RESOURCES | GUIDES
Sales Training Implementation
In this guide, we have compiled 25 years of best practices from countless sales training implementations that delivered change and business result.
There needs to be a direct link between the behaviors we need to impact and the overall organizational objectives. Senior leadership needs to be engaged early on and identify with and support the desired outcomes your training intends to deliver.
Perform executive interviews, collect survey data and gain intel on field and management level behaviors to draw direct connections between what needs to change in the organization and the objectives being pursued with the C-level.
Communication and Change Management
Often overlooked, the execution of change and its communication needs to be orchestrated early on. Each organizational structure and culture demands its own approach with varying degrees of intensity and complexity.
For instance, in some organizations this might entail full stakeholder analysis, communication strategy and execution by cross-functional area of the business. In others, this might be as simple as a conversation around, “how to we engage Jane in our initiative?”
Communication elements need to include
- Senior level expectations of the field and support of the initiative (the ‘why’)
- A clear description of the program (the ‘what); and
- A concise picture of the implementation (the ‘how’)
Typical milestones and categories for communication include
- Facilitator and sales management preparation calls. So often overlooked, enable the facilitator to connect with sales management to ask questions about specific situations, challenges and behaviors the managers need to impact. The result is a much more customized and relevant experience
- Pre-program process and expectations to complete pre-work, collect data, come prepared to the training
- Last minute, day before and day of communication that focuses on logistics, program location, agenda, timings, etc.
- Post-program communication that lays out manager pull-through on coaching, integration of the methodology into the day-to-day of the business
In addition to developing our own healthcare sales training, we have supported and have been trained in many additional sales methodologies. If there is one piece of advice we can pass along, it is to simplify the implementation of the methodology down to the critical behaviors you need to impact.
That means being crystal clear on
- The behaviors you actually need to impact to increase performance and achieve organizational objectives
- The behaviors the sales methodology is actually designed to impact
- How you are going to measure those behaviors
- How you are going to coach those behaviors; and
- How you are going to coach management to enable THEM to coach the behavior changes
Once you have identified the critical behaviors, ask yourself if you need to build skill or strategy. If both, decide what’s more urgent based on things like salesforce maturity, sales organizational maturity, corporate objectives and urgency, required time to value, etc.
Once you are clear on what needs to be impacted and you can identify those critical behaviors, create or choose the appropriate sales methodology that creates the environment that will focus on and build competency in those specific areas.
Leverage industry expertise to connect sales methodology elements to your specific business and help distill the complexity down to what is important and manageable for your business.
So often overlooked, ask yourself, “What are the integration points of this sales methodology with our existing business processes?” Many organizations might need to first start with the question, “What are our existing sales processes we need to impact and why?”
Once this is determined, you need to determine what aspects of these processes need to change, how they are going to change and drive alignment to this change. It’s the interaction of the sales methodology that is being trained and the flow of the business that starts to define how it will leave and breathe beyond the initial training roll-out or knowledge transfer.
Coaching and Reinforcement
For those who have implemented any form of training in the past know that success lives and dies on the ability, engagement in and execution of coaching and reinforcement. Unfortunately, so often sales management is ignored in the equation and is left with an amazing methodology or training experience with know plan for or capability to coach, reinforce and integrate the training into their day to day activities.
As CSO Insights has described, sales managers typically overworked and under-prepared for their roles, while the data supports that an investment in this layer does correlate to things like increased quota attainment and win rates.
Technology Enablement & Support
As a wise trainer once told us, “e-learning is not a panacea”. Also, the sales technology stack and the learning and development technology stack is increasingly complex and quite often non-integrated.
So the question becomes, “What technology should we consider employing?”
Our position has become very clear – leverage a platform that integrates traditional LMS capabilities with sales enablement capabilities that really focuses on continuous improvement.
You get there by the following path:
- Train the specific critical behaviors in your initiative
- Measure critical rep behaviors through technology-enabled coaching
- Correlate critical rep behaviors to their sales performance
- Correlate critical manager behaviors to their performance
- Review and adjust focus aligning to sales strategy and corporate objectives
For the first time in history, we all have the capability to do this relatively easily.
Coaching Impact on Quota Attainment
Source: CSO Insights – Sales Enablement Optimization Study, 2016
We hope this guide serves you well in your efforts to impact change in your organization. Good luck in your training initiatives!