Archive for September, 2011
The Art and Science of Virtual Training
In a world where attention rarely extends to more than 30 seconds, where multitasking has become a survival skill, and where the plethora of distractions compete for personal attention, it’s a challenge to engage the minds of distant participants in an online training program. Many think this is an impossible task because of the nature of the Internet: people can easily wander away from a training session to surf the web, chat with friends, or conduct email.
Against this backdrop, however, there is one communication medium that has succeeded in capturing our hearts and minds for more than half a century: television. We are “glued” to our televisions as we sit and watch sit-coms, reality shows, movies, or even cooking shows, with limited, if any interaction. But behind each program are teams of highly skilled writers, editors, animators, videographers, sound engineers, graphic artists, editors, presenters, directors, hosts, and producers. These kinds of professionals have been focusing their skills on how to communicate and engage with a remote audience for over 100 years! You could even say that they have raised their skills to a high art form; it is our goal to do the same for training.
To achieve this goal, 3g Selling brought together a team of over 40 experts from the broadcast media, and then invested in months of research and testing. We engineered a totally new model for the design, development and delivery of live virtual learning experiences that merges a variety of talent from diverse fields – including television newscasters and radio talk show hosts, web producers, and award-winning graphic artists.
During the past year, we’ve used this model to conduct over 600 live virtual training programs for our clients in a variety of topics. From this experience, we have drawn upon the science and the art of our team of 40 experts in these fields:
- Program architects to determine learning objectives and to design the most creative and expedient delivery methods
- Writers and editors to shape communication
- Graphic artists to develop meaningful and relevant supporting materials
- Producers who can manage the technology and keep the program flawlessly flowing
- Subject matter experts to bring the knowledge required for the training programs
- Video and audio experts to develop supporting audio and video materials
- Broadcast media hosts who are comfortable with managing a live spontaneous flow of conversation but also with meeting time lines and hitting on major objectives
- Communication experts to train, support, and coach the delivery teams
Martyn’s panel, Today’s Successful Sales Managers, will take place on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET.
Below is the announcement from ES Research Group, with the link to reserve your seat at the table.
ES Research Group, Inc. (ESR), the leading sales training research and advisory firm will host a series of four, online panel discussions in which 16 sales industry leaders debate today’s critical sales issues. The public may listen to the unrehearsed discussions and ask questions during the live, one-hour online sessions. Free registration for any or all discussions is available at http:/www.ESResearch.com/thought-leaders
The following panel discussions will be offered:
Today’s Successful Sales Managers: Who Are They, What Do They Do, and How Do They Do It?
Wed., Oct . 12, 2011 1:00 ET
- Dave Kurlan, CEO, Kurlan Associates
- Martyn Lewis, Founder and Principal, 3gSelling
- Steve Johnson, President, The Next Level Sales Consulting
- Richard Lane, Partner, durhamlane ltd.
CRM and Other Technology-Enabled Selling Platforms and Applications: What Works and What Doesn’t?
Wed., Oct. 26, 2011, 1:00 ET
- Bruce Wedderburn, Exec VP, Huthwaite
- Rich Blakeman, SR. VP, Miller Heiman
- Joe Vance, Senior Consultant, Performance Methods, Inc.
- Donald Daly, CEO, The TAS Group
Increasing Sales Effectiveness Across a Global Sales Organization
Wed., Nov. 9, 2011, 1:00 ET
- Jonathan London, President, Improved Performance Group
- Henk van de Kuijt, Global Director International Business, Mercuri International
- Richard Barkey, CEO, Imparta
- David DiStefano, CEO, Richardson
Selling To and Negotiating With Today’s Tougher, Strategic Procurers/Buyers/Sourcers
Wed., Nov. 30, 2011, 1:00 ET
- Julie Thomas, President and CEO, ValueSelling Associates
- Brian Dietmeyer, President and CEO, Think! Inc.
- Ron D’Andrea, President, BayGroup International
- Stephanie Woods, Executive VP, Huthwaite
The Sales Thought Leader Series is sponsored by American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), Customer Think, Inside View, The Professional Society for Sales and Marketing Training (SMT), Outstart, SalesForceXP and Sales Management Association (SMA).
About ES Research Group, Inc.
ES Research Group (ESR) is the only source for independent research and advice on sales performance improvement programs and the companies that provide them. ESR offers a range of analytic and assessment reports, teleconferences and advisory services. www.esresearch.com.
3g Selling Expands Virtual Training Program Offerings to Business Management, Marketing and Communication
New Modular Approach Allows Clients To Create Custom, Live Virtual Training Programs
3g Selling, pioneer in live virtual training solutions, continues to move leading business training programs from the traditional classroom, where they have been primarily offered, into the virtual world. By incorporating the same highly engaging and effective techniques, such as integrating on-the-job application with learning, 3g Selling further extends its offerings to courses in business management and leadership, marketing, and communications. In addition, most of the new training programs will include Learning Elements™, which can stand alone or be combined to create a custom course to meet the client’s specific needs.
3g Selling founding partner Beverly Lock explains the reason for this expansion: “Our clients found our approach to live virtual training so effective, they asked if we could extend our offerings to topic areas other than sales training. Over the past several years, we have designed and delivered programs in business management and leadership, marketing, and communications so we were able to take this proven content and design it into our unique live virtual format.”
“These programs also incorporate a variety of Learning Elements, which our clients can use as custom program building blocks to save themselves the time and money of creating a program from scratch,” Lock adds.
These new live virtual training programs include training in topics ranging from performance coaching to designing, managing, and measuring effective marketing campaigns. For a list of offerings, visit our new website and explore the new 3g Selling training programs.
Employing its unique approach to the design, development and delivery of live virtual training, 3g Selling helps clients not only save time and money but also achieve better training results than with more traditional classroom training methods.
This week, I was selected to chair the ASTD’s 2012 Sales Training Advisory Committee, which advises the world’s leading association of workplace learning and performance professionals on new trends, practices, and techniques in learning and development. ASTD – the American Society for Training & Development – is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to this field, and its activities are broad, ranging from conferences and social networking to publishing books, whitepapers, and magazines.
For the past year, I’ve served as a committee member with ASTD’s Sales Training Advisory Committee, chaired by Brian Lambert of Forrester Research. This ongoing experience as well as the time I’ve spent working with Fortune 500 companies at 3g Selling, will help guide me in our primary committee goal, which is to set worldwide standards of excellence for sales training and development.
Most organizations have developed criteria for evaluating performance, particularly sales performance, but the same cannot be said for sales training and development. Compounding the issue are the hundreds of vendors in the marketplace for sales training solutions, each claiming that their method is superior to anyone else’s. How does an organization evaluate a sales training program? And who is setting standards for the myriad of sales training programs available today?
This is the charter of ASTD’s Sales Training Advisory Committee: to advise its thousands of members, world leaders in workplace learning and performance, on what to look for in evaluating sales training programs – including those they design themselves. As someone whose company has pioneered an innovative approach to sales training, an approach that took years to build and incurred much trial-and-error testing, I feel I can bring a deep knowledge of the criteria we need for evaluating sales training and development practices and techniques.
It is my belief that sales remains one of the last areas where we have not introduced a truly robust “method” that leads to repeatable, consistent, and optimal sales performance. We need standards to ensure that sales training is not adding to the myth of sales being some individual craft that you are either born with or not. Sales must be viewed as both science and art and in that order.
The art can flourish when practiced on a sound foundation of science. It is therefore time for companies to move from tactical sales training events to creating plans for true sales transformation and performance. We have to stop reacting to, and addressing a few symptoms. We have to get underneath, and discover what is really happening in the market’s we sell to, with our customers, and across our sales organizations and then turn our attention to providing the training and support that our sales forces need to do their increasingly difficult job. The answer is not to go and hire more naturally born sales people – the answer lies in equipping our sales force with the skills, strategy, process, and tools that they need to do their job well.
My experience in the field – with hundreds of clients as well as the myriad of opportunities I have to interact with sales enablement leaders and other training executives – continues to provide me the insight to help guide our ASTD committee to formulate worldwide standards for effective sales training and development. I’ll keep you posted.
See the announcement here.
For a limited time, organizations can register their sales managers and sales reps for the program and save 20% off the normal registration fee.
Interested in this offer? You can sign up here.
Who Should Register
Anyone with the responsibility for maximizing sales results from an account, a territory or a portfolio of channel partners, and/or those who manage such roles.
This program provides a unique way in which to take business and planning fundamentals to the profession of salesperson—and in a manner that sales people will embrace.
Central to the program is the belief that the sales pipeline is the very core of what selling is all about. In a totally unique way, the program reveals that the traditional sales funnel should rarely be actually shaped like a funnel. Using the ground breaking work of Martyn Lewis from Market-Partners, participants are shown how this traditional view of the sales funnel and pipeline could not only disguise what is really happening in their businesses but also be a detriment to performance, forcing time to be spent in the wrong sales activities at the wrong time.
Recently, 3g Selling demonstrated a truly innovative approach to hosting and conducting a meeting in virtual space. Bringing together a dynamic group of senior learning leaders, the inaugural session of the Learning Leaders Virtual Roundtable emphasized active participation, networking and building knowledge as a group of individuals through collaboration. From healthcare to financial services, from higher education to retail, over 20 organizations located across the U.S. shared their visions, challenges, thoughts and best practices with each other and a team of panelists that included experts in social media, technology-based learning, live virtual training, mobility, change management and other hot topics.
The Roundtable—also dubbed the “WebiKnow” by 3g Selling to underscore how radically different the experience is from the usual sit-back-and-listen webinar—focused on the timely topic of technology-enabled learning. Two years ago, mobility, social learning and peer-to-peer collaboration weren’t the hot buttons they are today. But as the way people live and work continues to change, these areas will drive the rapid growth of virtual learning, informal learning and better integration of just-in-time learning. These developments have dramatically changed the role of learning leaders who must lead the organizational charge to adapt to the new technology-enabled learning world we now find ourselves in.
10 Steps Toward the Vision of Technology-Enabled Learning
At the end of the Roundtable—whose agenda was shaped entirely by input gathered from participants prior to the event—our four expert panelists summarized the key takeaways from the event.
- Embrace the dramatically changed role of the learning leader.
- Learning leaders must lead the charge to adapt to the world we are now living in.
- New mind sets must be created through carefully planned change management.
- Continually demonstrate the value that the learning organization brings to the business.
- Ensure that learning is driven by an organizational vision and goals and not by technology itself.
- Align and manage the learning outcomes for your organization’s learning investments.
- There must be an overall learning architecture that frames what learning should be enabled in what way for which people across the organization. This is the construct for the continuous and blended learning environment. It is not a catalog of courses, but rather the “architecture” for the provision of learning across the organization.
- Understand the instructional design approaches and skills sets that must be adapted for different learning vehicles.
- Increase program success through communication and change management.
- Provide solutions that account for varying learning styles and generational learning differences, that are reflective of the localized needs of the learner and that drive clear business value.
The discussion around these issues was so lively and engaging that the participants and panelists stayed in the virtual meeting room networking and sharing ideas long after the Roundtable concluded. As a result of the enthusiasm and ideas we received during the Roundtable, we’ve decided to continue the discussion in October. The next WebiKnow will take a deeper dive into the topic of social learning. The participants and panelists will examine topics such as:
- Networking and communication
- Which behaviors learning leaders need to encourage across the organization
- How to identify the generational differences that influence organizational culture
- How best to incorporate those differences into the organization’s overall training vision and goals
If you’re a senior-level learning leader and are interested in joining us at a future Virtual Roundtable, we’d love to hear from you. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call at 888.243.0461.