The knowledge exchange gap. How learners learn and teachers teach.

by | Jul 14, 2021 | Uncategorized

The knowledge exchange gap. How learners learn and teachers teach.


Better sales development & training: It begins with an understanding of how to absorb information.

Opportunity is everywhere and to embrace new ways of working we must be eyes open to the opportunities that lie in front of us. Some of us though are hesitant to embrace change and could resist learning new skills, new ways of working and how to adapt to the changing sales environment.

Those who pursue with an open mindset about the opportunities that are with us will see that we are blessed with endless amounts of information like never before in humankind. What we find though is that this blessing can at times come across also as a weakness. A weakness how? 

By rabid consumption of information, we stuff our minds and our functional capacity with information. This information doesn’t even turn into knowledge as we don’t take time to absorb this information and translate it into knowledge that can enable positive change.

We live in a world of endless opportunity and endless information but we must, must, become more astute at transferring this information into knowledge, to apply to our workplace and business and most importantly, implement that newfound knowledge into something relevant for our business and sales growth, which in itself will identify new opportunity and the cycle can continue in a positive and effective way.

How much information can one human hold?!

Whilst consensus around human brain storage is to be a capacity between 10 and 100 terabytes of data, that doesn’t mean we should aim to fill that capacity with endless, aimless and pointless information! 

Would you fill your hard drive with irrelevant information and expect it to perform at its peak when you require more focussed delivery of work? Probably not. We must take a step back and think about our learning journey and the route to effective change in business. 

If we continue to fill our head with stuff that stuff can become more of a blocker and a frustration that actually prevents happening what you learned the stuff for in the first place!

Plan. Grow. Do. sales training makes sales training engaging, vibrant and effective!

Know what it is you want to achieve.

Start with the end in mind. It is all too easy to find out information about any topic ever created. This mental clutter can be a hazard to our business development and sales enablement because the information we absorb is without a longer-term purpose.

Know where you are moving from and where you want to go before absorbing information.

But why aren’t my sales improving, I’ve been reading loads of stuff!

If you have a purpose for the information which you aim to absorb it becomes much more acceptable and capable of you to turn that information into knowledge. Without this transfer from information to knowledge we cannot then apply and adap our workplace and sales activities accordingly. So, as the great Stephen Covey says – Begin with the end in mind.

Still the frustrations occur. What is happening?

Sometimes too we can know what we want to achieve from our information and learning path but this still doesn’t translate into the knowledge, motivation and application required to make meaningful change. Why is this?

We identify that how people learn vs how people are taught can be leading to knowledge gaps and ineffective training when those attending the training will pretty much forget over half what was taught in the traditional classroom setting.

The learning pyramid and information retention

The Learning Pyramid suggests that retained information (knowledge) is as little as 5% when the attendees are taught in a lecture setting (source: National Training Laboratories)

Our suite of Plan. Grow. Do. sales training solutions address the learning pyramid and understands that people learn with different medium and at a different pace to each other. This is why we create workbooks, online support, video archive, group learning, classroom sessions, gamification and more.

How learners learn vs how teachers teach – a delivery gap

Most business training programmesmarketing trainingsales training and so forth, focus solely on the informational exchange; the talking textbook. We must put a stop to this – especially as only 5% of those learning in this manner absorb that learning for longer than 24 hours!

It’s comparable to the serial business networker. That person who always shows up but no one really knows what they do. This person probably tells everybody exactly what they do, but because the exchange of information is so brief, is so one way, it becomes something that is unlistenable. You cannot remember for the life of you what they said they did for a living, or even their name. 

For me, the information exchange in isolation at most training sessions is simply ineffective. The learning pyramid as designed by The National Training Lab goes some way to back up these assumptions, suggesting that 50% of what is shown at these sessions is forgotten by the attendees within 24 hours. 

This staggering amount not only highlights the need for change in the professional training setting but also screams at the lack of value for money or return on investment from those putting the bums on seats in the first place. 

There appears to be some disparity with modern business training: how the learner learns is different to how the teacher teaches and this gap must be addressed if results are to be achieved by those attending the training.

How People Learn: Different learning styles need different training approaches.

According to VARK, Learning styles and outcomes vary…

  • 17% of people like to visualize their learning
  • 25% enjoy aural learning
  • 24% prefer reading and writing
  • 34% learn by kinesthetic means

Knowledge isn’t power, knowledge is potential

Knowledge gained but not applied is wasted – it can lead to frustration. I know this because I used to do it too.

We replace doing with learning and then wonder why things in business haven’t improved.

But I know what it takes to make things better I hear people say. This may be true, but unless you take that knowledge, apply it to your specific industry and (most importantly) apply it to your own operation, you are simply educating yourself to see what is wrong, but doing nothing about it.

The serial learner. Too much knowledge is a dangerous thing.

You can go from knowing nothing, to know enough in just 20 hours. Twenty hours!

How much time do you dedicate to what you think is the right thing to do? Head down, textbook learning, relentless information gathering, only to find you aren’t moving anywhere with business?!

Josh Kaufman suggests that in just 20 hours you can go from knowing nothing to knowing enough about pretty much any subject.

Read more about this topic here over on Forbes.

The Growth Mindset

What Is The Growth Mindset?

For me, the growth mindset is quite simple: The Growth Mindset is the approach to work and home life that accepts the potential for more in terms of working practices, that you can always be better, and that boundaries are only in place because we put them there ourselves!

I found a great article that delves deeper into the topic of The Growth Mindset as I appreciate my definition is quite subjective, so please do give this a read from Mindset Works.

So What’s My Mindset?

We found this test to help you identify which mindset you have. It’s fun – give it a spin! Why not share your mindset results on social media, you might be surprised who you can connect with!


How the learn, apply, implement approach supports the growth mindset.

We appreciate that people learn differently. We understand that technology is there to support better delivery and more effective absorption of learning but also respect and appreciate the enormous value of more ‘traditional’ means of sharing ideas through workbooks and classroom-based or group teaching.

We find it increasingly helpful to those in attendance or in our sales training solutions that there is an element of follow up present with the training, structured online training or accountability measures put in place to ensure the knowledge exchanged at the front end not only meets the requirements of the training buyer but also to ensure the best possible outcome for all learning types

Delivery in this way aims to achieve higher retention of information, transferred into knowledge that is applied to the workplace or business, and ultimately implemented to create positive change for those attending the training.

Further reading & sales resources to support your developing sales mindset and approach to sales enablement.

What Is A Sales Mindset?

What Is A Sales Mindset?

Before we come to a Sales Mindset I think it important that we connect to the importance of mindset in many aspects of attainment, success and satisfaction. Mindset refers to the way people think about their abilities, potential, and the world around them. It can have...

Funnel Vision – The Sales Funnel Board Game

Funnel Vision – The Sales Funnel Board Game

If we know that a traditional approach to learning does not work, why are you looking for sales training that follows a traditional approach? You know what I’m talking about don’t you…the slides, the classroom, the workbook and the role plays! The dread from your...

Top 10 things that will make you a success in B2B  Sales

Top 10 things that will make you a success in B2B Sales

As a B2B sales professional with years of experience, I have learned a lot about what it takes to be successful in this field. Having a 35-year journey via Calor Gas, Shell UK, Shell International and more recently as a business owner with Plan. Grow. Do. I'm...

Who is our B2B sales training NOT for?

Who is our B2B sales training NOT for? Who our B2B sales training is not for. Please don't work with us! I just want to share something around the customers that we're not looking to do business with because I think sometimes in sales it's really important that...

PGD Goes to Athens with UEIL

PGD Goes to Athens with UEIL

Top Facts About Athens 1. It’s Europe’s oldest capital city. Athens’ origins date back to 3,000 B.C. 2. It was the birthplace of democracy. In 500 B.C., a system was enacted in Athens where eligible citizens could directly vote on laws – giving rise to democracy. 3....

Plan.Grow.Do. Resources

Sales insights and research for you to download and enjoy for free.

The 5 Anchors Of Modern Selling

How to talk to your customer before they are ready to buy

Your eBook to master Key Account Management

Take The Modern Selling Assessment

Download The Brochure To Find Out More

Sales is changing - grab your copy of Modern Sales Leadership today!

"...a must read for CEOs / Sales Directors who really believe in sustainable growth" (Dr. Johari Jalil - Group Managing Director, Cenviro Malaysia)

Buy your copy today for just £9.99. Click Here!