A global design and engineering firm indicated the need to enhance the skills of its sales workforce, which is segregated into three levels, as per proficiency. The primary skill augmentation need was noticed for level one and level two salespeople in critical areas such as prospecting, ensuring consistency in the go-to-market approach, sustaining a sense of collaboration while working in teams, having a consultative mindset, managing key stakeholders, and so on. The chief objective/business motive of sales skill development was to increase sales revenue.
After a comprehensive needs analysis, two customized learning programs, The Counselor Salesperson™ and Sales Advantage Series™, were designed by Wilson Learning for level one and level two salespeople, respectively. Both programs were conducted over a period of two days.
The Counselor Salesperson focused on developing a problem-solving approach in salespeople to address customers’ business issues—building and sustaining meaningful relationships with customers even while creating new business opportunities and encouraging a mind shift from simply executing orders to developing a sense of collaboration between salespeople in the process of closing sales. The training program also helped in building a standardized go-to-market approach, which was nearly nonexistent, to ensure customers receive a consistent and premium experience every time.
Sales Advantage Series coached salespeople in developing and employing critical consultative approaches, skills, and tools to deliver real-time business level value for clients. The program aimed to help salespeople master skills in accessing and advising key decision-makers, choosing and pursuing optimal opportunities, and managing key stakeholders in the decision-making process.
Both The Counselor Salesperson and Sales Advantage Series programs consisted of follow-up email tips and reminders to provide step-by-step guidance in the process of skill development and transformation. The programs included manager coaching to ensure that immediate supervisors can offer timely support and substantive assistance to help their teams level up. A total of 78 salespeople participated in the learning programs.
An impact evaluation was conducted three months after The Counselor Salesperson and Sales Advantage Series program implementations to evaluate the effect of the training on skills, performance, and sales opportunities. Some notable accomplishments were:
- 71% of The Counselor Salesperson participants noted being better prepared for client interactions, asking the right questions to identify current versus desired situations, and opening up possibilities of new interactions with customers for the future.
- 68% of the Sales Advantage Series participants indicated business skill transformation, such as identifying stakeholders’ levels of influence on the decision-making process, determining customers’ Critical Success Factors, and verifying the value of the purchase decision.
- 91% believed they were able to establish greater trust with clients faster, 85% agreed they had a better understanding of customers’ business priorities, and 84% revealed they could successfully navigate customers’ decisions to win more business.
Between the period of training and impact analysis, participants attributed $3,478,090 of the $15,129,715 sales total to the training programs designed by Wilson Learning—a 23% increase. 98% of participants from both teams agreed that the skills gained from the training were easily applicable on the job. At the end of the impact analysis, participants were also able to identify additional areas in which they may need assistance for further skill and work performance betterment.