• New Enterprise Sales Training Techniques Help Ailing Teams

    Enterprise sales teams are struggling.  Among their challenges are recessionary demands for greater productivity while addressing rapidly changing markets, evolving strategies and a steady stream of new product introductions.  Case-in-point are CA Technologies’ most successful enterprise account managers who are rewarded with higher quotas, additional accounts and a long list of non-sales responsibilities including executive event recruitment, work product development, new product training, incessant reporting and a long list of corporate requirements such as account profiling and high-value networking.

    In order to thrive, sales management must transform traditional enterprise sales training methods and develop new solutions to deploy training in a timely and efficient manner.

    In a white paper published by Adobe entitled “The Transformation of Enterprise Sales Training: How New eLearning Tools Cut Costs and Improve Results,” author Henry Canaday details the current shift that is moving enterprise sales training away from costly, classroom-based sales training to cost-efficient, metrics-based blended training methods.  Canady notes that most sales training is not associated with the kind of metrics that would allow sales executives to accurately assess the ROI of sales training investments.  The American Society of Training and Development reports that American companies spend about $20 billion on sales training each year, a revelation that has companies shifting the delivery of sales training to a blended model that allows them to create a culture of measurement.

    According to Canady, the recent recession has found many enterprise organizations moving their annual sales meetings and training events online.  Companies like Oracle and SAP are exploiting the advantages of a virtual learning environment while saving millions of dollars on travel and organization expenses associated with on-site multi-day training and motivation rallies.  Other companies, including ADP, are using blended-learning and coaching programs that are linked closely to business metrics.  

    Changes in the speed of business, including how and when customers want to buy, are also helping shape delivery methods for enterprise sales training.  The increasing presence of young, tech-savvy team leaders in the workforce is also changing how enterprise sales leaders are choosing to deploy sales training, with more team leaders expressing a preference for eLearning sales training methods.

    Best practices in enterprise sales training are beginning to emerge as more companies respond to today’s rapidly changing business environment.  Many companies are responding with a blend of in-person sales training and eLearning solutions.  Large global enterprises use a blend of traditional and eLearning methods to train sales reps and fortify relationships with customers.  Companies are replacing expensive, time-consuming on-site training methods with eLearning tools that get information to sales reps faster, as well as extending training to partners and customers around the world.

    One of the characteristics of new enterprise sales training methods is the use of engaging and interactive tools.  Online training sessions can be executed in real-time, allowing participants to take part in a public forum where they can ask questions and receive immediate responses that are broadcast to the entire group.  Streaming video and audio, high-resolution graphics, icons, emoticons, animation and movies can be used to create a fun and lively environment, while pop quizzes and tests can enable trainers to immediately test knowledge and retention.  Webcams and flash video files can be used for role-plays and sales demonstrations.

    As Canady notes, eLearning sales training, with its constant supply of new tools and metrics-focused functions, can create an interactive training environment that can surpass the degree of rep participation and engagement in traditional classroom sales training sessions.

    Source: “The Transformation of Enterprise Sales Training: How New eLearning Tools Cut Costs and Improve Results” by Henry Canaday


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