When founder Richard Barkey started Imparta in 1997, the goal was to provide an antidote to an industry that was – and remains – focused on delivering events rather than results.

We believe that there are several elements that set Imparta apart from most training companies.  Of course, different people care about different things, so you can select the factors you care about in the list below.  You can then download a tailored spreadsheet that you can use to choose between different training suppliers.

What do you care about?
Include?
Suggested Decision Criteria
OVERALL
Values
  • Is the vendor fundamentally a training company, or one that takes a change management view of improving performance?
  • Are they focused on results and impact?
  • Are they committed to your success?
  • Will they work on a pay for results basis?
Overall Approach
  • Does the vendor go beyond a one-off training project to embed the 'way things are done around here'?
  • Are they flexible enough to cover multiple delivery and styles as needs evolve?
  • Is there a good chemistry fit? Do we have similar beliefs and values in terms of client focus?
Evidence of impact
  • Does the vendor speak just in terms of the training they do, or do they also explain the change process and the business impact they achieve?
  • Can they demonstrate and quantify past success?
  • Has the vendor identified the specific business outcomes that are critical to you, and have they demostrated a clear link between their recommendation and these outcomes?
CONTENT
Sales Methodology/Content
  • Is the sales methodology based on robust research?
  • Does it focus on the customer's buying process, rather than on sales tips or a "selling process"™ (ie is the approach customer-centric)?
  • Are the approaches and tools practical and tested in the field?
  • Does the company use their own methodology while selling to you?
  • Is there a structured portfolio of sales content (commercial and business acumen, C-suite, negotiation, etc.)?
Marketing Methodology/Content
  • Is the company equipped to provide deep skills in all areas of marketing capability?
  • Are they up-to-date with the fast changing world of digital and social marketing?
  • Is the methodology designed and delivered by expert trainers who have deep experience in the real world?
  • Is the vendor able to assess your current capabilities and advise on the best way forward?
  • Is the training off the shelf and theoretical, or does the company provide training that is tailored to provide the tools and skills that your business needs?
  • Do the company have the depth and capabilities to be a long-term development partner for you?
Service Methodology/Content
  • Is the service and culture change methodology and content based on up-to-date research that has been tested in the real world?
  • What is the content and approach based on process or psychology?
  • Can the methodology and content be flexed to meet our specific business needs and channels in practical ways?
  • Are there measurable impacts demonstrated by sustained client impacts?
Leadership Methodology/Content
  • Does the leadership content cover specific skills such as strategy, marketing, people and organisation, and commercial acumen, as well as more general topics?
  • Is the content researched and leading edge?
  • Does the content go beyond academic models to build real-world skills?
Alignment (cross-functional training)
  • Does the vendor have content that helps to create alignment between the customer-driven functions within the organisation?
Relevance to your business context
  • Has the vendor successfully applied their methodology in your industry?
  • 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?
  • Is the vendor experienced in working with other training suppliers to integrate new approaches with old, and to create effective internal communications for positioning the current programme vs. previous training activities?
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 there a consistent theme and language running through the various courses that make them feel like an integrated whole?
Ability to create additional content to address additional needs
  • Can the provider quickly create additional content to address emerging business challenges or skill gaps, or to create new modules for specific roles in your business?
  • Does the provider have experience or capabilities in building custom programmes that include instructor-led training (ILT) and eLearning components if necessary?
TRAINING
Blended/experiential learning
  • Is the learning approach experiential, providing sufficient active participation to build skills as well as knowledge?
  • Are there reconnect sessions to ensure application (can be virtual to keep costs down)?
  • Is the mix of traditional and technology-enhanced training methods optimised to accelerate the learning process, engage learners and transfer learning to the work place?
  • Can the eLearning and mLearning be hosted in a flexible way (vendor system or client's LMS)?
Trainer quality & experience
  • Is there evidence of high quality of trainers?
  • 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?
  • Will they be brought up to speed with your specific environment and its challenges?
Flexibility of training approach
  • Does the vendor offer multiple forms of training delivery?
  • Will the vendor accredit internal trainers and master trainers if required?
  • Are 'home schooling kits' or similar available for managers and internal champions to support the training?
  • Is the vendor willing to accredit your internal HR team in the vendor's own process and tools, with flexible licensing arrangements?
Training for other stakeholders
  • Are interventions available for senior managers, managers and adjacent departments to ensure alignment around the new approach?
FOLLOW-THROUGH
Reinforcement & application tools
  • Are there explicit plans for reinforcing and sustaining the learning and its application, long after participants have left the classroom?
  • Are there application tools that support use of the new skills back in the field, and are these integrated with other systems (e.g. CRM) if required?
Measurement and reporting
  • Does the vendor have a detailed set of competencies which provide a clear map of what is required across different roles? Can these be tailored to your business?
  • Do they offer measurement at all four Kirkpatrick Levels?
Accreditation
  • Is there an explicit approach to the accreditation of staff as they move through the academy process?
  • Is the accreditation approach aligned with the measurement approach?
Alignment with other functions e.g. HR
  • Can the vendor help with aligning the skills training needed with the rest of the organisation? (E.g. can they provide support around internal and external selection, including job descriptions, assessments and support for competency-based interviews?)
Change management support
  • Is the vendor committed to supporting the project leader, e.g. with local representation if required and informal access to a range of expertise, including change management experts?
COMPANY SCOPE AND SCALE
Experience of similar projects
  • Does the vendor have experience with projects of similar scale, scope (e.g. topics to be covered) and industry context?
  • Can they explain what makes an initiative like this fail as well as succeed?
  • Does this experience sit within their organisation, rather than through third party partners?
Geographical reach
  • Can the vendor deliver in all the countries that are required?
  • Are there methods and mechanisms to ensure that training to be delivered internationally is done to consistent standards?
Language availabilty
  • Are multiple language versions of the content available (if needed)?
  • Can custom content or specialist language versions be translated at a reasonable cost?
Company credibility
  • How has the company performed in its own right in recent years? (Evidence of their own ability to apply their own lessons.)
  • How strong is the Board of Directors?
  • What was the quality and clarity of their presentation, and did they follow their own IP/methodology?
Financial stability
  • How strong is the vendor financially? Will it be around for the long run?
References & recognition
  • What recognition has there been from external bodies? Awards?
  • How good are the reviews by third party observers (e.g. consulting companies and trade associations)?
IMPLEMENTATION
Speed of implementation
  • Does the vendor have adequate, coordinated capacity for rapid design and roll-out?
  • Can they provide case study examples of rapid response?
  • Do they have a solid plan for pilot execution and proof of concept if required?
Costs
  • Is pricing clear and consistent?
  • Are all the factors being considered in assessing relative value?
  • Are the 'hidden costs' made obvious?
Flexibility and commitment to the project - the "X Factor"
  • Is there evidence of willingness and ability to respond quickly?
  • Is there a single point of contact for the overall project and at a country level?
  • Does the vendor have client-centric values and the capacity to meet new needs quickly when/if required?