SALES TRAINING AT ABC COMPANY
Few years ago, ABC Company developed a training strategy for training its global sales force. An important feature of the strategy was to create a master training plan for each year. The organization’s strategic plans, objectives, and functional tactics would drive this plan. Once an initial procedure was designed it was then evaluated and critiqued by the top management, different units, and training council. The input from these stakeholders would be summarized and transferred into a master training plan.
The major question that was asked by the designers of training program was, “what results do we want from salespeople after the training program is over?” Answer to this
question becomes the objective of the training program.
Then training content was designed, videos were made. The videos took 3 to 6 months to produce. Video contains live production plants, clients’ offices, partner offices, suppliers, manufacturers’ locations, and other locations.
Videos were used to train sales people in various areas, such as:
Market information i.e. about customer profile, market updates, and computer integrated manufacturing applications, etc
Sales Process i.e. how to deal in the situation of conflicts with customer, coaching on undesirable behavior, supplement skills developed during live courses
Product information, such as, product usage, applications, system description, product description, comparison with competitor’s products, etc
Policies and procedures, i.e. about sales contests, incentive plans on achieving targets, annual bonuses, winners receiving the best salesperson award to motivate the sales force
Around thousands of sales persons were getting a specific video training. The sales people were getting training material along with the video. Sales representatives then watch video, follow the directions, and refer to the material if faces any problem. When salespeople feel they have mastered the material, they would take an exam and call a toll-free number to transmit responses to exam.
Salespeople who successfully passed an exam were factored into performance and merit reviews as well as promotional opportunities. Those who couldn’t pass the exam were asked to go through the material and video again before retaking the exam. If the salesperson failed an exam again, the reporting manager was notified.
This case gives rise to few important questions. These questions are:
In today’s technological world, is video still the best way to deliver the training?
Is video the most effective way to achieve training objectives?
What role did cost of development, cost of delivery, and other constraints play in selection of video delivery system?
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