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Category Archives: Sales Training

Training that Influences a Global Network

Luke Kempski

Lisa Ploeg, Senior International Learning and Development Specialist, Mary Kay

Based near Dallas, Texas, Mary Kay manufactures and sells hundreds of cosmetic and personal care products through 3.5 million Independent Beauty Consultants located in more than 35 countries. Supporting the millions of consultants are more than 5,000 corporate employees located in offices around the world. As a learning and development specialist, Lisa Ploeg provides training for the employees ensuring that Mary Kay values and practices are present throughout the network.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXo3x0RLv5UEmbedding Mary Kay Values in TrainingMary Kay manufactures and sells hundreds of cosmetic and personal care products through 3.5 million Independent Beauty Consultants located in more than 35 countries. As a learning and development specialist, Lisa Ploeg provides training for the employees ensuring that Mary Kay values and practices are present throughout the network.TM31Shttp://img.youtube.com/vi/gXo3x0RLv5U/default.jpg

By following a standard coaching model, Mary Kay can ensure consistency through its vast organization. Teaching this coaching model and adapting it for different cultures is one of Lisa’s most important projects.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDHlFaEr1rgTeaching Leaders to Coach ConsultantsBy following a standard coaching model, Mary Kay can ensure consistency through its vast organization. Teaching this coaching model and adapting it for different cultures is one of Lisa’s most important projects.TM36Shttp://img.youtube.com/vi/nDHlFaEr1rg/default.jpg

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Onboarding Sales Reps to Enable Customers

Luke Kempski

Stacey Gardner, Senior Learning and Development Specialist, Microsoft

Today’s sales representatives need to bring value to customers. At Microsoft, the seller needs to educate the customer on how the product will solve business problems and enable opportunities. As a senior learning and development specialist, Stacey Gardner’s mission is to develop sales reps to enable every person and business worldwide to use Microsoft products to achieve more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6R117hLXtxsShowing Customers How Microsoft Products Solve Problems As a senior learning and development specialist, Stacey Gardner’s mission is to develop sales reps to enable every person and business worldwide to use Microsoft products to achieve more.TM29Shttp://img.youtube.com/vi/6R117hLXtxs/default.jpg

Stacey believes that many organizations misunderstand what sales people value in training.  Too often, she sees inaccurate stereotypes influencing decisions on training approaches.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Emb9gGcPjtQWhat Sales Reps Want from TrainingMiscrosoft's Stacey Gardner believes that many organizations misunderstand what sales people value in training. Too often, she sees inaccurate stereotypes influencing decisions on training approaches. TM34Shttp://img.youtube.com/vi/Emb9gGcPjtQ/default.jpg

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Providing Training to Increase Subscribers

Luke Kempski

Adam Kucera, Director of Sales Training, DISH Network

Adam Kucera and his team are responsible for training and supporting anyone authorized to sell DISH products. This includes DISH sales employees, employees at direct sales call centers, and partners and retailers across the country. Retailers and partners range from small family-owned appliance stores to larger partners with hundreds of people selling door-to-door. This diverse and widely distributed sales force requires Adam to manage his resources efficiently to have the highest impact on increasing DISH subscribers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JH-oFRQ2YQKnowledgeable Sales Representatives Educate CustomersIn this video blog interview, DISH Network Director of Sales Training Adam Kucera talks about the connection between a knowledgeable sales staff and increasing subscriptions. TM36Shttp://img.youtube.com/vi/4JH-oFRQ2YQ/default.jpg

DISH is competing in a highly competitive and rapidly-changing marketplace. Consumers, especially millennials, consume television programming on the go and are less likely to buy traditional home services. While training on DISH products changes with their offering, Adam keeps sales process training consistent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq7J5kDz7cUTraining the Sales Force to Master a Consistent Sales ProcessDISH Network Director of Sales Training Adam Kucera explains how the sales process stays the same, regardless of the product they're selling. TM48Shttp://img.youtube.com/vi/vq7J5kDz7cU/default.jpg

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Uniting Marketing and Training for a Successful Launch

Luke Kempski

Marketers and training leaders share an important goal: to create a great customer experience. And when the two work together:

  • Content creation becomes easier
  • Branding becomes more effective
  • Efficiencies arise from shared knowledge and resources
  • Messaging falls into sync

This collaboration is especially important during new product launches. Unfortunately, only 38 percent of sales reps receive formal training for launches. This statistic “reveals a critical gap where marketing and sales teams need to come together to find a way to roll out new product messaging,” said Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and marketing officer for Corporate Visions.

Some companies, however, are reaping the benefits of collaboration between training and marketing teams. Here are three examples. Read More

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Arming Your Sales Force with Content and Tools

Luke Kempski

JPL Learning Solutions TrainingToday’s customers expect a sales consultant who recognizes their needs and wants, provides a range of solutions, and guides them through the selection and purchasing process.

With mobile technology like the iPad, organizations can now arm their sales forces with the content and tools to meet customer expectations and provide remarkable experiences. While the mobile tablet provides functionality and a high-tech image, the custom content and tools make the difference. Here are some examples:

Customer Testimonials – Video testimonials from customers who are similar to prospects give your solution added credibility.

Product Selection Tools – Selection tools help assess needs and match appropriate solutions.

Product Demonstrations – Videos and animations can show the product in action. Animations can also reveal important details that video can’t capture.

ROI Calculators – Calculators demonstrate how your solution can pay for itself.

Cost Comparison Tools – These quickly show how variations in models and features impact price.

Competitive Data – Data helps answer customer questions about competitive alternatives.

Expert Commentary – Video testimonials from independent experts validate the benefits of your solution.

Product Specifications – Specs help answer questions about product details.

Market Data – Data helps answer questions about the popularity of your solution and its compatibility with complementary products.

Any of these content types and tools can be customized to your company’s products, customer types and sales environments. Your goals, brand and sales channels will also impact where you should invest.

Imagine how putting content and tools at your sales consultant’s fingertips can make the difference in converting a prospect into a customer or turning a customer into a brand ambassador. Whether your sales force works in a retail environment, trade show exhibits, conference rooms or parking lots, you can arm them with a competitive advantage. Whether they’re selling consumer electronics, financial services, medical devices or manufacturing technology, you can turn a $500 mobile tablet into a sales weapon.

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Sales Training And Support Improves Meetings With Customers

Luke Kempski

Organizations invest heavily in marketing to create opportunities for their sales consultants to meet in-person with customers and prospects.

In-person meetings give consultants the best chance to close sales and open new opportunities. At JPL, we have found that we can help our clients use technology to train and support sales consultants and improve their results. Learn more in this interview with JPL President Luke Kempski.

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Combining Sales Support Tools with Interactive Learning

Luke Kempski

Can you train your salesperson to know everything?

Businesses expect a lot from their salespeople. They expect them to be experts on their products and services, knowledgeable about their customer needs and diligent about following a sales process. Most importantly, they expect productivity and results.

Customers also have high expectations of sales reps. They expect the rep to match the right solution to their unique needs. In the past, it was customary to send sales reps to training, fire hose them with data and information and then expect them to know everything for any customer scenario. This was hardly a recipe for success.

Sales support toolsIn recent years, we’re seeing organizations take a different approach using technology. They are developing eLearning courses that wrap around sales support tools that can be used live with the customer. This combination of training and support makes it easier for a sales rep to succeed.

The sales training courses are packaged to create a learning experience. The learner views product demonstrations, digs into case studies, interacts with price comparison calculators, listens to testimonials and learns how to use the sales support tools. The learner also completes assessments to ensure they completed the course, understand the content and have a level of competence before interacting with potential customers.

The sales support tool includes the same features as the training. Instead of being part of a course, they are in a database that the salesperson can access from a simple, easy-to-use interface. As they assess a prospective customer’s needs, they access presentation materials to educate the prospect about value and benefits.

Arming your sales force with training and presentation support tools broadens their capabilities and gives them a competitive advantage. We’ve seen clients such as New Holland Agriculture, Medtronic and Voith Turbo take advantage of a combined training-support approach. How about you? Are you providing training and support tools for your sales force?

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Technology Has Upped the Sales Training Ante

Luke Kempski

Ten years ago, customers had few resources for comparison shopping. Most of them relied on salespeople for information. Now, customers can get product details, price guides, reviews and more with a swipe of their smart phone.

Technology hasn’t made salespeople obsolete. But it has raised the bar. I know when I consider a purchase, I expect salespeople to be smarter than ever, not just about their own products and services but also those of competitors. Due to these higher expectations, training salespeople is no longer just a good idea. It’s an essential investment whether you sell to consumers or other businesses.

Identifying the Problem

We’ve all experienced the frustrations of interacting with a salesperson who knows less about a product than we do. What keeps salespeople from being knowledgeable? The product could be new or just unfamiliar. A salesperson may be well versed in best sellers, but less so in products with a smaller niche.

It’s easy to see how this lack of knowledge hurts sales. Ironically, training that forces the memorization of product features also has the potential to decrease sales. Customers don’t just need technical specs. They also want to know how those specs adapt to meet their unique needs. But making that clear can be difficult for a salesperson who’s used to listing product details without personalizing their value. Read More

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Changing How Your Sales Force Learns

Luke Kempski

Training your sales force about new products and how to sell them used to mean classes, conferences or one-on-one training. Today, many progressive organizations are looking for their sales team to take e-Learning courses, complete online assessments and take virtual, instructor-led courses. They also want their sales reps to use an iPad or other mobile device for ongoing learning and to support interactions with customers. In addition, they want them to share their knowledge and experiences with peers through new social learning and collaboration platforms.

While this sounds ambitious, we see organizations across the globe looking for new approaches to efficiently make sales people more knowledgeable and successful. For these changes to achieve the desired results, they need to be introduced in a compelling way. They need to break through the sales person’s natural resistance to change and appeal to their competitive nature. Communications should leverage key characteristics of the company’s brand and sync with other corporate initiatives. It should stimulate anticipation for the change. Before it’s released, you want the salesperson saying, “I can’t wait to take this new training and use this new technology so that I can sell more and achieve my goals.” Read More

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