August 24, 2016
Written by Dana Youngren
There’s nothing like hiring a new market or sales development rep who’s ready to hit the ground running, only to have it take weeks or even months to get them up to speed and working productively. With an average MDR/SDR tenure of only a little over a year, it can seem like new hires are leaving just when they’re getting going.
One of the main impediments to quick onboarding is getting MDRs equipped with all the specific information and knowledge they need to do their jobs. And one of the best ways to shorten their learning curve is to let them learn from the experiences of others. That’s what makes social learning such an effective tool for helping MDRs find out all the things they need to know to start being productive fast.
With a practical framework for social learning, MDRs can stop wasting time wondering where to get the information they need and how to evaluate what they find. Instead, they can go to a central resource that’s designed to make valuable knowledge easy to share.
Social learning frameworks help MDRs in two ways. Firstly, they provide a central place to go for resources to do the job effectively, and secondly, they provide an environment for collaboration that includes tools for engaging with others.
It’s not unusual for MDRs to spend hours, if not days, trying to cobble together the various resources they need to do their jobs. But with a social learning tool in place, they’ll be able to spend far less time learning much more. Within such a framework, organizations can pull together knowledge and resources and make them readily available to new MDRs, so they can quickly get knowledge and tools in hand to get to productivity sooner – and to do their jobs more effectively over the long term.
The resources available to MDRs through a social learning tool may range from competitive intelligence that others have collected over time, to content assets that have been identified as effective for helping get a first meeting with a prospect, and everything in between. So in the time it takes a new MDR to, for example, painstakingly put together a presentation deck for an unfamiliar new product or service, they can just find an existing presentation that they know has already worked well for someone else.
An effective social learning tool can do more than just lead new MDRs to information and resources; it can help them learn how to use the resources available to them to greater effect. That presentation deck we just talked about, for example: What if new MDRs could also see a video of a seasoned pro presenting it? Or what if, during training, a manager assigned new hires to watch the video and then create their own video giving the same presentation for feedback from the training team?
Social learning also means – maybe even mainly means – interacting directly with others in real time to get help getting up to speed. A successful framework for social learning may include collaboration capabilities, to give new hires a place to go for advice on dealing with, say, a prospect objection. Or it can provide a channel of engagement for mentoring, where a new MDR can go to get guidance from a more experienced member of the team.
Finally, sharing experiences in a social learning framework can include a variety of information sharing tools. An ongoing live feed of helpful information updates for new MDRs is just one example. Another is a Q&A feature that puts them in touch with experts on the sales or marketing team whenever they have questions.
The point is that if MDRs have at their disposal a rich source of information and opportunities for collaborative learning, they’ll spend less time looking for resources and more time doing their jobs.
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