“The selling skills needed by the frontline salesperson to win in today’s market have to change dramatically,” said Ken Powell, VP of sales learning and performance at ADP. ADP, a $9 billion provider of business outsourcing solutions, knows how to run a highly successful and profitable operation. Last week, the financial Website Seeking Alpha ranked ADP among the top five S&P stocks by yield, reporting a whopping $1.62 billion in cash with only $42.2 million in debt.
On Wednesday, December 9t at noon CST, Ken and I will talk about how to create a successful salestraining and salesenablement process during a one-hour Webinar.
Ken predicts that the recovering economy will require a significant adjustment in determining what to train on and how to train salespeople. He also predicts that sales organizations will risk losing their top sales producers to more progressive companies that have successfully transitioned and adapted to the new realities.
The mind of the customer
ADP has recently restructured its salestraining approach based on a number of insights from thought leaders in the field. Among them are the philosophies and concepts published in the book The Mind of the Customer: How the World’s Leading Sales Forces Accelerate Their Customers’ Success (McGraw-Hill, 2006). The book and the companion Website offer concise tools that range from a comprehensive skills analysis to the development of a clear strategy for creating results for the customer.
Says Ken, “In today’s market, 75 percent of sales success depends on how you sell and 25 percent on what you sell.”
The mind of the “millenials”
Smart sales organizations such as ADP are preparing for the emerging psychological conflict created by the integration of the “millenials”- those who were born between 1975 and 1995. Powell referred to a 60 Minutes broadcast describing the millenials as the generation that is more tech savvy. They multitask, shifting quickly from typing on their notebook computers to texting, all while listening to music and playing an online game in the background. Their priorities are clear: They come first.
Millenials are online learners; they hate lectures, prefer peer learning, and have a completely different set of motivations compared to the previous generation. Millenials resist traditional sales training but respond well to effective coaching delivered by managers who understand the basics of “adult day care.”
Why traditional sales training is dead
Ken says that salespeople don’t want to sit in a classroom listening to a sales manager or a sales trainer lecturing salespeople on hypothetical sales situations that may never happen in the salesperson’s lifetime. The old approach of, “Here is how I made a lot of sales (ten years ago); do as I do and you will be successful too,” is going to drive salespeople to check their BlackBerrys or iPhones. What’s the best way to teach? Ken explains that to unleash salespeople’s potential we must begin with an objective assessment of their skills and compare the results to the skills of the topperforming salespeople. The resulting gap is the foundation for a prescriptive learning program at ADP. Following the gap analysis, salespeople are invited to learn online, earn credits, enroll in peer- learning programs, and get expert coaching from frontline managers who are, in turn, well trained coaching mentors.
How sales enablement creates a dynamic learning environment
To move ADP’s learning process from a “delay-based” system that required timeconsuming searching to a real-time online learning universe, the company reached out to SAVO, a leading SaaSbased, salesenablement service with which salespeople can collaborate, share best practices, access learning programs 24/7, and connect with subject matter experts. Tune in on Wednesday, December 9 at noon CST and feel free to ask questions. Ken is a salestraining and salesenablement thought leader worth following.
Please share your comment on this post.
Email this blog to a friend