D leads to find out what sort of material impact the CEO and his or her team are looking for and then figure out a way to help drive that.



Servant leadership and why it matters w/ Jason Weber

May 10, 2018

We talk with Jason Weber, enterprise training director for the Wisconsin Department of Administration and founder of Elements Consulting, about servant leadership--the concept that leaders should have an innate desire to serve and support their team. 

Key takeaways:

*Servant leadership involves providing accountability, i.e. ensuring that the goals identified by the team are being accomplished by all members of the team, including the leader. 

*Servant leadership also involves providing the support and resources employees need to do their jobs to the best of their ability. This includes not only physical resources but also emotional and psychological support and making people feel valued. 

*Servant leadership also entails honest self-evaluation. This involves leaders admitting mistakes and being aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. Honest self-evaluation is also about seeking feedback and taking it to heart to change behaviors that are detrimental to success.


The value of learning agility w/ David Hoff

May 3, 2018

I talk with David Hoff, COO and executive vice president at EASI Consult and author of Learning Agility: The Key to Leader Potential, about what learning agility is a why it matters. David discusses several factors that contribute to learning agility and explains why learning "agility" is not the same as learning "ability." Where learning ability is about intelligence, learning agility is about adapting to knew situations and being able to figure out how to function and get things done. Agile learners are able to easily paradigms and see problems from various perspectives; are able to take constructive criticism and use it to improve their performance; and are willing to take interpersonal risks.


Tips for Making Training Engaging w/ Mike Allison

April 26, 2018

I talk with my co-host Mike Allison, who's also a world-class sales trainer, about tips for making training engaging. Mike's tips include:

  • It's the trainers job to engage his or her audience. Trainees are not obligated to be engaged.
  • Trainers have to be great facilitators by getting the participants to do the heavy lifting themselves.
  • Great facilitators get participants up out of their seats and doing things.
  • Avoid PowerPoint at all costs!
  • The physical space where the training takes place matters. Arrange chairs (no tables!) in a U-shape to facilitate engagement and interaction.

Using humor as a sales tool w/ Jon Selig

April 19, 2018

We talk with Jon Selig, self-described "Half Salesguy -- Half Stand-up Comic -- All Parental Disappointment, about using humor as a sales strategy.


Troubleshooting vs. Training w/ Dan Mann

April 17, 2018

We talk with Dan Mann, president of The Mann Group, about the difference between troubleshooting and training and why substantive training is so important for enabling employees to provide great customer service and to ensure that customers have an exemplary buying experience.


How trainers can help close the “soft skills gap” w/Bruce Tulgan

April 12, 2018

We talk with Bruce Tulgan, founder of Rainmaker Thinking, about how trainers have a great opportunity to help close what Bruce's research has identified as a significiant gap in soft skills--things like listening, collaborating, taking feedback, communicating in person, etc.--among younger workers. One key, Bruce says, is selling younger workers on the idea that soft skills matter and that learning them will pay dividends.


What does hiring have to do with training? w/ David Quick

April 10, 2018

We talk with David Quick, CEO of Helping Bulls Thrive in China Shops, about how hiring affects all aspect of a business, including and especially training, and how trainers can help improve the hiring process.