What makes a really successful sales development programme?

Here I share my “Power of 3×3” – top tips to help create a really successful Sales Development Programme.

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Firstly what is the definition of a successful sales development programme?  It must make a difference in the following ways:

  • Produce tangible ROI in behaviours and result BUT ALSO
  • Enable sustainable behaviour change

Which is about getting individuals motivated to try different ways of doing things, and continually improve.

Any development programme should of course be well defined with clear objectives and measures of success, uncovered during the Training Needs Analysis or Discovery phase. I am focusing today on the key components assuming those have been done.

When designing any sales development programme I remember the “Power of 3×3” and I have used this to set out my top tips.  Firstly, any programme breaks into 3 key areas:

  1. BEFORE the Programme
  2. DURING the Programme
  3. AFTER the Programme

And each has 3 top tips hence the Power of 3 x 3!

BEFORE the programme the 3 top tips are:

  1. Communicate the key objectives, the reasons for the programme and outline style and timescales to all attendees.
  2. Involve their managers – the more the manager is on-board and is aware of the programme and its content the more likely the manager can help and support the changes required.  Consider a separate pre-module for the manager to help them understand and coach their people in the skills and techniques being covered.
  3. Set up a Launch Module to set expectations and begin buy-in to the programme. And always open the Launch with Senior sponsorship – ideally from both the business and L&D team. This shows the level of commitment and support from the organization to help and support the learners on this programme

DURING the programme the 3 top tips are:

  1. Regular and blended modules
    Ie shorter and regular sessions – typically from 1 hour to 1 day over 2 weeks to 6 months. Modular allows more time to reflect and to assimilate and then to apply the knowledge in their real job.
    “Blended” means a mixture of styles eg live (face to face or virtual) and non-live eg webinars, digital or e-learning modules using a mix of audio & visuals or video
  2. Clear Call to Actions or Coursework
    after every single module. The course work must involve relevant sales activities that a salesperson has to do anyway.
    Eg developing an approach call, planning a customer meeting using the best practice or tools introduced in the module. The more relevant the course work the more likely it will be applied
    Not only do they need to have a call to action,  the actions need be followed up, reviewed and commented on or coached.   This can be done between modules or can be done at the beginning of each module.
    Build in the expectation that the course work will be regularly reviewed and shared and recognise any examples of application.
  3. Enable Coaching & Self Coaching
    Coaching is absolutely essential by the manager, by an internal or external coach.  Coaching enables positive reinforcement of what they are doing well and encouragement to keep going in the right direction.  I always say to people try things at least three times in order to start it becoming a habit.
    In addition, encourage responsibility for learning & self coaching through a Personal Development Journal. This allows the learner to reflect on their experience. It also helps the learner to share this detail with their coach should they wish to.  The coaching and the personal development journal are trying to increase the learners awareness and they help to create the environment for them to succeed.

AFTER the Programme the top 3 tips are:

  1. Continue to coach and encourage behaviour change.
  2. Review & Refresh skills regularly.
  3. Results or ROI Presentation to reinforce, internalise and celebrate learning.
    The most effective Results Presentations format is another 3×3!  The learner has 10 minutes to present:

    • 3 Key learnings Points – this is very personal to the learner and can be a tool, a mindset or a technique or whatever it is that stood out for them and why it’s important to them.
    • 3 Examples of application – Real evidence with real customers that they have actually applied a technique or a process or they have done something different. And they can then show the impact of that change.
    • 3 Future Actions – 3 things they are going to commit to do over the next few weeks or months. These can be techniques they have not yet had a chance to apply.

So always remember the Power of 3×3!

Before the programme THE 3 TIPS ARE:
1. Communicate – the programme to attendees
2. Involve managers
3. Launch Module

During the programme the 3 tips are
1. Regular, blended modules
2. Coursework
3. Coach & self coach

After the programme
1. Coach
2. Refresh Skills
3. Results Presentation

By following the Power of 3×3!, your sales development will enable a much quicker uptake of the skills and more importantly reinforce sustainable behaviour change.

Good luck in enabling your sales people to be more effective!

I hope you found this useful.  Good Luck and I’m off for a coffee!

Marlow Sales Academy

Seymour Court Road

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phone: +44 (0) 1628 302063
email: info@marlowsalesacademy.com
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