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How Top Sales Performers Are Being Built by Experiential Learning

By Casey Cunningham | November 4, 2022 | Training

Over twenty years ago, my goal was to create a sales and leadership training company unlike anything else the market had to offer. One of those goals was to ensure XINNIX Performance Programs would be challenging, pushing our students to give their full effort to become the most elite professionals in their industry. We didn’t promise that the process would be easy but knew it would never be boring. At XINNIX, we know engagement is necessary to build great sales professionals, and that is done through experiential learning. You may have heard this term before, but you may not be sure exactly what it looks like in action.  Experiential learning requires students to practice the new concepts and strategies that will move their business forward in real time, whereas traditional learning centers around a lecture and often leads to disengagement. David A. Kolb is one of our greatest thinkers in this field, and his experiential learning theory gives us an incredible framework to understand how the process works for students. He breaks it down into four stages—experiencing, reflecting, thinking and acting. When our students at XINNIX commit to each of these stages, they not only get the full experience of our training, but they also experience next-level success in their business.

Experience Your Education

The first stage is for students to experience new information. This is where they learn new concepts, skills and strategies. This part of the process runs the highest risk of falling into the boredom trap. That’s why it’s so important that this stage is treated as more than a dissemination of information. It must be an experience. At XINNIX, our Performance Specialists employ dynamic teaching methods, including games, role-playing, breakout sessions and a myriad of other creatively effective ways that cause students to lean in and become active participants in their learning.

Reflect on the Experience

The next step in a student’s journey is to reflect on what they have just experienced. This is a time for them to intentionally take a moment and think about how this new knowledge changes their perspective on what they do. XINNIX asks our students to share openly and vulnerably how their experience affected them. Were they insecure about trying out a new strategy? Did it require them to do something that made them feel uncomfortable? What do they need to address within themselves to feel more confident and capable in this particular area? By creating space for reflection, we know our students are truly internalizing everything they are learning.

Think about the Future

We’ve reflected on the past. Now it’s time to look toward the future! Once students have taken the time to truly understand what they’ve learned, they need to start visualizing what these new strategies would look like when implemented in their business. This is the stage when training moves from concepts to reality. At XINNIX, our Performance Specialists always present new strategies in the framework of reality. Everything we teach has the potential to elevate the performance of our students. There is no useless information. We want them to understand the purpose of this training is never to check a box or waste their time. We are here to take them to the next level of success.

Put It into Action

And finally, we reach the fourth stage, which makes all the time spent in the classroom worth it. We put what we’ve learned into action! This is where the rubber meets the road and when students can experiment with new practices and strategies. They’re not going to be experts, but after experiencing, reflecting and thinking, they should be comfortable enough to see what happens in the real world. As someone who has been training sales professionals and leaders for over thirty years, I can tell you firsthand that there is no better feeling than seeing a student put their training into practice and experience real success. For many training programs, the action stage is where the education ends. Students have gone through the process and are now on their own, forced out of the nest to either fly or fall. XINNIX has a different approach. We believe that learning also happens in the classroom. That’s why we employ coaching and accountability, working with our students as they figure out exactly how to implement their training. This way, we can ensure that our students have the proper knowledge and use it to its full potential. We know that they can become the most elite producers in their industries. With our combination of training, accountability and coaching, XINNIX gets them there. Don’t settle for static, boring sales training. Find training that can get students where they need to go. Students need to experience knowledge, reflect on what it means, think about how it will affect their business and put it into action—all with a dedicated partner in the passenger seat. Through experiential learning, students will start to believe that success isn’t just a concept—it’s a reality they are ready to experience.