Known for helping growers achieve the highest yields with the most sustainable solutions possible, this global agricultural supply company also offers a wide selection of retail products, including the world’s largest crop inputs and services.
In spite of the success of this organization, two factors were impacting their sales profits. Within three years, 30% of their experienced sales representatives had retired, leaving behind a younger, less experienced sales organization. Additionally, challenging market conditions—including low commodity prices, farmers purchasing fewer crop inputs, and other competitive pressures—made it increasingly difficult to realize profitable sales.
The company’s Marketing Retail division understood that in order to achieve sales quota, they would need to address the sales skills of their more inexperienced sales representatives. However, they wanted solid proof that the training made a difference. The company challenged Wilson Learning to prove that The Counselor Salesperson™ training makes a difference and increases sales. They also wanted to know if the training had the same impact on experienced versus less-experienced sales representatives.
Wilson Learning accepted this challenge and further recommended that half of the sales representatives in four divisions (including a balanced mix of experienced and less-experienced sales representatives) be trained in The Counselor Salesperson, while the other half would not receive the training. Upon completion of the training, an impact evaluation would be conducted with both groups to compare, track, and measure year-over-year (YOY) sales dollars. Not only would this provide a fair comparison but it would also provide the return-on-investment for both groups.
To create a path to exceptional sales performance, Wilson Learning recommended a learning journey for sales professionals and managers consisting of parallel, yet unique, paths. The entire journey was supported by Wilson Learning’s robust technology-enabled system and included the following elements: preparation activities, a core learning experience to equip the sales team and managers, post-workshop reinforcement, a mobile app, and an on-demand portal with additional tools and application for sales representatives and coaching tools for managers. This all-encompassing approach is designed to reinforce the learners’ and managers’ use of the newly acquired skills.
The Counselor Salesperson was customized to the agricultural supply retail business, utilizing relevant industry-specific exercises, case studies, and role-play applications.
To further reinforce the learning, Best Practice sessions were conducted six weeks post-training, ensuring that sales representatives were able to apply the training directly to their business. These sessions created tremendous energy within the group as real results were shared amongst their peers and encouraged some competitive spirit.
Those who received The Counselor Salesperson training saw a 10% increase in sales, while those not trained saw sales decrease 9% in the same time period. This amounts to a massive 19% impact. The company also saw topline revenue increase among all trained sales representatives by $400,000.
Both new and tenured sales representatives benefited from The Counselor Salesperson training, with year-over-year sales dollar increases. This company is now convinced that The Counselor Salesperson benefits sales representatives of all levels of experience, resulting in increased sales effectiveness, efficiency, and stronger, more trusting customer relationships.