Tag Archives: sales training curriculum

Sales role plays – time for an update

Like most good ideas that have been around for a while, how to design and use role plays needs updating from time to time. Some update include: customizing the role plays, including sales managers at the tables to play the buyer and provide feedback, provide sales managers with a sales coaching program the day before, focus role plays on issues companies will be facing tomorrow, not the ones they addressed yesterday. Continue reading

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Sales training – it is not just about fixing things that are broken

There is nothing wrong with conducting sales training to fix things that aren’t working right or develop sales skills or sales strategy skills. But the business environment is changing rapidly – and with all this turbulence means that a sale team must adjust and adapt in order to stay ahead of the game. A sales team cannot prosper in this time of change by simply doing a better job doing what they are doing. They need to learn new sales skills and learn to apply existing skills under a new set of conditions. Continue reading

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Sales simulations and vacuum cleaners – two stories of innovation

When it comes to selecting sales training, the individuals doing the selection often turn to a program they have used in the past. “When I was at Acme we use the XYZ program, I’m familiar with it and suspect it is as good as any.”

But is that the right answer for today? Customers for most large corporations have changed significantly in the last two to three years. What they buy, how they buy, and what they are willing to pay for it have changed. So, is yesterday’s sales training the best bet? Perhaps, but perhaps not. New sales training designs are needed – including sales simulations.
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Sales training: know the past – win the future

In the last several years the world of sales has under gone significant changes. Competition is keener – buying processes are more complex – market changes are more rapid. As a result, a sales person has to know more and know it at a higher level of competency than ever before. This provides new challenges for sales training – yesterday’s sales training models won’t work in tomorrow’s business world. Continue reading

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Optimizing your sales training investment – the sequel

In our earlier post – Optimizing Your Sales Training – we explored what could be done “before” the program to improve the results achieved by sales training programs. Let’s now turn to the “after” program issue.As the McKinsey authors point out – “Participants rarely leave any training program entirely prepared to put new skills into practice.” So a significant piece of the ultimate success of any training lies in creating an environment that is conducive and supportive for applying and practicing the new skill sets. Let’s explore some ideas for getting that done when it comes to sales training.
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Aberdeen Group – Sales Training 2011 Study – Uncovering How the Best-in-Class Sustain, Reinforce, and Leverage Best Practices

While many companies are seeing a recovery from the economic downturn, the distribution and pace of forward progress are not necessarily being enjoyed across the board by all companies, industries or geographies.
Given the economic downturn, companies actively are seeking to capitalize on all competitive edges – including human capital. Their sales force represents one of the most significant opportunities to grow revenue and market share. The Aberdeen Group just published a new study – Sales Training 2011 – Uncovering How the Best-in-Class Sustain, Reinforce, and Leverage Best Practices. In the summer of 2011, 970 organizations were surveyed about their sales training. Of that group 707 currently offer sales training. Key findings are identified in this article. Continue reading

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Tips for designing sales training for global implementations

Suppose you are a large U.S.-based global company with three operating divisions totaling 2,300 world-wide sales people. When it comes to sales training, historically each country has done its own thing – for that matter each division has for the most part unilaterally developed its own sales training. Some countries have done a fair amount; while others have done very little. The same can be said about the divisions.

Your executive team has decided it is worthwhile considering designing sales skills training programs that can be implemented across divisions and across countries. Lee, the project leader is interested in delineating what the payoffs might be and some best practices for implementing the effort. This article contains best practices for designing and implementing successful global sales training implementations.

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Sales training lessons from MTV – happy 30th birthday!

Happy 30th birthday MTV! Who would have thought that one of the unintended outcomes of MTV would be forcing us to re-examine the way in which we design, develop, and deliver sales training. Sales training programs need to be “sticky” allowing participants to make mistakes, receive feedback, identify alternative approaches, and then try again. And they want all this immediately! Two types of sales training that are most effective are games and sales simulations. Continue reading

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On-boarding sales people – it’s not your father’s Oldsmobile

How sales people are on-boarded is a significant factor for building sales success. Unfortunately, it is historically one of the most underemphasized aspects of sales performance development. Great on-boarding programs for sales people are still the exception. Continue reading

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Who are the new sales reps?

Companies traditionally look to hire sales reps from multiple sources. Some look to college new hires to fill a series of lower level inside sales and sales support positions prior to becoming “full fledged” account execs. Others seek out competitive hires providing them with totally different territories and/or tasks until non-compete agreements have matured. Increasingly, in major accounts selling, companies are looking to consultants who bring problem solving skills to the sales process – believing that it’s easier to provide that audience with sales training.
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