Ignite’s Steve Gielda discusses the impact of peer-to-peer learning on sales training with Selling Power’s Gerhard Gschwandtner.

Gerhard Gschwandtner: Hi, my name is Gerhard Gschwandtner and welcome to Selling Power TV. Today we have the pleasure of meeting with Steve Gielda. He is the founder and CEO of Ignite Selling. Hi Steve.

Steve Gielda: Thanks for having me, Gerhard.

Gerhard Gschwandtner: So Steve, what is Ignite Selling doing to promote peer to peer learning and is it effective?

Steve Gielda: We conducted a survey recently and 80 percent of the people stated in the survey that peer to peer learning is not only the most valuable, but it’s also the most effective way to learn. So, therefore we at Ignite Selling have acknowledged that and understood that for a long time, but it was nice to get the survey to validate that data.



Gerhard Gschwandtner: Because a lot of companies, they think that the sage on stage is the way to learn, right?

Steve Gielda: Unfortunately, that’s true. So, about four years ago, what we did is we did away with all PowerPoint based training. We don’t believe that people learn best by having somebody preach at them and flip through some passive PowerPoints or even frankly sitting through an isolated set of videos in an eLearning module. We believe that people learn best when they’re working with their peers. It’s that opportunity to provide feedback on not just your successes or how have you done in the field, but how have you overcome particular barriers. I mean, yes, there’s a lot of models out there that help people be effective, but if you know how to apply that model or that framework or that piece of marketing information better than I do, it’s nice to learn from each other.

Gerhard Gschwandtner: So Steve, can you explain how you create that environment and that process that facilitates that peer to peer learning?

Steve Gielda: We actually use is a methodology called learning map methodology. Imagine a big game board for learning and this big game board is an opportunity where we put particular models or frameworks on a big learning map and we get people to huddle over top of that. Everything that we do is custom designed for the realities of their world so that what they’re working on is realistic. It’s something that they would actually go do in the field. These interactive learning maps and our Capstone competitive simulations provide that great opportunity for us to take the old proverb, iron sharpens iron, let’s take my experience and success and your experience success, put them together and let’s kind of wrestle. Let’s see, how do we really tackle this particular problem together?

Gerhard Gschwandtner: What I imagine is it’s almost like a chess board where you moved the pieces forward?

Steve Gielda: There’s a lot of chess-type thinking involved in all of our training, particularity some of our strategic programs. There’s a lot of debating. Should we go ahead and move the piece to the north, to the left, to the right? What should we do? You have a very strong opinion about what should be done. I have a strong opinion what should be done and here we get a chance to kind of bounce each other about who’s going to be right. Then as the simulated learning experience plays out, we’ve come to find out that maybe your answer was much better than mine. That’s where real learning takes place.

Gerhard Gschwandtner: Is there a referee or a coach? How does that work?

Steve Gielda: Our facilitators actually often have to play the role of a referee, but we do allow that healthy tension to actually take place. Because what ends up really being the ultimate decision maker is the customer. You can have one strategy going in one direction. I think we need to be going in another direction, but I’ll give in. Let’s go ahead and let’s try your strategy. We go execute that and play it out and come to find that you were right. I was wrong.

Gerhard Gschwandtner: So how is Ignite Selling helping companies win?

Steve Gielda: We’re helping clients win in a number of different ways. One of the main ways that we’re helping them win is by helping them acknowledge the fact that you don’t have to get rid of all the training that you’ve already done previously. You don’t. One of the things that you can simply do is leverage Capstone Simulations as a way to capture a whole new level of return on your investment for the training. Too often people are abandoning their training where in fact, we simply just need to help the sales team better apply what they’ve already been taught in today’s marketplace. So we’re helping companies win by better applying what they’ve already been taught.

Gerhard Gschwandtner: What I like about it is you have created a dynamic approach to peer to peer learning and you harvest the collective intelligence of the sales organization. What I recommend is go to Igniteselling.com and learn more about this methodology. Thank you.

Steve Gielda: Thanks very much for your time.

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