A Guaranteed Way to Doom Your Sales Manager Training

Thursday, January 8th, 2015 - Post by MichelleVazzana

Does sales manager training fail to deliver expected results at your organization? Perhaps change happens for a brief period of time, but before long, things go back to the way they were before the training. If this sounds like your organization, you are not alone. In fact, disappointing sales manager training results are all too common, but what’s to blame? Is the training model itself at fault? Is the content irrelevant? Or is there something else causing the disconnect between sales manager training and results?

While there are multiple possible reasons sales manager training doesn’t stick, a guaranteed way to doom your sales manager training is to implement the training without a change management strategy. Without a change management strategy, sales managers are left on their own to figure out how to implement whatever knowledge, tools and methodologies they received from training on top of their existing responsibilities—an onerous task indeed.

Is it any wonder that sales manager training fails to deliver the anticipated results when training is piled on top of training with no consideration for how the newly learned skills will fit with a sales manager’s schedule, existing tools, or daily responsibilities? It only makes sense that the … Read the rest

Five Things We Learned Training in 15 Countries

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 - Post by Trish Derman

Vantage Point has been delivering sales management training overseas right from its inception. These days, approximately 50% of our business comes from large corporate clients based overseas. Our U.S.-based staff and a growing cadre of international facilitators have recently presented programs in 7 languages, in 15 countries, in places as far afield as China, Australia and Saudi Arabia.

Along the way, we’ve learned a few things as we delivered these public and private workshops as well as more complicated customized sales management workshops. Some of our key insights are listed below.

1. International companies are ahead of their U.S. counterparts
Interestingly, international companies are ahead of the curve in embracing the idea that sales managers are pivotal to the sales success of a company. Impetus for sales manager training comes principally from sales executives, which is important, given that our training programs require a degree of change management.

2. Believe it or not, language is not a barrier
Of course, we provide foreign language trainers. When we teach in English we will sometimes have a translator in the room. Interestingly, we find that global sales managers and second line executives all speak English very well. If we were trainers of … Read the rest

What is Coaching, Anyway?

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 - Post by MichelleVazzana

We were recently presenting at an industry conference, and someone from the audience asked a simple but consequential question.  She said: “You know, we constantly tell our sales managers that we want them to coach their reps, but I’m not sure that the managers know what that means.  In your opinion, exactly what is ‘coaching?’

Her question was actually quite insightful.  There is no textbook definition for coaching, and there’s certainly no consensus as to what the term means.  We all know that coaching is distinct from training, and most would accept that it’s done interpersonally at the individual level.  That’s about where the agreement ends.  Well, since she asked, we’ll take this opportunity to share our view of the term ‘coaching.’  Our perspective is that it’s all a matter of… ahem… perspective.   Let’s examine what coaching means to three different stakeholders in the organization – the VP of sales, the frontline manager, and the sales rep.

Most vice presidents of sales we work with say that they expect their front-line managers to be coaching their sellers.  If we press them for more detail on their expectation, they respond with some variation of, “I expect my managers to proactively work … Read the rest

What Your VP of Sales Job Description Reveals About Your Company

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - Post by MichelleVazzana

You can learn a lot by examining the job descriptions of sales leaders. In fact, you can discover what is expected of leadership, how an organization is structured, and what a company values. These are just a few of the insights I gained while conducting an informal research of job descriptions for vice president of sales positions. I wanted to learn about what companies value in a sales leader, and the findings are quite revealing.

The typical job description for a VP of sales reads something like the following:

Seeking a vice president of sales to direct and coordinate domestic and global sales. Essential duties and responsibilities of a vice president of sales include:

– Design strategic sales and customer management plans
– Establish goals and monitor achievement
– Develop and share best practices across the organization
– Ensure there is proper infrastructure for accurate forecasting and reporting
– Develop and implement a focused selling strategy for short-term and long-term growth
– Play a hands-on role with the field sales organization, maintaining personal presence and high visibility in the field
– Directly participate in closing key accounts

Nothing out of the ordinary, right? You’ve probably encountered dozens of these job … Read the rest