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Training Planner

Training Planner

Reasons for Conducting Sales Training

  1. To address needs, challenges or weaknesses of the sales staff.
  2. Company / Product / Industry updates.
  3. Periodic selling skills development.
  4. Rollout of new company program or expectations.
  5. Incentive or reward for meeting quotas or goals.
  6. Team-building, idea sharing and motivation.
  7. To enhance annual sales meetings.
  8. Strengthening company reputation and employee loyalty.

Staff Needs Assessment

  1. List your sales force’s needs, challenges and weaknesses.
  2. List individual staff members’ needs, challenges and weaknesses.
  3. Use a questionnaire or interview salespeople to understand their learning goals and interests.
  4. Talk to senior management about their goals for staff training.
  5. Contact a few clients to obtain their opinions regarding your salespeople’s strengths and weaknesses.

Solidifying Your Goals for Training

  1. What are your goals for each participant?
  2. How do these goals address their specific needs, challenges and weaknesses?
  3. Are the members of your sales staff at different experience levels? Do they have different needs?
  4. What are the priority issues for each or for the group as a whole?
  5. Goals should be (1) specific, (2) attainable, (3) measurable, and (4) time-limited.
  6. How will training address these goals?
  7. What would a totally successful training result look like?
  8. What might stand in the way of this result?

What Type of Training is Needed?

  1. Foundational sales training for new or junior salespeople.
  2. Stimulus for satisfied under-achievers.
  3. Focused skills development for intermediate performers.
  4. Fine-tuning for seniors, and high achievers.
  5. Some combination of the above.
  6. The addressing of specific problem(s) or challenge(s).
  7. Motivational input during difficult times.
  8. Incentive or reward for sales goals reached.

What Form Should Training Take?

  1. Would training be more effective in a one-on-one / in-the-field format or as a group workshop (or as a combination of both)?
  2. Does staff and management have the desire, time, expertise to conduct “in-house” training or would an outside trainer be better equipped to objectively address the issues?
  3. Should training be interactive and based on facilitated discussion or should it be content-based?
  4. Should practice sessions and participant assignments be included?
  5. Would a one-time session be effective or should training be ongoing to ensure retention and application?

Group Workshop Considerations

  1. Who will attend?
  2. Who will facilitate, speak, announce, present, train? How will rapport be built with a trainer?
  3. What goal(s) do you have for the workshop? Group goals and specific individual goals.
  4. What will the agenda contain?
  5. What date(s).
  6. Allowing for sufficient preparation time.
  7. What type of meeting place environment will best support the goals? Keeping participants away from distractions or available for customers?
  8. What is the budget for the workshop?
  9. How might bringing national salespeople together be made cost effective?
  10. What pre-work / assignment will be given to participants? When? A book to read, questions to prepare, account problems to bring to work on…
  11. How will excitement about the workshop be created in advance?
  12. What equipment, materials will be needed?
  13. What additional activities will be included?
  14. Meal(s), Break refreshments, contests, award presentations, sports, other activities…
  15. What backup provisions should be put in place while participants are occupied in the workshop?
  16. What follow-up activities would be helpful for reinforcing concepts covered? Having participants create individual Action Plans for continued growth.

Individual Training Considerations

  1. Would personalized training be more effective for your sales group?
  2. Small number of salespeople, divergent training needs, prohibitive
  3. workshop costs…
  4. Do your staff’s training needs require medium or long-term attention?
  5. Would certain salespeople benefit from an ongoing accountability
  6. program?
  7. How can training be incorporated into the regular relationship between the sales manager and each of his staff? Monthly training follow-up sessions during sales performance
  8. monitoring.
  9. Are sales managers fluent in the skills required to lead their staff to optimum performance? Might they benefit from help in rounding out their leadership skills?
  10. Do you have time to manage the developmental skills of each of your people or would assistance in certain areas benefit your bottom line?

Designing Your Program

  1. What will be the source of training content?
  2. How does this content speak to your goals?
  3. What resources can be tapped?
  4. Associations, industry literature, books, special speakers…
  5. What program format will best suit your purposes and resources?
    • Content with time afterward for questions, answers and discussion.
    • Facilitated large group brainstorming, idea sharing, and commenting.
    • Small group problem solving, role playing and case study analysis.
    • Large group input followed by dividing into small groups to discuss.
    • Small group study with presentation of highlights to larger group.
    • Should the format be formal or casual?
  6. Would workbook materials be helpful for communicating the content?
  7. Where would these materials come from?
  8. Should the program fit into any corporate program already exisiting?
  9. Who might be able to give input?
  10. Trainers, salespeople, editors, management, industry leaders, customers,
  11. suppliers, association representatives…
  12. Outline the agenda.
  13. Session titles and objectives, start times, break times, ways to give feedback, resources, speakers, expectations, ending times…
  14. Give opportunity for participants to give feedback halfway through and to evaluate the program’s usefulness when it is finished.

Follow-up

  1. What can be done to make the training effect “last”?
  2. What strategy should be put in place to keep training topics “top of mind”?
  3. E-mail, books and tapes, follow-up meetings conducted by
  4. managers or trainer, Action Plan creation and monitoring.
  5. Ad manager follow-up on subjects that the salesperson is studying.
  6. Follow-up sessions can be scheduled to review and add to what has been
  7. learned.

Program Evaluation

  1. What worked well and should be continued or repeated?
  2. What didn’t work and how might it be eliminated or modified next time?
  3. What was the reaction from participants, management, facilitators, trainers?