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Part IV SALES FORCE COMPETENCIES. Teachers open the door.  You enter by yourself. Chinese Proverb. Chapter 8: Sales Training. SALES TRAINING PROCESS. Assess Setting Setting Training Objectives Budget Needs. Planning for Sales Training.

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Part iv sales force competencies l.jpg

Part IVSALES FORCE COMPETENCIES

Teachers open

the door.

You enter

by yourself.

Chinese Proverb

Chapter 8:

Sales Training


Sales training process l.jpg
SALES TRAINING PROCESS

Assess Setting Setting

Training Objectives Budget

Needs

Planning for

Sales Training

What Where Training Trainers?

Topics? to Train? Methods?

Developing the

Training Program

Evaluating Training

Follow-Up Training


Sales training objectives l.jpg
SALES TRAINING OBJECTIVES

Why Train Salespeople?

  • Increase sales or profits

  • Create positive attitudes/improve morale

  • Improved customer relations

  • Reduce role conflict and ambiguity (turnover)

  • Improve efficiencies (time and territory)

  • Introduce new products, markets, or programs



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Table 8-1Cross-Tabulations from Company Records

Experience

Less than 2 year 392 21 86

2-5 years 593 29 145

5-10 years 565 5 152

Over 10 years 470 8 139

Regions

Northeast 528 6 140

Southeast 520 8 161

Midwest 512 18 107

Southwest 421 26 111

West 544 21 131

Average Order

Size per Salesperson

New Customers

Per Salesperson

Total Customers

Per Salesperson


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DETERMINING TRAINING NEEDS*

Judgment of:

Top Management

Sales Management

Training Department

Interview With:

Salespeople

Customers

68%

73%

60%

59%

25%

* Percent of firms indicating they often use these assessments to determine training needs.


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DETERMINING TRAINING NEEDS*

Performance Measures:

Sales Volume

Customer Service

Other Measures:

Observation of Salespeople

Attitude Surveys

56%

51%

38%

28%

* Percent of firms indicating they often use these assessments to determine training needs.


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STEPS IN PERFORMING A TRAINING ANALYSIS

  • Interviewed key members or management to find out what changes are needed in performance of the sales force.

  • Sent an anonymous questionnaire to customers and prospects asking:

    • What do you expect of a salesperson in this industry?

    • How do salespeople disappoint you?

    • Which company in this industry does the best selling job?

    • In what ways are its salespersons better?

  • Sent a confidential questionnaire to each salesperson asking:

    • What information do most of our salespersons need?

    • What information do you want to learn better?

    • What skills do most of our salespersons need to improve?


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STEPS IN PERFORMING A

TRAINING ANALYSIS

  • Did field audits (making sales calls) with 20% of the sales force?

  • Interviewed sales supervisors.

  • Discussed and agreed on training priorities with management.

  • Determined trainable topics from information gathered in Steps 1-5.


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Table 8-2Average Cost and Training Period for Sales Trainees

Consumer

Industrial

Service

$5,354

$9,893

$9,060

Consumer

Industrial

Service

3.40 Months

3.80Months

3.80Months


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Table 8-3Average Cost of Training for Veteran Salespeople

$5,365

$4,824

$3,947

$3,902

$3,752

Median Spending

Under $5 $5-$25 $25-$100 $100-$250 Over $250

Million Million Million Million Million

Company Size


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ALLOCATING TRAINING TIME

Average

Product knowledge 35%

Market/Industry Information 15

Company Orientation 10

Selling Techniques 30

Other topics10

Total 100%


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INDUSTRY JARGON

  • “What does HCFA say?”

  • “DRG’s are killing us.”

  • “Is this level II in the POL regs?”

  • “The LTC market’s future looks good.”

  • “The HME industry is changing rapidly.”

  • How about:

    • Reflotrons

    • Spirometry

    • Holters


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ON-THE-JOB SALES TRAINING

  • 80% of a new field salesperson’s training should be focused on developing customer profiles, digging out account survey data, and building working relationships in the field.

  • 15% of time can then be invested in learning about how your product or service is used by existing customers. The field is the place to gain productknowledge, not from an engineer or home office instructor.


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ON-THE-JOB SALES TRAINING

  • Only 5% of a new field salesperson’s time, then, should be spent on developing selling skills.

  • Again, the place to do this is face-to-face with real customers:

    • setting and testing real precall objectives

    • asking for real opportunities to do business.

  • Understanding what has to be done to build selling skills can be mastered in 15 minutes. Doing it takes years of actual, not simulated practice.


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Table 8-4

Media Used in Sales Training

Classroom with Instructor

Workbooks/Manuals

Role Plays

CD-ROM

Audiocassettes

Internet

77%

54%

44%

39%

34%

32%





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EVALUATING TRAINING EFFECTIVENESS*

86%

Reactions:

Trainees

Supervisors

Learning:

Performance

Pre-vs. Post-Training

Behaviors:

Supervisor’s Appraisal

Customer Appraisal

Results:

Bottom Line

68%

63%

31%

64%

41%

40%

*Percent of firms indicating they often use these evaluations to measure training results.


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Table 8-5

Sales Training Evaluation Practices

Measure Criteria Type Importance Rank

Trainee Feedback Reaction 1

Supervisory Appraisal Behavior 2

Self-Appraisal Behavior 3

Bottom-Line Measures Results 4

Customer Appraisal Behavior 5



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BUILDING A SALES TRAINING PROGRAM

  • Treat all employees as potential career employees.

  • Require regular re-training.

  • Spend time and money generously.

  • Salespeople and sales managers must take the lead in developing what goes into the program.

  • In times of crisis, increase, rather than decrease, the training program.


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