Time to read: 3 Minutes
Companies with salespeople who sell around the globe are starting to recognize the importance of finding effective sales training to create a standardized approach throughout their organization.
When working with global customers, salespeople may find that purchasing decisions are made in a home office located in a different country. Global sales training creates consistency in the sales process, which becomes especially important when people need to collaborate with peers from different parts of the world.
Standardized global training also prepares your people to grow inside your own organization. Training with consistent principles allows companies to develop a diverse, multinational management team in their respective local regions, where people can be groomed to work in a different region—or even step up to operate on the global level.
This sort of cohesiveness is not usually possible when regional teams implement their own training. So let’s explore the steps to developing an effective, global sales training.
1. Create a multi-regional, global steering committee
We’ve previously discussed that the first step to creating sales training that sticks is intentional planning. This remains true when planning training on a global level.
When discussing key objectives in a global organization it’s important that a representative from every region is present and heard. Language and culture always play a role in how people go about selling, which means you will find different needs, strengths, and weaknesses throughout every international organization. Market dynamics will also vary around the globe as business may not be as developed in one region as another.
2. Conduct discovery calls in each region
Globalized training has to account for nuances in language, technology, and culture. A consistent sales approach that takes these nuances into account is easier to develop than one might think. However, this is only true when the right questions are asked of the right people.
For example, while developing training for a global chemical company, we found their salespeople in Asia and Africa relied heavily on WhatsApp for customer communication. This was not the case in other regions like North America. Instead of forcing one region to adopt the techniques of the other, we simply incorporated WhatsApp into the appropriate parts of training so our principles seamlessly fit into the region-specific tools they were already using.
3. Run a pilot
After a plan is in place and training has been created, it’s time to run a pilot with a select group of individuals from each region. There need to be effective mechanisms for collecting feedback and measuring training success in all regions, so a decision can be made as to whether the training should go live throughout the entire organization.
4. Go live
For training that is done in-person, each region should have a lead facilitator who is responsible for bringing everyone up to speed. Insight the steering committee learned about various regions should be shared with lead facilitators so they can be more effective during training. Facilitators should never operate inside a vacuum.
It is also advisable to mix regions that share a common language into a single virtual training whenever possible. Many salespeople think they already know the most effective approach to sales, but people are more apt to listen, learn, and change when respected peers from other parts of the world share a unique perspective toward solving a common challenge. It is powerful watching cross-cultural colleagues uncover fresh ideas for acquiring new business as they work and learn together.
The Benefits of Being Virtual
After analyzing the self-reported assessments of virtual and in-person attendees, we’ve found there are no real differences between the two formats when it comes to individual growth of personal selling skills.
That makes virtual training an attractive option for global companies, especially since it is typically much less expensive than live in-person training.
If your organization wants to roll out an effective global training program, I would encourage you to learn more about our award-winning IMPACT Selling® Seminar. It’s a proven sales process that’s been taught to over one million sales professionals. Through an instructor-led format, salespeople will learn how to close more deals, more often.