We were approached by a technology company with a global reach. One of their senior directors was concerned that, since the sales team had begun working from home, they had become too relaxed, with a noticeable decline in their usual professional standards.
The company had previously run their own internal sales training, but now they felt they needed a fresh perspective to break them out of existing organisational habits and get the latest thinking and expertise.
The company reached out to us and began by asking for a single course on Presentation Skills, which they believed would fix their problems.
Our team held in-depth conversations and interviews with the sales managers, including the VP of Sales and the Head of Sales Enablement, to gain a better understanding of what was happening, and how and why it had started, in order to make their assessments.
By the end of the process, it become apparent that the atmosphere in the company had changed due to the sudden move to working from home. The sales team had become too informal, with lax punctuality and acting less professionally with clients. In internal meetings, there were no longer agendas and most had stopped taking notes or minutes.
The issues ran deeper than a single Presentation Skills course could fix. Our team recommended a bespoke programme, which would cover a range of areas that would help develop their ability to work from home effectively.
The new bespoke programme would cover the full range of soft skills for virtual sales and working from home.
It was agreed that participants should have some foundation level sessions, to help those who were completely new to working from home, with higher level sales topics to recognise their experience.
The programme utilised real life examples and scenarios from within the business. This ensured they were directly relevant to the participants’ work and created an opportunity to reflect on their own actions and errors.
THE TRAINING TOPICS
The programme was made up of multiple sessions:
Participants were given practical skills and taught best practices for working from home, time keeping and understanding the science behind motivation and willpower.
Getting the most out of virtual meetings
Three of the modules were designed to give participants an understanding of how to run, structure and get the most impact out of meetings both in person and remotely.
An in-depth exploration of the Communication Cycle taught participants how to adapt their communication style to their audience and how to avoid common mistakes to ensure their key messages are heard and understood.
Participants discussed practical methods for using social media to reach and engage new and existing customers.
Presentation and pitching skills
Three sessions focused on developing and practising how to present and pitch effectively virtually, including getting the most out of the medium to maximise impact and audience engagement. They also covered tips for adapting presentations for senior and C-level executives.
The programme, which was designed to fit around participants’ already busy schedules, comprised of 11 one-hour sessions, and was rolled out to all sales staff in the EMEA region
Between each session, participants were set practical assignments and had either virtual group or 1:1 coaching, creating plenty of opportunities to try their new skills in their day-to-day jobs, further embedding the learning, and have a space to discuss their progress
Participants were split into five groups of between five and seven people, which they stayed in for every session. Groups were randomly assigned, creating a mix of levels and teams – building a sense of equality and comradery throughout the programme
The programme was also rolled out to all their newest salespeople as part of their onboarding. This ensured everyone ended up at the same level, having been given the same information
A set of trainers was selected based on their areas of expertise, their good fit with the internal culture of the business and their experience of the business sector
David was very clear in getting us to reframe the way we can communicate, thank you! I liked the example case study that was aligned to our business.
The course was very easy to understand, and [had] a good level of interaction.