Training News

  • Sales Management Process: The New Frontier in Sales Management Training (Part 1)
    The new frontier of sales productivity is squarely in the realm of the front-line sales manager.Article Author: By Michelle Vazzana, Founding Partner, Vantage Point PerformanceCSO Insights’ Sales Optimization Studies has repeatedly shown that companies with formal sales processes outperform companies without them. Ten years ago, a formalized sales process was just a dream. Today it is a reality. Most companies not only have formalized processes, they have embedded them within their customer relationship management (CRM) systems and can report on progress through each stage. What is a “sales process,” and why does formalizing it matter for sales management? A sales process is a set of seller activities designed to achieve a certain outcome. Vantage Point’s research published in Cracking the Sales Management Code uncovered four seller processes that organizations care about.                       These activities are important for sales success, so most companies track and report how successfully they are executed. Unfortunately, technologies such as... Read more »
  • Modernizing Sales Training for Better Results
    For the sales force, the idea is to reduce the number of face-to-face trainings and make them more strategic. Then use mobile to make sales tools available where and when needed across all devices.Article Author: By Max Meadow, Vice President of Strategic Engagements and Principal HCM Advisory Analyst, Brandon Hall GroupPerhaps no function within an organization has benefitted more from the newest wave of technologies than the sales force. Social technology and advances in mobile apps and devices have put sales professionals closer to their clients than ever before. Yet in many organizations, sales training consists mainly of big blocks of face-to-face time in training seminars or similar gatherings. The 70-20-10 model has been around for two decades, and organizations are just now re-exploring the framework in an effort to deliver a more blended learning experience. For the sales force, it’s particularly important to tailor programs to the where and when, offering... Read more »
  • Trust and Transparency: A Lesson from the Blue Angels
    The degree of trust felt by the members of a leadership team toward one another is often the greatest predictor of whether an organization will be great or merely good.Article Author: Tony Mitchell, Chief Evangelist, Waggl, and Captain George Dom, USN (Ret), Founder/President, NFS Advisors“Trust might be a greater financial asset than money. Trust is the means, profit is the end. in pursuit of the golden egg, we often sacrifice the goose.” —Robert E. Quinn, Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within (Wiley, 1996) There is an old adage that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone.” But if you really want to make significant, lasting achievements, you need to go as a team. These days, organizations of all types are facing complex and unpredictable challenges, with high-pressure stakes and low margin for error. Businesses large and small are experiencing unprecedented degrees of turnover, competition, uncertainty, and other types of obstacles to... Read more »
  • Training Top 125 Best Practice: Sales Learning Transfer at Janssen: Pharmaceutical Companies for Johnson & Johnson
    Utilizing instructor-led training( ILT), coaching, and a personalized micro-learning gamification approach, initial Value-Based Sellling Model training and “booster” sessions resulted in learning transfer and a state of continuous learning for Janssen’s Cardiovascular sales reps.Article Author: Edited by Lorri FreifeldThe advent of a new Value-Based Selling Model meant Janssen: Pharmaceutical Companies for Johnson & Johnson’s approach to sales training had to change. Faced with a volatile and complex payment system and high numbers of competitors, Janssen knows sales learning must take place at the speed of business. Successfully executing a new selling philosophy required a new way to transfer the learning and use deliberate practice. Program Details Value-Based Selling Model training and assessments rolled out from February to March 2016. Value-Based Selling Model components anchored the training and behavioral modeling and guided the measurement. The overarching strategy was to improve the field skills and ability while ensuring consistent, impactful message delivery across the country.... Read more »
  • 4 Video Production Tips to Bolster Quality and Engagement
    Lighting, camera composition, audio, and filming production techniques to take your videos to the next level.Article Author: n/aBy Matt Pierce, Learning & Video Ambassador, TechSmith Corp.If you followed my previous post, 4 Tips to Get Started Creating Video, hopefully you’ve successfully made your first video. Congratulations! Now that you’ve filmed a video (or two), let’s take the next step and start creating engaging video through video production, which will affect the overall quality. Here are four production techniques that will help take your videos to the next level. Lighting To say lighting is important is an understatement. A camera’s functionality is to pick up and record light. Proper lighting during your production stage will dramatically increase the quality and engagement of your videos. For best results, I recommend three points of lighting: key lights, fill lights, and back lights: Key lights: These are the main lights used to capture the subject of the video. Key... Read more »
  • Leadership DNA: How to Use It to Assess Yourself and Employees
    Accept that both results and relationship-oriented behaviors are essential to good leadership, and then learn to adapt a few new skills to gain a better balance. Small changes pay big returns.Article Author: Lee Ellis, Founder and President, Leadership Freedom LLC and FreedomStar MediaEvery person has a unique DNA that guides his or her natural behavioral (personality) strengths and struggles—yes, everyone has both strengths and struggles. This knowledge is grounded in science (i.e., it’s measureable and predictable, not just “touchy feely”), but the application requires awareness and flexibility to adjust your leadership and management to fit the talents and experience of the individual. Eighty percent of us are inclined to focus on and be more effective at either getting results or building relationships by our natural design. Let’s be honest about the challenging business dynamics: You must get results (accomplish the mission) or you fail. Results get highlighted and rewarded more often than good relationships. Senior... Read more »
  • What Budget Cuts Are Worth It?
    Author: By Margery WeinsteinWhen seeking to reduce costs in your company, what cuts may be painful, but worth it, and which cause more discomfort and loss of morale than they are worth? I repeatedly ask myself that as I wade through a career in the ailing publishing industry. Unlike my sister, who works for a large liquor distributor, I never have worked for a company flush with cash. Unlike liquor, the written word isn’t nearly as universally prized and sought after. Financial struggles result in serious cuts, such as the loss of staff and salary freezes, and cuts with less serious repercussions but still cause employee disappointment and a loss of comfort and morale. I found a piece online, published in 2010 by the American Psychological Association (APA), that’s still true seven years later. “Boosting Morale” by Amy Novotney notes tactics for increasing employee satisfaction, which may be needed as the austerity trend... Read more »
  • Closing the Skills Gap by Investing in Employees
    The rising demand for finance and accounting professionals with relevant skills is making it more likely for companies to provide compensation and other resources for employees to pursue professional certifications.Article Author: Jeff Thomson, CMA, CAE, President and CEO, IMAOrganizations are under increasing pressure to improve competitiveness and performance, which is expanding the responsibilities of accounting and finance professionals beyond what they have been in the past. However, many organizations have found the skills of employees aren’t keeping up, creating gaps in the skills needed in finance and accounting departments to drive value while protecting the public interest. This issue is not new. The Manpower Group’s annual Talent Shortage Survey identifies which employers are having difficulty finding the right talent, which jobs are the hardest to fill, and where job seekers will find the most opportunity. Since 2011, accounting and finance has ranked within the Top 10 hardest jobs to fill within the... Read more »
  • Why Your Entire Workforce Needs to Be Part of Your Cybersecurity Strategy
    Despite companies’ investments in bolstering their networks’ security, cybersecurity attacks are actually on the rise, with spear phishing scandals targeted at employees increasing 55 percent in 2015.Article Author: Leslie Redd, Cofounder and CEO, LearnBIG From phishy e-mails to weak passwords, it can seem like the Internet is a minefield of cybersecurity breaches waiting to happen to you and your company. So it’s no surprise that an estimated 95 percent of cyber attacks are caused by human error. Considering the shortage of easily digestible information on how to guard companies from data breaches, employee cybersecurity training is a crucial step in turning your workforce into a strong line of defense against hackers. Employees Can Be the Weakest Link in Cybersecurity Strategy Despite security incidents becoming an increasingly common problem for businesses, only 29 percent of companies had a cybersecurity expert in their IT department last year. Even if your company does have cybersecurity professionals... Read more »
  • Powerfully Land a Small Number of Big Ideas
    Excerpt from “The Compelling Communicator: Mastering the Art and Science of Exceptional Presentation Design,” by Tim Pollard (Conder House Press, December 2016).Article Author: Tim PollardThe single biggest key to extraordinary communication is one simple idea. All great communication is great precisely because it adheres to this principle, while all lousy communication is lousy expressly because it violates this same principle. And the principle is this: Whenever you communicate, what you are trying to do is: Powerfully Land a Small Number of Big Ideas That said, doing this is a bit trickier than it might seem. As cute and “Twitter-esque” as this is, it’s not merely a slogan. This insight gets to the very heart of how the brain works, and it is a touchstone that we are going to return to time and time again. The human brain doesn’t do very well at storing and retrieving facts and data, especially large quantities of facts and... Read more »
  • Training Top 125 Best Practice: Creating Leaders and Inspiring Management Behavior (CLIMB) at Iron Mountain
    CLIMB is a nine-month program designed to prepare high-potential mid-level employees to be successful leaders at Iron Mountain.Article Author: Edited by Lorri FreifeldIn 2010, the turnover rate for front-line managers and supervisors at information and asset management company Iron Mountain was 40 percent, costing the company millions of dollars in recruitment, onboarding, lost company knowledge, expertise, and potential leaders. Losing mid-level leaders at such a rate drained the succession pipeline and stifled innovation at the ground level. These realities signaled a deeper problem—Iron Mountain lacked an organizational culture and growth strategy to value employees, develop and retain leaders, and inspire innovation. Iron Mountain’s Southern California territory tackled this challenge head on in 2010 by creating CLIMB (Creating Leaders and Inspiring Management Behavior) to help local employees meet their career goals while building the talent pipeline. Inspired, the Pacific Northwest territory piloted a similar version of CLIMB. By 2012, CLIMB was a Western... Read more »
  • Happiness in the Workplace
    The importance of having a job extends far beyond the salary—social status, social relations, daily structure, and goals also exert a strong influence on people’s happiness. Article Author: Terence Brake, Director, Learning & Innovation, TMA WorldThe UN World Happiness Report measures “subjective well-being” or how people experience and evaluate their lives. The study was conducted across more than in more than 150 countries. The 2017 report was published on March 20, the UN’s International Day of Happiness. Since the report’s first publication in April 2012, happiness has become an increasingly important measure of social progress. Main factors to support happiness are: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income, and good governance (not surprisingly a mix of cultural, social, economic, and political factors). Which countries top the list? Norway Denmark Iceland Switzerland Finland Netherlands Canada New Zealand Australia Sweden The U.S. and UK are 14th and 19th, respectively. Norway is said to have achieved a high level of happiness—despite lower oil prices—by producing its oil slowly, and... Read more »
  • Engaging Employees in Cost-Control Efforts
    One company has saved more than $1 million to date and simultaneously increased productivity by soliciting employees’ ideas for working smarter.Article Author: Carl Nothnagel, VP, Operations, MBX SystemsThe employee suggestion box may be as obsolete as the rotary telephone, but employees on the front lines remain an invaluable source of ideas for improvements that can help companies work smarter, faster, and leaner. No one is closer to the everyday waste and inefficiencies that can affect productivity, profitability, and customer relationships. Tapping into the collective wisdom of your workforce can make a real difference in trimming both operational and budget fat. One company that has seen the impact firsthand is Chicago-based technology manufacturer MBX Systems. A campaign to solicit employee suggestions for reining in excess costs has yielded more than $1 million in savings over the last few years, including pruning $750,000 in expenses and increasing net profits 23 percent in the first... Read more »
  • Right Person, Right Time?
    Author: By Margery WeinsteinJob interviews, it turns out, are not good at predicting what kind of employee the candidate will be, notes a column by Jason Dana, “The Utter Uselessness of Job Interviews,” which appeared a couple weeks ago in The New York Times. Personal bias affects the process so much that even when interviewers are warned ahead of time that the candidate is not qualified for the job, or has some other serious flaw, they still will base their judgment according to their personal perception. Personal bias is never going to disappear, but the article says one safeguard is not to let the conversation be freeform, but, rather, to keep the conversation structured, and even to ask each candidate the same questions. That way, you have more of an objective basis of comparison. Since it isn’t human, or warm and inviting, to read set questions from sheet of paper, or a... Read more »
  • When Your Global Colleagues Don’t Make Sense
    Your standards and processes for work excellence were created through your specific cultural lens. Although it makes complete sense to you in your context, it may not work well for another culture with a different set of values and beliefs. Article Author: Robert Chen“What is a ‘summer Friday’ and why is no one picking up their phone?” “They’re inefficient and we’re spending too much time fixing their mistakes.” “What?! There is no coverage because they’re all having lunch together?!!” These are common challenges we hear when training global managers at Fortune 500 companies. They are the same complaints I heard when I worked at a multinational manufacturing company where I interacted with executives at the corporate office in New York City, engaged with engineers in the New England R&D centers, and audited the factory floors in China. Working in these diverse settings, I gained a unique perspective on the “us vs. them” dilemma. It’s... Read more »
  • How to Sell Succession Planning to Your CEO
    4 things HR leaders can learn from an insurance salesman about how to sell the concept.Article Author: Michael Timms, Founder and Principal, Avail LeadershipI’ve interviewed more than 50 executives from nearly 50 different companies in an effort to discover what has worked for them and what hasn’t in their efforts to grow their bench strength from within. By far, the No. 1 problem with succession planning is that many senior executives view it as a project they can delegate to HR so they can focus on “the real work of the business.” Organizations with executives who view succession planning this way will never produce a sustainable pipeline of talent and will be fighting the war for talent for the next 15 years against other organizations that also fail to appropriately prioritize succession planning. For succession planning to work, leadership development needs to be a top priority and an integral part of the... Read more »
  • 5 Common Gamification Myths Debunked
    Think about what motivates your employees and what effect your training should have on their day-to-day activities. Then use gamification tactics that resonate with employees and encourage the kind of behavior you want.Article Author: John Findlay, Co-Founder, LaunchfireWe’ve all seen the headlines: “How Gamification Motivates People to Do Extraordinary Things” “Gamification Revolutionizes Corporate Training” “How Gamified Training is Transforming E-Learning” It’s gotten to the point where everyone is writing about gamification and its benefits. You’d think it’s a miracle fix the way some people write about it. With all the information circulating on the Web, there seem to be some common myths that come up time and time again. Let’s move beyond the hype and get to the truth. Here are five of the most popular gamification myths debunked. 1. Just add badges. The most common misconception about gamification is that you can just add some badges and engagement will skyrocket. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. While badges can... Read more »
  • Training Top 125 Best Practice: The Leadership Development Series at Holman Automotive Group, Inc.
    The programs in Holman Automotive’s Leadership Excellence School play an important role in preparing existing and potential leaders for promotion.Article Author: Edited by Lorri FreifeldThe Leadership Excellence School at Holman Automotive Group, Inc., continues to be an essential part of the company’s success. Holman Automotive is committed to developing and promoting from within, and the programs in this school play an important role in preparing existing and potential leaders for promotion. Program Details The Potential Leader Program (PLP) is a springboard to first-level leadership. Originally available to ARI employees only, the program was so successful that in January 2016 it was expanded to include four other Holman operating companies. This is a nomination-based, six-month blended learning program, preparing high-potential individual contributors to make the transition into their first leadership role. The program focuses on the core competencies needed to produce results through others. The Advancing Leader Program (ALP) prepares high-potential managers to move into... Read more »
  • Adding Web Classes to Your Training Methods
    Web Classes allow for small group training with greater levels of engagement, including two-way verbal communication and a visual component.Article Author: Barry Himmel, Senior Vice President, Signature WorldwideBeing in the customer service and sales training business, I have heard many reasons/excuses why onsite training cannot be conducted. The clients know their employees need the skills but say: We are too busy for training. It is too challenging getting my team together for training. I can’t train because I need to maintain coverage. Who will service our customers? I get it. You have a lean staff, your team may be geographically dispersed, and it’s good to be busy! However, training is necessary for employee development. It is good for employees to interact with their colleagues in a learning environment. Training helps build confidence, consistency, and expectations. Onsite vs. Online Historically, most training has been conducted onsite. Onsite training can be motivating, focused, and impactful. Many employees are more comfortable... Read more »
  • Spend More Management Time with Your Bosses
    Most management conversations are random, incomplete, and often too late to avoid a problem or solve one before it grows large. The solution: Get in the habit of having regular one-on-one management conversations with every boss you answer to.Article Author: Bruce Tulgan, Founder and CEO, RainmakerThinking, Inc.If you are like most employees, you probably juggle several projects, tasks, and responsibilities for several bosses—usually one you report to and several informal ones such as team leaders, heads of departments that work closely with yours, or even your boss’ boss. Are you spending too much time dealing with your bosses? It might seem like that. But the reality is exactly the opposite: The problem is not that you are spending too much time with bosses, but rather, you are not spending enough time dealing with them in the right way. Most managers and non-managers alike are so busy juggling their various responsibilities that they... Read more »