What were the triggers which created the need for this commercial excellence initiative? (0:25 – 1:13)
What were the key deliverables in the program(s)? (1:13 – 1:51)
What is your opinion about the approach SPI takes to blended learning?(1:51 – 2:36)
What is your opinion about how the training sessions were conducted / experience of SPI trainers? (2:36 – 3:50)
What are the largest differentiators you notice in the sales managers before and after they completed the program? (3:50 – 4:29)
What impact do you see / you expect to see the training program have within your organization? (4:29 – end)
The very short version is that I am Fredrik Leander, as you said, I am global director for the training and professional education department for the commercial side of the company.
Hi, I’m Erik Ostby, I’m the Global Director for Commercial Excellence in Mölnlycke.
What were the triggers which created the need for this commercial excellence initiative?
So, we have the need to consistently, constantly drive improvement of sales capability, so that we can drive sales performance and sales. And we have put a lot of investment and resources in the sales force. However, we need to now shift some of those investments to enabling sales management. The reason for that is that the Sales Managers are the ones who have responsibility for the sales reps and their development, and then through their development, developing the business. So, we believe that investing in the sales managers’ ability to develop talent and sales capabilities, we will have a higher return.
What were the key deliverables in the program(s)?
So, the key deliverables in the programs are for the first year now: how the sales managers are coaching the pipeline, coaching the opportunities, the planning of the sales reps, and have them reviewing the opportunities in the pipeline. We can call that like business coaching; the second part is skill coaching; how effective you are in front of the customer in the moment of truth. Then we have plans for the second year that we actually need to decide soon.
What is your opinion about the approach SPI takes to blended learning?
This is key for us, because of the support of the blended learning approach. What I liked with your offering is that you first of all have some sort of micro-lessons, bite-sized preparation activities in order to get up to speed, to get the basics, the knowledge, the basics in place, so we have common understanding. Then you actually have reinforcement activities, so it’s a very nice way of starting the training before you have the face-to-face, and then, when the people are back home and doing the day-to-day work, they can actually take more micro-lessons in order to reinforce and to recap and to take it to the next level.
What is your opinion about how the training sessions were conducted / experience of SPI trainers?
So far, we have had one pilot, we have had one session in the US, one in Germany and France and now, last week, in region North. And so far, we can see that the response is very positive; we are looking of course after the happy sheep, we have happy participants, but even more important, we are also checking the initial feedback when it comes to how confident are you in actually go back home and start applying, using these tools, this way of working. And on average I think that on a scale from 1 to 5, where 5 is the highest, we have a confidence level rating at, I think, 4.5, and that is quite powerful. I know that this is only a good start, because then you have a lot of hard work back home and you have to actually implement it and you have to start applying it, but the feeling, after the training, that the sales managers have, “I feel confident, or very confident to go back home and start applying it, I have understood the concept, I have practiced, I feel confident”. That’s an extremely important start, to actually start this change in the daily work.
What are the largest differentiators you notice in the sales managers before and after they completed the program?
So, the largest differentiators for the program that we can see right now is that we continue of course to do the pipeline reviews and the regular business reviews between sales managers and reps, but what we can see is improving is the depth of the conversation, that is more to the point, is more useful; we can see that the tools are used, we can see that customers’ insights and data in the system is more complete; that is the first indicator that we can see that is actually making the difference.
What impact do you see / you expect to see the training program have within your organization?
In long term, it is that we have a better coaching culture, because today people understand coaching is important, but there is a gap between „I understand it is important“ and to find time to do it. So, what we will do with this is to make people more confident to have a coaching dialogue, about the pipeline and the opportunities, be better in analyzing, identifying improvement areas, and have a dialogue with the sales rep in order to move these people forward in their skills in these areas. So, there is: firstly, improving the focus on coaching. Secondly, increase the activities focusing on coaching when it comes to pipelines, opportunities, and late on the calls before and during the course, and then, in the end, increase the quality and the win ratio. So it’s a lot of leading indicators, and then in the end it is a better win ratio. So that’s long-term thing, now we’re only focusing on the leading indicators.