Remember what it’s like to be new at your job? You happily sucked up all the juicy information like a sponge. You attacked each day with one purpose: learn how to be amazing at your new job. It was exciting and you could see endless possibilities. Fast forward a few years. Now, you are happy if you get the good parking space and don’t spill coffee on your shirt. Sure, you still want to do a good job but the entire thing has become routine. And that shows in your sales. You’re not doing badly as the same old things still work okay. But your sales aren’t growing. It’s predictable that your sales are slow. Because you may be guilty of a horrible business crime: forgetting that learning is part of your job. If you’re stuck and need a little motivation, here’re a few thoughts about why learning is a necessary part of business today. Learning is Essential Teachers are mandated with continuing credits. These are credits earned through courses (they often don’t need to be accredited) so that they keep updated Teachers are mandated with continuing credits. These are credits earned through courses (they often don’t need to be accredited) so that they keep updated to new and effective teaching practices. Some business professionals are also encouraged to attend the latest conference or watch important webinars. Yet, many would prefer to skip these events if given a choice. In Never Stop Learning How to Sell Online, Molly Corless explains: “Even the most successful sellers never stop learning how to start selling online, and they are always looking for ways to improve. The internet is a constantly changing medium, and even if it were to freeze in its current state there would still be more information for online sellers to learn than a single person could ever possibly get through.” We can’t just wing today’s technology. It’s changing at a lightning fast past and it’s hard to keep up. Especially in the realm of online sales and marketing. Overlook the newest tech and sales will simply pass you by. Rely on outdated tech and sales will slip through your fingers (or checkout system!).But It’s Exhausting and Overwhelming But It’s Exhausting and Overwhelming Trying to keep up with the latest strategies can be incredibly overwhelming. Especially if you’re not great at sifting through the nonsense and sticking to a steady diet of credible information. This is us every day. So it’s not like we don’t see the right information. We may be getting too much of a good thing. Clem Onojeghuo via Unsplash We’re always on our phones or computers. That means looking at baby goat videos, but it also means sifting through hundreds of business newsletters, articles, and videos every day. No one has the ability to digest that much information. So it becomes white noise in the background and we glance and say something like: “That’s interesting. I think I’ll Pin it for later…” Do you know how many Pinned items I have for this amazing later? More than I’m comfortable sharing at this point. So the only way real learning works is with a plan. Choose a Few Trusted Sources Give up the notion that you’re going to learn how to increase your sales simply by reading the latest article you Google. You can certainly find good information but you’ll just sink in the sheer number of articles available on any business topic. Instead, sign up to receive the most helpful articles a site offers. Follow the blogs of technology you use (like your marketing automation software) to keep up on the latest best practices. Stick to authors, sites, and platforms that you trust and have a proven track record of sharing information relevant to your business. And don’t get stuck in print media. There are amazing marketing and sales podcasts out there. Try 16 Sales Podcasts Every Rep Should Check Out for inspiration. Go Back to School Happily, I’m not talking about actually going back to college. One of the most beautiful things that’s evolved on the internet is the access to great trainings. Unlike free posts and articles, the vast majority of these trainings are not free. There may be some free portions (to entice us to buy the product!) and prices vary from incredibly affordable to hundreds of dollars. Again, stick to the courses that make the most sense for your business. There are lots of industry-specific classes, but if you’re looking for general business try one of these: Digital Marketer Mirasee Owner Media Let Statistics Lead Your Way Everything can be measured. And while you may not have dreamed about becoming a data tzar, now’s the time to learn. Data helps us answer complex challenges and offers solutions. For example, some businesses now offer rewards for completing a survey since 80% of customers only make it halfway through. But no one would have known an incentive was important without tracking the number of people who didn’t finish the survey. Don’t think about data only in terms of marketing goals. Think about data in terms of what you need to learn about. Use every available tool (including analytics like Facebook and Google) to highlight exactly where you’re succeeding and failing. Some of this data may be difficult to see, but it’s easy to map out what we need to learn when we see in black and white what we don’t know. Make Learning Part of Your Culture You know you should be learning. Yet, it’s so hard to make learning a priority when you have a million other things going on. I know it’s hard when you’re scrambling to run a business and balance a busy life. And now I’m adding one more item on your to-do-list. That’s why it’s time to learn from big business. Corporations are always running some kind of retreat, convention, or webinar. It’s part of their culture and they incorporate it into their business models. And you don’t have to do anything elaborate, but why not plan a retreat where you finally finish that sales course you’ve been eyeing for a year. Not only will you be able to focus on learning without distractions, you’ll also be able to plan how to incorporate what you learn into your sales and marketing strategy. So make learning fun. Find a way, whatever works best for you, to make it a priority. Because if you want to grow, you have to make learning an essential part of your business culture.