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Geraldine Locke

Five 'must-have's' of sales leadership development training

Geraldine Locke / 28 February 2013

If you want to engage in professional development, there has never been a better time. There has never been more choice of provider, or flexibility of delivery, which makes it a whole lot harder to choose who to use or where to go!

As the architect of the first MSc in Sales Leadership, Consalia has spoken to a large number of clients who are excited and driven about providing the best possible training for their people, and here we share some of the key things we have learned.

So here are some key pointers for you to look at when trying to assess which training option is best for you, or your team.

Make sure the content is absolutely cutting edge

What level of thought leadership is included? How up to date is the reading list? How much does it include journals, blogs and websites? How recent is the industry experience of the lecturers? Who are the visiting speakers? As a result of the training, Sales Leaders should have up to date frameworks, ideas and tools to manage their business; it should be applied knowledge that leads to sales transformation.

Make sure the curriculum is 100% driven by work-based issues

Sales Leaders are trying to achieve challenging quarterly targets, seeking to deliver outstanding customer service, support their team and try and have a decent home life. If the programme is not 100% relevant to what they do in the day job then they won't see the relevance and in terms of priorities it won't be at the top of the list. A work-based learning programme will allow them to work on their business as well as in their business; there should be a seamless alignment between what's needed for formal assessment and the kind of reflection they are doing to enhance job performance.

Make successful completion the default option

What level of support is offered to participants every step of the way? What coaching support is in place? How do participants access missed sessions? How do they support each other – action learning sets? How do they get motivational feedback on their assignments?

Build in learning that lasts

Learning is for life. How is reflective practice encouraged?

How credible is the training – does it offer a qualification that has currency both academically and professionally?

Offering training that is accredited academically gives the participants added value for their effort and learning; it also helps the organisation recruit and retain the best talent. If you were a candidate looking at two roles, one of which offered a work-based, role relevant Masters qualification, one of which offered industry-standard training which one would you take?

These are deceptively simple questions to ask, and criteria to build-in, but maybe not so easy to fulfil.

Do you have responsibility for buying sales leadership and sales transformation education and training? What would your criteria be?

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