Sales Kick-Off PlanningAre you involved in the planning of a sales kick-off event to occur in January through March 2012?
If you are, and are considering adding a product training, corporate positioning training or sales training component to that agenda, with the aim of improving sales performance in 2012, then this article could be of interest.
I have been involved in three major sales enablement kick-off events this year as an affiliate of WhiteboardSelling and all three have been extremely successful if measured by
- the satisfaction with the outcome from the enablement team,
- the positive comments and strongly supportive feedback from the sales reps participating in the event,
- the improvement in sales results obtained in the 6-9 months following the whiteboard enablement event.
Traditional Product Training Doesn't WorkA problem with the traditional kickoff approach, which usually has a secondary product training objective, is that despite best efforts and good intentions of the organisers, very little is retained.
During a 2-4 day event, most participants will have been bombed more than once, blitzed every day with bad PowerPoint, (mostly hurriedly put together, with the exception perhaps of the CEO's presentation and the new product training) and participants won't remember anything, other than maybe that the guest speaker was inspiring.
You might consider a DOING a whiteboard training session if you want to change the status quo and have all participants take something away from your next event;-
- that they will remember and will actually use,
- that will contribute to measurable additional sales revenue generation in 2012,
- that will make a positive contribution against the cost of running the event.
Whiteboard Sales EnablementWhiteboarding isn't new, whiteboards have been around since the mid 60's (history), but the way that we (WhiteboardSelling and affiliates) create whiteboard stories that capture a vendor's value proposition and develop a product-usage story that unfolds naturally in conversation around the buyer's condition is compelling and new.
I asked Cynthia Williams, Global Product Marketing Director, Customer Data and Location Intelligence, from Pitney Bowes, who we recently completed a WhiteboardSelling and Enablement event, about their recent EMEA Sales Kick-off.
"1. We wanted to move from a product sales approach to a more engaging and customer relevant conversation. With Whiteboard Selling, we were able to build a powerful presentation that not only helped identify and capture customer pain points and drivers but was able to build out our solution in a way that delivered our message through memorable, easy to understand images. The sales-kit provided for the training was also a hit with our team.
2. Knowledge transfer from product management to sales has always been challenging. We have multiple products and traditional PowerPoint training sessions and hand outs were virtually ineffective, particularly in utilizing this new information in a sales environment. With the Whiteboard Selling methodologies, our sales team – which included both highly experienced solution sales consultants to newly hired field sales, were very engaged and energized by the Enablement training program.
3. Sales management have provided great feedback in how sales is now using their whiteboards in real selling environments. The tools and training provided them a platform to easily communicate an otherwise complex solution, and has been extremely useful during the discovery phase to gain insight as well as in summarizing an understanding of current customer challenges."
When would NOW be a good time to start creating your Whiteboards?
The time to get started with Whiteboard development is now.
The process of creating a Whiteboard that meets our exacting standards and those required of WhiteboardSelling and their affiliates takes one month from project kick-off to printing the final training document.
They can be completed in less time, but at additional stress....and increased cost.
The WhiteboardSelling Message development phase is a creative, collaborative process between sales, marketing and product management that follows a best practices methodology and requires cognitive effort, focused concentration and an experienced facilitator to lead the iterative process to create a quality final training document.
A pitfall for the do-it-yourself whiteboarder is reproducing a product focused PowerPoint presentation on a whiteboard. If you want to have a crack at creating your own whiteboard, you might download the WhiteboardSelling Best Practices Guide.