People forget.

It’s inevitable.

It’s human nature.

And not just what they learn. Even vivid memories can fade with time.

Forgetting is a psychological norm
German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus coined the term ‘Forgetting Curve’ in 1885, referring to the dramatic drop off in knowledge retention over the course of time. In fact, studies have shown that in as little as 30 days, 79 percent of knowledge can be forgotten.

Now think about your sales teams and all of the new information you’ll be sharing with them at the next sales kick-off – and then think about the forgetting curve. Thirty days post kick-off they could lose up to 79 percent of what they were taught. Not a very comforting thought when a sales kick-off accounts for a big spend out of the sales enablement budget.

So, how can you combat this phenomenon at the next sales kick-off? Easy … by incorporating these two clinically-proven learning methodologies of best practice microlearning — the spacing and testing effects — you can dramatically improve knowledge retention up to 170 percent more and truly impact sales behaviors.

The “spacing effect”
Interval reinforcement is a proven way to combat the forgetting curve. The spacing effect is proven to significantly increase knowledge retention if you present information and reinforce it over spaced intervals of time. For those who like the geeky science behind this technique, there is a proven neurophysiological impact whereby the reinforcement of knowledge over time enhances memory and the survival of new neurons. Utilizing this method dramatically improves the uptake of information and encodes it within the mind in such a way that it’s effectively retained over the long term. Combine that with other best practice microlearning techniques (scenario-based Q&A challenges, repetition, real-time feedback, peer interaction, game mechanics) and the combined effect on knowledge retention is even greater. 

The “testing effect”
Testing is traditionally executed as a dipstick approach, often a multiple choice test or survey to measure knowledge at a point in time, for example at the end of the sales kick-off, but that’s not what this refers to. The testing effect is an active learning process wherein individuals are tested, challenged and questioned and then provided with immediate feedback. Studies comparing the testing effect to passive learning without testing, such as reading or watching a video, and conceptual mapping, such as drawing diagrams to relate concepts, show that testing is the most effective approach. It can also markedly increase long-term behavior change. Again, this is a significant component of the methodology when considering deploying best practice microlearning for your sales kick-off.

Forget the Firehose
We’ve all experienced the painful sales kick-off where it is essentially death by powerpoint, one-way drinking from the firehose. This process can be disengaging, ineffective, time consuming to prepare and expensive. By bringing together spacing and learning effect techniques in a mobile interactive technology solution, Qstream has created a scientifically-proven, breakthrough interval learning methodology that improves knowledge retention and behavior change. The method combines the two learning techniques by utilizing short bursts of reinforced learning sessions while consistently testing the individual and providing immediate feedback on results. Qstream can be used to reinforce knowledge following a sales kick-off or even to test baseline knowledge for first presentation sales kick-off content.

So, put away the firehose and consider how best practice microlearning can drastically improve knowledge retention well beyond your sales kick-off. Click here to schedule a meeting with a microlearning specialist.

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