Selecting a Partner to Help Improve Sales Effectiveness

Key buying criteria and potential risks

Selecting a partner

Over 80% of training spend is wasted, according to research… but equally, the right kind of intervention can generate huge returns. So how do you ensure that the solution you choose is headed for success, rather than failure?

Over the last decade we have seen – and even helped to formulate – many RFPs. There are a number of decision criteria that crop up again and again when companies are seeking to drive impact, rather than simply to fill a training calendar. Every company’s needs are different.

The criteria you would use when selecting a workshop to help win a big deal would clearly be different to those needed to choose a partner for a global Sales, Service and Marketing Academy. However, there is still a huge amount of common ground.

Key buying criteria

This blog includes some of the most important criteria, so that you can tailor your own list.

Robust, modern, practical sales approach:

  • Does the methodology focus on understanding and working with the client’s buying process, rather than on sales tips or a ‘selling process’?
  • Are the approaches and tools practical and tested in the field? Are there clear examples of positive impact?

Tailoring to different roles while building a common language:

  • Are course modules tailored to different roles and levels of experience? (e.g. executives vs. sales managers vs. salespeople; account acquisition vs. account management; field vs. telephone sales; sales vs. service and bid support; experienced vs. new salespeople)?
  • Is the vendor willing and able to create new modules for specific roles in your business?

Relevance to your business context:

  • Is there a formal process for understanding your business issues in depth?
  • Is the content appropriately tailored (through content, role-plays, examples, case studies and exercises) to your business issues and context?

Trainer quality and experience:

  • Will the vendor take steps to ensure that the trainers/faculty members are a good fit with your business culturally, stylistically and in terms of their business experience?

Learning approach:

  • Is the learning approach experiential, providing sufficient active participation to build skills as well as knowledge?

Quality of follow-through and reinforcement activity:

  • Are there explicit plans for reinforcing and sustaining the learning and its application, long after participants have left the classroom?

Ability to offer measurement and accreditation:

  • Is there an explicit approach to providing on-going measurement of the impact of the Sales Academy?
  • Is there an explicit approach to the accreditation of salespeople as they move through the Academy process?

Outcome-oriented approach:

  • Does the vendor speak in terms of number of sessions run or in terms of business impacts achieved?
  • Can their company demonstrate and quantify past successes?

Pricing: Competitive, clear and consistent pricing, offering good value:

  • Is pricing clear and consistent?
  • Are all the factors being considered in assessing relative value?

Scalability and experience of a large scale roll-out:

  • Are there methods and mechanisms to ensure that training to be delivered across large numbers is done so to consistent standard?

Ability to create additional content to address additional needs:

  • Can the provider quickly create additional programmes addressing business challenges or skills gaps related to the Sales Academy?
  • Does the provider have experience or capabilities in building custom programmes that include ILT and eLearning components if necessary?

Availability of multiple languages:

Are multiple language versions of the content available?

In any implementation, there are also risks that need to be managed (for the sake of both parties). You can find out about these risks by reading the full Imparta White Paper here.

Selecting the correct vendor is no easy task, so Imparta has created a complimentary Vendor Selection Tool.

We hope that these ideas and tools are helpful as part of your decision-making process, and would be delighted to discuss any issues with you in more depth. You can contact a member of the Imparta team to discuss any issues by clicking here.

More insights…