We partnered with our client to develop a “Sales Leadership Academy” that created a new vision and strategy for their first-line sales managers to achieve sales, coaching, business and leadership excellence with a complete learning curriculum.

The Challenge:

A regional sales director (RSD) skill assessment revealed opportunities to enhance key selling, business and leadership capabilities of our client’s first-line sales managers. But our client did not have an established sales manager training program or business planning approach, which threatened their ability to increase their market share and gain a leadership position in an evolving and highly competitive marketplace. Our client needed to implement a comprehensive, blended learning, practice-driven sales leadership training curriculum that focused on leader development and limited time out of the field—all while preparing for three critical product launches.

Execution:

We collaborated with our client to conduct deep dive interviews with their senior leaders, RSDs and others. We also conducted an organization-wide survey and reviewed the skill assessment to gain insights into our client’s unique needs and their readiness to thrive in the marketplace. Armed with this information, we created customized learning journeys for three pillars: Selling Excellence, Business Excellence and Leadership Excellence. We designed the journeys to enhance knowledge and skills related to topics such as competitive selling, strategic thinking, business planning and ownership, coaching for sales success, motivating and inspiring teams, and more. Throughout the process, we worked closely with an “RSD Ambassador” team we established with our client to help us drive the program forward.

Aha Moment:

With senior leadership’s backing, we collaborated with the RSD Ambassadors to develop a package of over 25 blended learning solutions that included communications, live and virtual instructor-led workshops, case studies and a variety of self-guided options such as guides, podcasts and book clubs. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, we seamlessly pivoted to virtual-only learning experiences using both synchronous and asynchronous activities in varied group sizes to maximize engagement.

Outcome:

A significant percentage of the RSDs who attended the academy—83%—said the inspirational leadership series and cohort discussions impacted the way they approach business and leadership of their teams, while nearly 100% said business planning now guides their day-to-day actions. Collaboration between RSDs increased substantially, as did RSD engagement with their sales teams. The RSDs described the experience as “inspired, empowering, focused, designed to make me better,” “progressive, thought-provoking, collaborative” and “a breath of fresh air, insightful, challenging my norm, fruitful, personal, impactful.”

To keep the momentum going, facilitate enhancements to the academy and address the future needs of our client, we maintain an ongoing dialogue with the RSD Ambassadors and others at the organization.