Excellence doesn’t happen by chance
          Sales Academy White Paper
 How to create successful Sales Academies that del...
Pre-meeting   Behaviour   Listening   Presenting   Selling

Improving the small things can make the
di erence between w...
What is a Sales Academy?                          Why install a Sales Academy?                      ) Managers are not inv...
Why have so many not succeeded in increasing revenues and profit?

In the 1970’s and 1980’s people were trained for    peo...
Subjectivity versus objectivity

If you had Googled “competency frameworks”         Put simply, subjective opinion provide...
No focus on managers                                Coaching without objective
Dependence on training not                           What should be the objective for a Sales Academy?
Too many S...
The Critical Hour
Here is a sobering thought;
we can tell if someone can
actually sell in an hour!
This is the hour that t...
Don’t change people and processes, change behaviour
If your aim is to develop your                  and failure. The sligh...
Sales Force Development Journey

                                       5   Development

                    6   Coachin...
1     Evaluation
Think of this as a fitness test. Using data recorded from observations of live sales calls and meetings w...
About Silent Edge
They say necessity is the mother of invention      pair built a team of sales professionals and
and in t...
Some of our clients:
Working with Cranfield University School of Management
                                                          There are...
“I am sitting in a position I never   “Silent Edge transformed my           “The programme is the best I have
dreamed I wo...
Silent Edge Ltd
             Union House
              Eridge Road
          Tunbridge Wells
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Sales Academy White Paper From Silent Edge


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So many companies are installing sales academies that don\'t work and this explains why.

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Sales Academy White Paper From Silent Edge

  1. 1. Excellence doesn’t happen by chance Sales Academy White Paper How to create successful Sales Academies that deliver measurable and sustainable change and massive ROI
  2. 2. Pre-meeting Behaviour Listening Presenting Selling Improving the small things can make the di erence between winning and losing or success and failure - in sport and business
  3. 3. What is a Sales Academy? Why install a Sales Academy? ) Managers are not involved in the training of their staff and therefore can’t ensure the A Sales Academy can be an organisation’s goal Do you face some of the following risks in your training sticks or mission, an aspiration for a people-centric organisation? ) No sales management training - this is culture, an organisation’s vision even. As a needed more than the frontline as the function it is an internal infrastructure that ) Different departments buying training on majority of sales managers are the best measures, supports, develops and sustains their own with no co-ordination with other performers made manager the development of each function in the sales areas of the business and no business plan ) Managers are not good coaches and lack of force. It ensures the best talent is attracted to ensure ROI coaching culture to and employed by the organisation and then develops them as sales professionals to ) Training development plans having no ) No sales training at all but the sales targets become the best they can be in their current direct linkage to support organisational are increasing year on year role, supporting and guiding them through stategy ) A board that is demanding growth without their sales careers within the organisation. ) Different suppliers selling similar courses any investment in the sales force In short, it should drive and manage the employee lifecycle ) Different courses using different language ) Focus on revenue or other numbers to ) No common language from the top to assess capability The infrastructure needs to contain project bottom of the sales force ) Recruitment handled by your sales management, design, objective measurement, ) The company is buying stand alone courses managers L&D incorporating talent development initiatives, mentors, coaches, trainers and rather than a properly specified and defined ) Lots of data about the sales force that is not training managers, sales professionals and most solution for sales development being used and makes no difference importantly board level sponsorship. ) Sales people not getting the training they ) A lack of succession planning or career path actually need – just what the company for the sales staff thinks they need resulting in resentment ) Losing talent to competitors and lack of willingness to change ) One course for all different types of sales If you can relate to some of these risks in roles your organisation then you should start to think about a new more structured approach ) No measurement of skills or only subjective to developing the revenue engine of your measurement by the sales managers company. Call Centres Recruitment Telephone Retail Trainer Skills (New Employees) Skills B2B & B2C Field Sales Talent & B2B & B2C Employee Life Cycle Development (Existing Employees) Management Leadership Customer Licence Skills Executive Skills Services Accreditation Development Development
  4. 4. Why have so many not succeeded in increasing revenues and profit? In the 1970’s and 1980’s people were trained for people they like and who are like themselves. In the right development or recruitment of their 6 months before they were permitted to go out this way they take on sales people for £30,000, sales teams so revenues for many collapsed. to sell and there were regular refresher courses £40,000, £50,000 base salary and expect them lasting up to 4-6 weeks. A stark contrast to a to be able to sell based on what the candidate The research study Silent Edge conducted sales person in today’s fast paced world who is has told the company they have achieved in with Cranfield in late 2008 and 2009 showed lucky to receive 2 days of training. the past and how well they get on with the that only 12 % of new business people, 4% of recruiting manager. account managers and 2% of telesales people Companies recruit sales people based on their have the necessary skills to do their jobs apparent success and experience as indicated Economies had 12 years of boom and growth properly. “Sales Force UK” is not good at selling. on their CV, or they use non sales focused until the middle of 2008. Companies had no measures. There are no standard consistent real pain so they had no need to invest in their Now budgets are squeezed at a time when qualifications for the sales industry so their sales forces - the orders kept coming in. At the companies need to invest in their sales forces. CV is their “qualification” but they are never same time the number of professional sales Buying a two day training course is not going to tested on actually being able to deliver tangible people in the UK expanded very rapidly – there cut the mustard. You’re out of your mind if you and sustainable results before they join the are now 1 million sales people in the UK – and think it will change the skill set and behaviour new organisation. On top of this many of the they became very good at taking orders. of anyone. recruiters used to assess and interview the candidates have never been trained how to In middle of 2008 the order taking stopped Companies are starting to realise they need to recruit and use gut instinct and cultural fit and companies started to realise that they had do something completely different as the world (rapport building skills) of the candidate as the to compete and that their sales forces had to has changed and the old methods don’t work strongest measure of success – they recruit the start selling. However, they had not invested in in these different times.
  5. 5. Subjectivity versus objectivity If you had Googled “competency frameworks” Put simply, subjective opinion provides same DVD at the same time. in 2002 (the birth of Silent Edge) then you inaccurate data and if you base development would have got 7 hits – none to do with sales. and HR decisions on inaccurate data you get The measurement of competencies has to In 2007 about 20% of blue chip companies negative results. There are countless companies be objective to end up with accurate data on were looking at measuring their sales teams and sales academies where, after considerable which companies can base sound decisions using competency frameworks as well as investment, there has been little or no such as the ones in the diagram below. numbers. Now in 2010 that figure is more like sustainable change in the behaviour of the 70% and many have implemented them. sales force or sales management. The only way you can create objectivity is to define best practice and “what good looks like” However the common mistake that has In 2006 we asked 61 experienced sales trainers for every role you need to measure. been made is the application and detail of from a leading UK insurance company (who competency frameworks. They all revolve also went out and scored the sales staff for At Silent Edge we have over 200 scorecards to around the manger subjectively assessing their compliance) to score a 15 minute DVD of a poor choose from covering every type of pre sales, staff in their opinion and the sales person self sales pitch. They were given 25 competencies sales, account manager, telesales, call centre assessing and then comparing the results. to score against and had to score each one and sales management/leadership role in from 1 -10 (ten being excellent). the world. Most are also tailored to different Every manager has their likes and dislikes. One industries as well. They are all available in 7 manager may have high standards and another The scores of all 61 ranged from 16% to 64% - a European languages. low, so there is no common benchmark to score 4 fold difference and yet they all watched the from.
  6. 6. No focus on managers Coaching without objective data “Silent Edge were brought in to Your sales managers are the pillars of your sales BT Directories put out to tender a project to help transform the performance of organisation. 83% got there because they were turn their 60 sales managers into world class our sales force. In less than a year, good at selling, not because they were good coaches. We pointed out that although there managers. Only 6% have had professional sales are many good courses that they could send and despite the adverse economic management skills training. their managers on, when they returned to conditions, the programme has the office as great coaches, what would they delivered the strongest increase Many companies focus on training the front actually coach their sales staff on? in productivity and effectiveness line sales staff and neglect the managers assuming they should know how to run the Without a clear competency framework the resulting in a 11% improvement sales force. Often the managers do not attend managers would simply coach the sales staff in in revenues. They were able to get the sales courses their own sales staff attend. their own way of selling and would therefore sponsorship at the top and at all So they do not understand the new language cascade bad practice brilliantly throughout levels throughout the sales force or techniques their teams return with and their organisation. cannot support them. increasing motivation, morale, It is essential that a manager can combine belief and confidence. Their If you have not focused on creating a coaching coaching skills with objective data on the implementation was flawless under culture with your managers and given them competencies of their sales people tight timelines and pressure from development and skills to be excellent sales managers then your sales academy will fail. Fortunately BT Directories followed our advice our business. Consequently we have and as a result had an increase in sales of 11% happily renewed our contract for in the worst recessionary year we have seen for the forthcoming year with a view decades. to sustaining and embedding the massive change we have already created with the Silent Edge Sales Academy” David Benjamin (CEO) BT Directories
  7. 7. Dependence on training not What should be the objective for a Sales Academy? coaching Too many Sales Academies depend on training ) Increasing revenue growth ) Creating strong sales management and the sales staff to improve their skills without leadership ) Delivering Return On Investment looking to improve the sales management and ) Creating a coaching culture coaching skills (two different things) of the ) Delivering training exactly where it is entire sales management team – that includes needed ensuring the budget is spent ) Provide a happy and rewarding the managers of managers and Sales Director. precisely and accurately - training needs environment to work in analysis ) Improve motivation, morale, belief and If the managers have world class coaching ) Keeping the skills of the team in confidence skills then they will become the team that will development mode – different levels sustain and ensure that the sales people are ) Have customers recommend and praise means striving to get to the next stage using the new skills they have been taught. the sales force/company to their peers Without this the new skills will dissipate very ) Motivating sales people to learn and and colleagues quickly and a few weeks later the sales staff will develop ) Have an internalised sustainable and revert to their normal habits. ) Reduce unwanted churn of sales people scalable solution Developing a coaching culture is fundamental ) Providing a clear career path for sales ) Link sales professionals skills to the success of an academy. Your sales and sales management roles improvement to incentives and the HR managers become the pillars of your academy process ) Being able to measure talent and prove and the platform for growth. ROI on training All of the above is achievable with a properly ) Career progression run Sales Academy. Yet even now most base their decisions and development on subjective ) Succession planning data and simply incubate and propagate existing sales manager inefficiencies where the ) Managing out non-performers that do root cause of the problem lies. not improve their skills 1 day Motivating Business Results Goal Mapping 2 days 1 day Evaluation Feedback Best Practice and Skills Tailored Developing Dynamic Development Workshops Proposition Workshop Planning for Success - Driving Business Results 3 Days Critical Elements of Sales Sustainability Sustainability Sustainability Management Learning Learning Learning Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
  8. 8. The Critical Hour Here is a sobering thought; we can tell if someone can actually sell in an hour! This is the hour that they spend with a prospective customer, an hour where the decision about whether your company has any chance of doing business with the prospect is decided. Although few potential customers decide to buy on a first meeting, most will decide not to buy. This is why Silent Edge-trained sales force observers, either from within your company or provided by us, insist on attending at least two live sales calls in the case of field sales people, and listening in to multiple calls in the case of telesales people. “Silent Edge had a highly beneficial impact on the team in both tangible sales results and a change in behaviour to sell complete solutions. £2.5m of new business has been directly attributed to the skills acquired from the programme. This has occurred in a time of considerable change in the organisation and in a highly challenging economic climate and marketplace.” Dave Everest (SALES DIRECTOR) Calyx Critical Hour™ Actual Ability vs Perception Competency Averages
  9. 9. Don’t change people and processes, change behaviour If your aim is to develop your and failure. The slightest change in team or Our aim is to take your sales force on a journey individual behaviour can have a massive impact of self discovery. The journey is designed to sales force, you need to win – positively as well as negatively. Changing support both the individual’s change on a their hearts and minds. behaviour is the key to changing performance. personal level and the teams’ ability to grow through shared learning initiatives. At the end Otherwise, they won’t change their behaviour, Having given the team and individual detailed of this programme journey the Performance they won’t buy into the development feedback on their assessments we help Coach will work with you to identify 3 things programme and just days after training them through the process of changing their that will be done differently within your has ended they will revert to their previous behaviour through detailed action plans, business as a result of the Programme. Those 3 behaviour. Silent Edge works on the principle workshops and coaching. This starts with us things will be integrated into activities within that you cannot effect changes in performance guiding them through the “Change Curve” to your business to ensure sustained success. by simply changing the process – you have to a point where they accept their ability as it is change the team’s behaviour. right now. If a sales person does not accept the need to change, then they won’t and any Have you ever wondered why highly paid training given thereafter will be a waste of time and highly rated sports teams can suddenly and money. perform so badly? One of the biggest reasons for this is that most teams operate on a delicate knife edge between peak performance “I have used every training course and well known brand in my career but I have never seen anything like Getting to Silent Edge. They transformed my sales force taking their revenues from Acceptance as £750k a month to £4m a month in 6 quickly as possible months. More remarkably the other is of paramount 6 regions in CW did not increase their revenues during this time.” importance! Mike Siddon (REGIONAL MD) Cable & Wireless The Change Curve
  10. 10. Sales Force Development Journey 5 Development 6 Coaching 4 Create goals 7 Memory jogger 3 Plan to change 2 Feedback 1 Evaluation
  11. 11. 1 Evaluation Think of this as a fitness test. Using data recorded from observations of live sales calls and meetings we are able to assess objectively the performance of each sales person in the team. The impact of these results provides strong motivation for changes in behaviour and subsequent improvement in performance. 2 Feedback Delivered by sales management and Silent Edge experts, this process enables individuals to start accepting the need to change sales behaviour. The feedback section, and how it is delivered, is a crucial part of the Sales Force Evaluation journey. 3 Plan to change Armed with the objective evaluation results, with our help, the sales person can now create a personal development plan. Here, they learn how to apply the tools which will help them to achieve their goals. 4 Create goals This is the process known as Goal Mapping. Using tried and tested techniques, incorporating words, images and symbols we show the sales person how to visualise their future success. 5 Development Here we build skills workshops to provide targeted, accelerated development activities for specific roles. This is all about avoiding “sheep dip” training programmes and instead creating an intense climate of purpose and change. 6 Coaching The best sports people in the world would never have achieved their goals without their coaches. The same is true in the business world and the Sales Force Evaluation journey raises expectations all round. Effective coaching ensures that expectations and improved performances are sustainable. 7 Memory jogger This 3 – 4 minute video of the key learning points can be sent to the mobile devices of your sales team. The sales person can download them as an aide memoir before they start an important meeting.
  12. 12. About Silent Edge They say necessity is the mother of invention pair built a team of sales professionals and and in the case of Silent Edge this could not skills development specialists to research, be more true. Russell Ward and Lorna Dakers develop and test a new approach to measuring were both highly successful and experienced sales force performance in real live sales “Silent Edge’s unique end-to- international Sales Directors when they situations. The research clearly identified the end solution motivates sales concluded that the sales training industry skills and behaviour demonstrated by the people to improve performance was failing to do its job properly. They were most successful sales people. So Silent Edge and alters their behaviour to frustrated by what they call the “sheep dip” developed the “Sales Force Evaluation”™ tool to sell real solutions. Our profit approach to training – everyone goes in one measure sales skills, knowledge and behaviour increased 13% from £45m to end, gets saturated and then comes out the and to bench mark them against best practice £51m in a market that was other end, taking no account of the fact that not only in the UK but across Europe and in sales teams are made up of individuals with local language. trading backwards.Our growth different abilities and levels of sales skill. rate currently stands at 10% This approach is one which sets Silent Edge compared to the rest of the They spent substantial sums with well known apart from all other competitors. The tools marketplace whose growth rate training providers only to find that after a and methodologies behind the evaluation is only 2%. We can attribute this couple of months nothing had really changed. process have won awards and have captured growth to the work undertaken Their teams reverted to ‘business as normal’ and the interest and active support of two leading by Silent Edge.” the training budgets had been wasted. business schools, Ashridge Business School and Cranfield University School of Management. Andy Kemp (GROUP SALES DIRECTOR) So Silent Edge was born. From the start the Silent Edge methodologies are also used as the 3663 business was passionate about creating sales measurement standard to find the country’s training programmes that were based on best performers in the UK Sales Industry objective assessment rather than opinion. The Awards, National Sales Awards and BESMA.
  13. 13. Some of our clients:
  14. 14. Working with Cranfield University School of Management There are not many sales performance working with our data for over two years now “The competencies Silent Edge have consultancies that would even consider that and, with them, we have produced some defined to benchmark sales people their work was worthy of accreditation by ground breaking findings. Included in this is the really help drive sales performance. one of Europe’s leading business schools - let revelation that there are 8 types of sales people The model can also predict how likely alone expect to be directly approached on the and you will be able to identify what type of strength of reputation. Silent Edge is now a people you have in your company in terms of a sales person is to close a deal.” valued research partner to CUSM. skills, levels and roles. Once armed with this powerful information you will be in the perfect Professor Lynette Ryals Our relationship with Cranfield is one that place to help them develop and improve their Cranfield University School of we are justifiably proud of. They have been performance…significantly. Management Sales Success Product Service Experts Closing Product Closers Story Tellers Consultants Product Focused Closing to next stage Narrators Deal Makers Next steps Socialisers
  15. 15. “I am sitting in a position I never “Silent Edge transformed my “The programme is the best I have dreamed I would be in 12 months sales force, taking them from been on by the way, way better ago all thanks to Silent Edge. We £750k a month to £4m a month than Vodafone and better than have increased revenues by 50% in six months … In six weeks we companies like Unilever, Coca Cola overall and the minimum product achieved what could normally take Enterprises and Whitbread, all of line had 40% growth in a market four months. The precision of which I was a first line manager”. that has had modest single digit the evaluation data enabled us to John Hough growth at best. Our margins have make immediate decisions on the (BUSINESS MANAGER) improved, the competition are development plan for each of our Orange shocked and hurting, the team are salespeople. ” highly motivated and are far more Mike Siddon professional in their approach. We (REGIONAL MD) are now working with Silent Edge Cable & Wireless on phase two of their development programme.” John O’Brien (MANAGING DIRECTOR) Sematron UK “It has picked up some areas that “I have been to numerous “I would sum up my experience unless I had seen the Silent Edge workshops, seminars, courses etc with Silent Edge as being like report I would have carried on over the last 10 years and this was strawberries and cream at making the same mistakes for the without doubt the best course I Wimbledon on a summer’s day, you rest of my career. I have been have been on…truly inspiring! I am don’t realise just how good it is till selling for 30 years so you can looking forward to putting what I you have it. Thank you.” teach an old dog new tricks!” have learnt into practice”. Glyn Blaize Liam Casserly Anthony Keen Adrem (DEVELOPMENT UNDERWRITER) (BRANCH TRAINER) Ecclesiastical Insurance Group BT Customer Street
  16. 16. Silent Edge Ltd Union House Eridge Road Tunbridge Wells England TN4 8HF Tel: +44(0)1892 502200 www.silentedge.co.uk