Improving Sales Performance with Self-Directed Learning

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Marketing Management Journal

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Boyer, Stefanie L.; Artis, Andrew B.; Soloman, Paul J.; Fleming, David
Marketing Management Journal
article description
Superior training is required to develop a sales force with the expertise to achieve and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage in the tumultuous global marketplace. The use of self-directed learning (SDL) has been shown to be an effective method for providing essential training that individualizes employee learning to achieve organizational goals. Salespeople in careers where selfdirection is vital for success (e.g., financial services) benefit from using self-directed teaming projects (SDLPs) to acquire the skills, knowledge and abilities necessary to excel. This study shows that sales managers can have a positive influence on the self-directed learning efforts of salespeople by providing them with self-management training and supervisory support. In addition, use of nonobligatory self-directed learning projects—where salespeople can chose the projects they feel they need—lead to higher levels of perceived performance