To illustrate the results clients can expect from training and developing their teams, here are the results of a Pilot program we completed with a client and for which the client was open to share sales results.
Coming from a scientific background, we needed to demonstrate the value of investing resources in training, which is not always easy. To do this, we needed to compare a group of trained individuals against another that did not receive training. Both groups however, needed to have a similar history of sales success as well as reasonably similar environments (potential, customer base, etc…). The client selected a group on 20 sales people that best corresponded to the parameters given above. Their sales trends over the past 24 months were similar. The graphic shown here does not depict the exact sales number but rather the approximate tendencies. It is meant to illustrate the situation at baseline (when we launched the training program).
We separated the group in two, the Pilot group and the Control group. The sales people in the Pilot group received the training along with their managers. After the 2-day seminar, we conducted 4 follow-up sessions of 60 minutes, one every other week, starting 2 weeks after the seminar. The follow-up sessions were conducted as teleconferences. Here are the key components of the training program:
- Participants came to the program with 3 key customers with whom they had serious challenges and were not able to significantly impact.
- We reviewed and consolidated the sales model already in place within the company.
- We added the component of Styles to help participant understand the value of adapting their approach to the communication preferences of their customers.
- Sales people and managers completed a strategic approach plan for each of the 3 selected challenging customers during the seminar and were asked specifically to share their progress during the follow-up sessions.
The graph below shows the percentage of sales people in both the Control group and the Pilot that actually reached or exceeded their sales forecast at the end of the year (9 months after the training started).
The results speak for themselves. In addition, the comments collected during the follow-up program seem to confirm that:
- Understanding customer style preferences helps connect and communicate more effectively
- Planning every customer interaction increases effectiveness
- Working with you manager on a structured strategic customer approach has positive impact
- Providing a structured follow-up program ensured a more integrated approach and triggered the Big Fish effect
Watch the video on this experiment