Continual Development of the Sales Force: Sales Training. Module Six. Action. Real World Sales Training An Expert’s Viewpoint:.
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Whirlpool developed a sales training program that mirrored MTV’s The Real World. National training manager Jackie Seib helped come up with the idea of putting a dozen or so strangers (new salespeople) in a house full of Whirlpool appliances. The new hires stay in the home for two months, using the appliances and working with engineers to learn how they work. Seib says “We really wanted them to understand the appliances as a consumer would, so they can bring real-world stories about the appliances to the sales floor.”
The program’s impact on revenue has yet to be determined, but it has had a positive effect on employees. Of the first 40 salespeople to complete the program, 8 have been promoted—all attributing their success to the knowledge and confidence they received as a result of the training. Even though the program costs a bit more than the two-week classroom version, Whirlpool believes that the investment is worth it.
Sales training helps socialize the new hires, providing them with a positive:
Set Training Objectives
Evaluate Training Alternatives
Design Sales Training Program
Perform Sales Training
Conduct Follow-Up and EvaluationManaging the Sales Training Process
As the training is being conducted, the sales manager’s primary responsibility is to monitor progress of the trainees and to ensure adequate presentation of the training topics.
It is always difficult to measure the effectiveness of sales training. Nevertheless, a reasonable attempt must be made to assess whether current training expenditures are worthwhile and whether future modification is warranted.