Salespeople are the frontline of many businesses and consequently considerable resources are ploughed into their training. But when sales results don’t raise despite development sessions and supervision, what do you do?
Australian automotive industry body Capricorn sought to improve their sales performance by improving the quality of the coaching given to their salespeople. This meant designing and implementing a blended program through which all sales managers became effective performance coaches. This is where our digital platform, On.Board, came in.
The challenge: how to stimulate behavioural change
Capricorn is a member-based organisation focused on helping automotive businesses grow through access to their expansive network of preferred automotive trade suppliers. Their salespeople drive the top-line but in order to elevate revenue their managers not only needed to know how to coach, they also needed support to apply these new skills.
Structured training laid the foundations for this change but it was not enough to motivate sales managers to alter their approach to training. Some managers were simply resistant to change, some believed their current approach was the best way forward, while others lacked the confidence to take what they’d learnt in the classroom and put it into practice. A blended program was required, one that combined structured development with application tasks and feedback.
The On.Board solution
Capricorn integrated their coaching programs into a blended program using On.Board’s intuitive content builder. The blended program was designed to transform their sales managers into effective performance coaches. With 345 participants signed up to their program, it was time to start the transformation. So how did On.Board facilitate this?
By supporting a blended program of structured learning and workplace practice
The sales managers attended a training session which provided the principles of performance coaching, but as we know habits are hard to break and even more difficult to create. So, after the training event participants were invited to transfer their learning into practice. They recorded the coaching sessions that they delivered as well as reflecting on their personal assessment of the session via a customised form. The video recordings were assessed by their mentors and feedback provided, which along with their self-reflection supported recorded action plans for continual improvement. The process was repeated several times with all evidence of application, reflection and feedback recorded in the platform. The transfer of learning evidence was correlated with sales performance data to ensure coaching skill was developed in line with commercial objectives.
By creating a community
Each participant was linked up with a network of others, such as their sales manager and senior leaders, via their Performance Hub. Through this network they received feedback on their progress through the training program.
This digital community also enabled everyone in their Performance Hub to share their experience and provide insights, something that isn’t easy to bring about in a group environment but occurs naturally when discussing a current, specific, real-world scenario.
The power of social proof
The benefits were also result of , the principle of adopting behaviors that mirror those of our chosen ‘tribe’. By making the actions of colleagues and senior managers visible in the platform, participants saw first-hand that coaching was the cultural expectation and therefore one that you would be unwise to ignore.
Needless to say this blended program yielded comprehensive commercial return by combining a range of interventions that focused on skill, will and performance.
OnBoard offers a rich set of capabilities enabling blended programs in one platform which also provide the transparency required to drive accountability for behavioral change.
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