A Strategic, Systematic, Measurable Approach
"Treat Your Salespeople Like Volunteers" is the mantra of veteran sales training executive Rick Beers of Sunovion, a Japanese leader in treatments for central nervous system pharmaceuticals. He and Todd Hanson, CRP, CPIM of Catalyst Performance Group, Inc., a specialist in ROI of engagement processes, kick off Class Six of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance live and recorded training program on stakeholder management implementation by sharing Sunovion’s holistic yet highly measurable approach to engaging and equipping salespeople through training. Click here for an article detailing the Sunovion training strategy.
Click here for the show.
Because Sunovion’s management keeps a keen eye on meeting its financial targets, its considerable investment in people engagement and enablement is notable. His department must make a compelling business case for investing in training. The payoff to the organization is evident in the fact that the company supports an array of engagement strategies, including assessment and surveys, strategic recruitment and development; communications; learning in every format; rewards and recognition, including an incentive trip for the top 3% to 5% of performers in the organization’s annual President’s Club.
Because of the high levels of clinical knowledge required on the job, the company traditionally recruited only from the ranks of highly proven salespeople. Now, to diversify its sales force, it is reaching out to a broader audience and understands it needs to put more investment into training and development to meet its company’s standards for customer engagement.
A Strategic, Systematic, Measurable Approach
Rick turns a lot of traditional thinking about sales training on its head through a strategic, systematic, and measurable approach. His process is designed to increase learning retention by creating a positive training environment, leveraging the existing strengths of newly hired sales professionals, and delivering a strong training curriculum.
Beers’ training processes are aligned, he says, with his company’s focus on attracting and retaining top talent. This is accomplished through both short-term and long-term incentive and recognition programs; a Presidents Club award that rewards the top 3-5% of sales professionals annually; opportunities for quarterly bonuses, peer-to-peer recognition offering points to reward key organizational behaviors. Additionally, there are short-term contests aimed at keeping all employees motivated.
Some of the highlights from the presentation by Beers and Hanson:
- In any type of engagement effort, look at the “whole” person. In the case of training, what are the types of skills needed and what are the best ways to develop them—through online, field, or in-house training? Be willing to change your thinking at any time based on feedback or data.
- In the case of sales training, online, virtual, and face-to-face all usually are required to help provide reminders on sales skills and processes, understand new products and services, and to acquire the depth of information needed for “discovery” selling—understanding the customers’ needs.
- Recognize the critical role of face-to-face hands-on training, role-playing and other experiential skills development that sometimes is more difficult to accomplish online.
- Salespeople need to have the knowledge and insights to be able to challenge prospects to take a fresh way of looking at a situation in a respectful way.
- Sunovion has recently changed its employee appraisal process to be far more conversational and designed to help employees develop their own plan for achieving their goals, supported by the organization.
- As part of the company’s systematic approach, it’s baked into the culture that senior management meet with employees a level below their direct reports to get a front-line view and to make sure the management team is effective.
- The company has a quarterly survey and feedback that staff and management carefully review for challenges or opportunities.
- Training management, as well as all sales management and salespeople, receive bonuses based on sales performance.
- Under the direction of Todd Hanson of Catalyst Performance Group, the company uses the ROI Institute framework for measuring engagement efforts, in this case based on: Reaction, learning, application, and impact. Outside of Beers’ training department, the company has other sales productivity, turnover, and broader human resources metrics.
To Contact the Speakers
Catalyst Performance Group
Richard (Rick) Beers
The Enterprise Engagement Alliance
Master the “S” of Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG), A.k.a. Stakeholder Capitalism
The Enterprise Engagement Alliance at TheEEA.org is the world’s first and only organization that focuses on outreach, certification and training, and advisory services to help organizations achieve their goals by fostering the proactive involvement of all stakeholders. This includes customers, employees, distribution and supply chain partners, and communities, or anyone connected to an organization’s success.
Training and Thought Leadership
- Founded in 2008, the Enterprise Engagement Alliance provides outreach, learning and certification in Enterprise Engagement, an implementation process for the “S” or Social of Stakeholder Capitalism and Human Capital Management and measurement of engagement across the organization.
- The Enterprise Engagement Alliance provides a training and certification program for business leaders, practitioners, and solution providers, as well as executive briefings and human capital gap analyses for senior leaders.
- The EEA produces an education program for CFOs for the CFO.University training program on Human Capital Management.
- Join the EEA to become a leader in the implementation of the “S” of ESG and Stakeholder Capitalism.
Engagement Digital Media and Marketplaces
- The ESM information portal and The Enterprise Engagement Advisors Network solution provider marketplace cover all aspects of stakeholder engagement, and the EEA information library lists dozens of resources.
- The RRN information portal and Brand Media Coalition marketplace address the use of brands for gifting, incentives, recognition, and promotions. The BMC information library provides information and research resources.
The EEA Human Capital Management and ROI of Engagement YouTube channel features a growing library of 30- to 60-minute panel discussions with leading experts in all areas of engagement and total rewards.
- Enterprise Engagement for CEOs: The Little Blue Book for People-Centric Capitalists. A quick guide for CEOs.
- Enterprise Engagement: The Roadmap 5th Edition implementation guide. A comprehensive textbook for practitioners, academics, and students.
Enterprise Engagement Advisory Services
The Engagement Agency helps:
- Organizations of all types develop strategic Stakeholder Capitalism and Enterprise Engagement processes and human capital management and reporting strategies; conduct human capital gap analyses; design and implement strategic human capital management and reporting plans that address DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), and assist with managed outsourcing of engagement products and services.
- Human resources, sales and marketing solution providers profit from the emerging discipline of human capital management and ROI of engagement through training and marketing services.
- Investors make sense of human capital reporting by public companies.
- Buyers and sellers of companies in the engagement space or business owners or buyers who seek to account for human capital in their mergers and acquistions.
For more information: Contact Bruce Bolger at Bolger@TheICEE.org or call 914-591-7600, ext. 230.