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TRAINING THE SALESFORCE

FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Agenda Defining training aims Deciding training contents Selecting training methods Organization of sales training Case study on organization of sales training

FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Building Sales Training Programs There are several types of sales training programs The most comprehensive and longest is the training program for newly recruited sales personnel More intensive and shorter programs on specialized topics, as well as periodic refresher courses (collectively known as continuing sales training), are presented for experienced sales personnel In addition, many companies offer sales training programs for the sales personnel of their distributors and/ or dealers Some programs are designed to develop individuals as sales trainers (full or part time) or as junior- level sales executives (district or branch sales managers). FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Building Sales Training Programs

Each type of program serves a different purpose , and its content reflects that purpose. Building a sales training program requires five major decisions.

The specific training aims must be defined, content decided, training methods selected, arrangements made for execution, and procedures set up to evaluate the results. Some sales training specialists refer to those decisions as the A-CM-E-E decisions- aim, content, methods, execution, and evaluation.
FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Defining Training Aims


Regardless of the type of sales training program, defining its specific aims (the A in A-C-M-E-E) is the first step in its planning. Defining the general aim is not sufficient.

Although, for example we may want to increase the sales forces productivity through training, we must identify what must be done to achieve increased productivity. General aims are translated into specific aims phrased in operational terms
Specific aim definition begins with a review of general aims and the means currently employed to attain them.
FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Defining Training Aims


The process cannot be completed until sales management perceives the training needs from which specific training aims derive directly. Training needs, then, must be identified. The following discussion focuses on factors that management considers as it seeks to identify training needs for (1) initial sales training programs (2) continuing sales training programs. 1. Identifying Initial Training Needs: Determining the need for, and specific aims of, an initial sales training program requires analysis of three main factors: job specifications, individual trainees background and experience, and sales- related marketing policies.
FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Defining Training Aims


Job Specifications: The qualifications needed to perform the job are

detailed in the job specifications. Few people possess all these qualifications at the time of hiring. The set of job specifications needs scrutinizing for clues to the points on which new personnel are most likely to need training. Other questions related to job performance need considering: How should salespeople apportion their time? Which duties require the greatest proportion of time? Which are neglected? Why? Which selling approaches are most effective?

Answers to these and similar questions help in identifying specific training needs of newly recruited sales personnel.
FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Defining Training Aims


Trainees background and experience: Each individual enters an initial sales training program with a unique educational background and experience record. The gap between the qualifications in the job specifications and those a trainee already has represents the nature and amount of needed training. But it is not practical to adjust training precisely to individual differences. Time and money are saved by putting all recruits through identical programs. In some organizations, where training mechanisms are highly flexible, information about trainees qualifications makes possible some tailoring of programs to individuals, increasing both trainee satisfaction and program efficiency. In all organizations, determining recruits real training needs is essential to developing initial training , programs of optimum benefit to company and trainee alike.
FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Defining Training Aims


Sales- related marketing policies: To determine initial sales training needs, sales- related marketing policies must be analyzed. Differences in products and markets mean differences in selling practices and policies, which in turn, point to needed differences in training programs. For instance, selling a line of machine tools requires emphasis on product information and customer applications, whereas selling simple, non- technical products demands emphasis on sales techniques. Differences in promotion, price, marketing channel, and physical distribution all have implications for initial sales training.

FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Defining Training Aims

2. Identifying Continuing Training Needs: Determining the specific aims for a continuing sales training program requires identification of specific training needs of experienced sales personnel. Basic changes in products and markets give rise to needs for training, as do changes in company sales- related marketing policies, procedures and organization. But even though products and markets change little and company policies, procedures, and organizations remain stable, sales personnel change, in some respects for the worse (as they develop, for example, careless or sloppy working habits).

FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Deciding Training Content


The content (the C in ACMEE) of a sales training program, whether an initial or continuing program, derives from the specific aims that management, after analyzing its training needs, formulates. Initial sales training programs are broader in scope and coverage than are continuing programs. Initial programs provide instruction covering all important aspects of performance of the salespersons job; continuing programs concentrate on specific aspects of the job where experienced persons have deficiencies. Every initial sales training program should devote some time to each of the four main areas: product data, sales technique, markets, and company information
FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Product Data
Some product training is basic to any initial sales training program Companies with technical products devote more than half their programs to product training But in many situations, especially with standardized products sold routinely, new sales personnel require only minimal product training In all cases, new salespeople must know enough about the products, their uses, and applications to serve customers information needs Product knowledge is basic to s salespersons self- confidence and enthusiastic job performance. Understanding product uses and applications is important. Trainees receive instruction on customers problems and requirements and learn how company products can solve these problems and meet these requirements FRAINING Training provides them with full appreciation for buyers viewpoints. THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Sales Technique
Most new sales personnel need instruction in sales techniques Some sales managers believe, however, that careful selection of sales personnel and product training are sufficient to ensure effective selling. They believe, in other words, that if an individual has an attractive personality, good appearance and voice, and reasonable intelligence and knows the product, he or she will sell it easily. But the predominant view is that new sales personnel need basic instruction in how to sell.
FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Markets
The new salesperson must know who the customers are, their locations, the particular products in which they are interested, their buying habits and motives, and their financial condition. In other words, the salesperson needs to know not only who buys what but, more important, why and how they buy. When trainees are not given adequate instruction on the market, they take years to acquire the needed understanding. During this trial- and- error learning, through no fault of their own, productivity is low.
FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Markets
In fact, left to their own devices, some trainees never gain important market information. For instance, a salesperson who is unaware of prospects potentials as buyers may neglect completely to canvass them. Markets are always changing, so training in this area should be continuous, the content changing with market changes.

FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Company Information
Certain items of company information are essential to the salesperson on the job; others, not absolutely essential, contribute to overall effectiveness. The training program should include coverage of all sales- related marketing policies and the reasoning behind them. The sales person must know company pricing policy, for instance, to answer customers questions. The salesperson needs to be fully informed on other policies, such as those relating to product services, spare parts and repairs, credit extension, and customer relations. The initial training program must equip the salesperson to perform such tasks as recording and submitting customers orders for processing and delivery, preparing expense and other reports, handling inquiries, following up on customers requests, and so forth.
FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Selecting Training Methods


The planners next select training methods (the M in ACMEE).

There is a wide variety of methods, but the program content often limits those that are appropriate. If, for example, the content is a new policy on vacations and holidays, the training method almost certainly will be the lecture, supplemented, perhaps, with visual aids. In this instance, such methods as role playing and the demonstration would be ruled out. It is important to select those training methods that most effectively convey the desired content.
FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

The Lecture
This ancient instructional method, in use before the invention of printing, is used extensively in sale straining Trainees mainly watch and listen, although some versions of lecturing permit questions

The lecture features passive, rather than active, trainee participation.


Its main weakness is that teaching is emphasized more than learning. But a lecture can be effective, provided that the lecturer is able and enthusiastic and uses examples, demonstrations, and visual aids. Compared with other training methods, the lecture is economical in terms of time required to cover a given topic.
FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

The Personal Conference


Personal conferences are held in offices, restaurants, bars, motel rooms, and elsewhere. One version, the curbstone conference, takes place immediately after the trainee (accompanied by the trainer) has called upon a customer or prospect. The personal conference is an unstructured and informal method- it varies with the personalities of the trainer and the trainee and the topics discussed.

FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

The Personal Conference


The potential of this method often goes unrecognized, because many people assume that learning occurs only in structured situations However, learning occurs in structured and unstructured, formal and informal situations. In the personal conference, the trainer (often a sales executive or sales supervisor) and trainee jointly analyze problems, such as effective use of selling time, route planning and call scheduling, and handling unusual selling problems.

FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Selecting Sales Personnel


Selection Systems for sales personnel range from simple one- step systems, consisting of nothing more than an informal personal interview, to complex multiple- step systems incorporating diverse mechanisms designed to gather information about applicants for sales jobs A selection system is a set of successive screens, at any of which an applicant may be dropped from further consideration Refer Figure 12.1 A Selection System of Page 313 of Cundiff and Still Text Pre- Interview Screening and Preliminary Interview: Pre- Interview Screening is the for the purpose of eliminating obviously unqualified applicants, thus saving the time of interviewers and applicants. The Preliminary Interview can be handled by a low- paid clerk or secretary, so this is generally the lower- cost selection step.
FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Selecting Sales Personnel


Formal Application Form: The formal application form serves as a central record for all pertinent information collected during the selection process. A formal application is filled with out after a preliminary interview indicates that a job candidate has promise as a company salesperson. The application form may be filled out by the applicant personally or by an interviewer who records the applicants responses. Refer Figure 12.2 of Page 315 to 318 of Cundiff and Still Text Objective Scoring of Personal History Items- Refer Page 219 of Text
FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Selecting Sales Personnel


The Interview: is the most widely used selection step and in some companies it comprises the entire selection system. Some personnel experts criticize the interview as an unreliable tool, but it is an effective way to obtain certain information. No other method is quite so satisfactory in judging an individual as to ability in oral communication, personal appearance and manners, attitude toward selling and life in general, reaction to obstacles presented face to face, and personal impact upon others. Interviewing Techniques: 1. Patterned Interview 2. Nondirective Interview 3. Interaction (Stress) Interview 4. Rating Scales Refer Page 321 and 328 of the Text for explanation on Interviewing FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5 Techniques

Selecting Sales Personnel


References: provide information on the applicant not available from other sources. Some employers deny the value of references, saying that references hesitate to criticize personal friends, or exemployees. But the experienced employer reads between the lines, and sees where, for example, the weak candidate is not praised. Credit Checks: Many companies run credit checks on applicants for sales positions. Credit files are compiled by local credit bureaus, and special credit reports are provided by such organizations as Dun & Bradstreet. When a heavy burden of personal debt is found, it may indicate financial worries interfering with productivity, or a motivating factor serving to spur productivity- to determine which requires further investigation.
FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5

Selecting Sales Personnel


Psychological Tests: In recent years, more and more companies have tended either to abandon or to rely less upon psychological tests as an aid in making selection decisions. Validation of Tets- Refer Page 330 of Text Basis for evaluation of Tests- Refer Page 336 of Text Types of Tests- Refer Page 336 of Text Physical Examinations: Since good health is important to a salespersons success, most companies require physical examinations.

FRAINING THE SALESFORCE MODULE 5