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TRAINING THE

SALES TEAM
Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
To establish and maintain a productive sales force, an ongoing sales
training program is essential. This chapter should help you
understand:

What sales training is and what its purposes are.


How to plan a sales training program, including conducting a
needs assessment.
That organizing a training program includes various training
methods.
Who is involved in the staffing of a training program.
The motivating influence of a sales training culture.
The importance of an effective evaluation system.
Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

WHAT IS SALES TRAINING?


Sales training is the effort an employer puts forth
to provide sales people job-related culture, skills,
knowledge, and attitudes that should result in
improved performance in the selling
environments.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

REENGINEERING TRAINING
On-time training, one-on-one coaching, and
behavioral-change training are just some of the
strategies companies are applying to sales training
curricula across the country.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

CHANGE BRINGS ABOUT


TRAINING REENGINEERING

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PURPOSES OF SALES TRAINING


1 Increasing customer satisfaction.
2 Helping salespeople become managers.
3 Orienting new salespeople to the job.
4 Improving knowledge in areas such as
product, company, competitors, or selling
skills.
5 Lowering absenteeism and turnover.
6 Positively influencing attitudes in such areas
as job satisfaction.
Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

PURPOSES OF SALES TRAINING continued


7 Lowering selling costs.
8 Informing salespeople.
9 Obtaining feedback from salespeople.
10 Increasing sales in a particular product or
customer category.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

FIGURE 10.1 A SALES TRAINING MODEL DETERMINE HOW TO


EVALUATE TRAINING WHEN PLANNING

P la n n i n g
P h ase

O rg a n iz in g
P h ase

S t a ff i n g
P h ase

D ire c tin g
P h ase

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

E v a lu a t i o n
P h ase

PHASE ONE: PLANNING FOR


SALES TRAINING
The first step when developing or maintaining an
ongoing sales training program is assessing needs.
Needs assessment entails determining the training
needs of the sales force and setting objectives for
satisfying those needs.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

ORGANIZATIONAL ANALYSIS
Four principles ensure a successful training
effort:
1 Value
2 Focus
3 Mass
4 Duration

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OPERATIONAL ANALYSIS
A difficulty analysis uncovers and analyzes
problems salespeople experience.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

SALES PERSONNEL ANALYSIS


The behavioral objectives identify the goals of the
training program for both the trainer and the trainee.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

CUSTOMER ANALYSIS
Incorporate the voice of the customer.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

MAKING THE NEEDS ASSESSMENT


This requires the following sequence:
1. Identify the requirements of the position.
2. Determine the difference between
performance objectives and results.
3. Determine why a difference exists.
4. Revise the training program (if needed).

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

MAKING THE NEEDS ASSESSMENT

continued

This requires the following sequence:


5. Develop training objectives.
6. Conduct the training program.
7. Evaluate the training program.
8. Revise the training program (if needed).

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

FIGURE 10.2 REVISION OF TRAINING PROGRAM BASED ON NEEDS


ASSESSMENT

T r a i n i n g O b j e c t iv e s

Jo b D e s c rip tio n
Jo b O b je c tiv e s

T ra in in g R e v is io n

J o b E v a lu a t i o n

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

T ra in in g P ro g ra m
T ra in in g E v a lu a tio n

SOURCES OF INFORMATION FOR


DETERMINING TRAINING NEEDS
1 Questionnaires.
2 Interviews.
3 Tests given during meetings for diagnostic
purposes.
4 Direct observation in the field.
5 Analyses of sales, profits, and activity
reports.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

Other ways to assess training needs:


Failure analysis determines the reasons lowperforming salespeople fail to achieve their
sales goals.
Success analysis is used to identify factors
that appear to make salespeople successful.
Exit interviews determine attitudes toward the
job.
Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

PHASE TWO: ORGANIZING FOR


SALES TRAINING
1 Training objectives to be accomplished.
2 Number of trainees.
3 Trainers experience.
4 Each salespersons understanding of the
subject matter.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

PHASE TWO: ORGANIZING FOR


SALES TRAINING continued
Each trainees ability to learn and past
experience.
Training materials available.
The costs per trainee of each method.
Extent of presession assignments.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

TECHNOLOGY-BASED TRAINING
METHODS
1 Interactive multimedia training.
2 Electronic performance support system.
3 High-tech customer service.
4 Distance learning.

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ROLE PLAYING
In role playing the trainee acts out an event such
as the sale of a good or service to a hypothetical
buyer.

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ON-THE-JOB TRAINING
The best and most frequently used training takes
place on the job.

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TRAINING LEARNING CURVES


The shape of the learning curve indicates the
extent to which the rate of learning increases,
levels off, or decreases with or without training
and practice.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

Salespeople go through three phases of usage


before true behavioral changes occur as a result
of training.
1. Awkward usage.
2. Conscious usage.
3. Natural usage.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

Plateaus
The rate of learning change will be influenced by
factors such as:
1 The nature of the material itself.
2 The manner in which the material is
presented.
3 Time intervals between training.
4 The extent of follow-up and OTJ training.
5 The trainees attitude toward learning.
Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

FIGURE 10.3 A HYPOTHETICAL S-SHAPED LEARNING CURVE WITH A


PLATEAU

M a ster y

P la tea u

S low
0

A w k w a rd
U sa ge

C o n s ci o u s
N a tu r a l
U sa ge
U sa ge
T r a in in g U sa ge P h a ses o v er T im e

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

WHERE DOES TRAINING TAKE PLACE?


1 Centralized training
2 Decentralized training.

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WHEN DOES TRAINING OCCUR?


1 Training begins the first day of work.
2 It continues throughout the career.
3 Sales meetings serve as important training
methods.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

PHASE THREE: STAFFING FOR


SALES TRAINING
WHO IS INVOLVED IN TRAINING?
1 Corporate staff trainers.
2 Sales force personnel.
3 Outside training specialists.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

PHASE FOUR: DIRECTING THE


SALES TRAINING EFFORT
TRAINING CULTURE
Sales culture is the set of key values, ideas,
beliefs, attitudes, customs, and other capabilities
and habits shared or acquired as a sales group
member.

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PHASE FOUR: continued

SUPPORT FROM THE TOP


LEADERSHIP

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PHASE FIVE: SALES TRAINING


EVALUATION
STEPS IN THE EVALUATION
1. Determine what should be measured.
2. Determine the information collection
method.
3. Determine the measurement methods.
4. Analyze the data, determine the results, and
draw conclusions for making
recommendations.
Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

WHAT SHOULD BE MEASURED?


Components to measure:
1 Reaction
2 Learning
3 Behavior
4 OTJ results

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Groups to Evaluate:
1 Program
2 Presenter
3 Trainees
4 OTJ results

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

Items to measure:
Specific items to measure can be derived from
training objectives.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

What should be the information collection


method?
1. Questionnaires
2. Interviews
3. Tests
4. Observation
5. Company data

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

What should be the measurement methods?


1. After only
2. Before/after
3. Before/after with control group

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

THE BOTTOM LINE


Effective sales training provides the foundation for an effective
sales force.
A director of a sales training program can divide the program into
five equally important phases.
Planning the sales training program, step one, involves
determining the sales forces training needs and establishing
objectives to meet these needs.
After the plans have been made, the next step is organizing the
program.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

THE BOTTOM LINE

continued

Once the training plans and evaluation procedures have been


developed and organized, the next step is to determine who will
do the actual training.
The fourth phase in the sales training program deals with
directing the training effort.
Evaluation is the fifth and final phase in a sales training program.

Copyright 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.