That’s a question I’ve been asked again and again by journalists, sales leaders, sales training company CEOs, corporate training departments, consultants, and our clients, when they first contact us.
When I tell them that’s not a question I can easily answer, many offer to pay me just for providing them with “just one name.”
If they press me for an answer I take a deep breath and say…
I first need you to tell me just a bit about the company seeking the best sales training firm:”
- What do they sell?
- How do they sell it?
- How well do they sell it?
- Why do they win?
- Why do they lose?
- How long is their sales cycle?
- Is it a complex or transactional sale?
- Do they sell to committees or individual buyers?
- What resources are required to support a rep?
- How do their buyers buy?
- Who are their competitors?
- What’s their go-to-market strategy?
- How are leads generated?
- What percent of market share do they own?
- What are their business goals and objectives for the coming quarter, year and three years out?
- How well is the sales team performing? What percentage of sales reps are at or above quota?
- What processes and tools do they currently have in place?
- What geographic territories do they cover? In what languages? With what local cultural requirements?
- How is the company structured?
- What about their sales channels?
- What compensation and incentive approach do they employ?
- How well do the first line managers manage?
- What gaps exist in management skills and capabilities?
- Do they coach effectively to a process?
- What analytic and measurement systems are in place?
- How well is sales integrated with other functions within the company especially marketing and service?
- What is their propensity to change?
- Are the corporate leaders ready for a business transformation?
- How much time, resources, and money are they willing to invest in it?
- Which vendors have already been engaged with this company?
- What learning mechanisms and tools are in place?
- How diverse are individuals within the sales team with respect to experience, skill, effectiveness, business savvy, age, learning preferences, etc.?
- What are the company’s annual revenues?
- How much are they willing to invest in a sales effectiveness initiative?
- What technology, if any, is currently supporting the sales function?
- Are they thinking about training strategically or tactically?
- Who is currently providing training?
- What do they think their biggest sales challenge is?
- What special skills, if any, are required for sales effectiveness? This question alone requires discussions with many diverse stakeholders and is a critical component of ESR’s discovery process.
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