Chapter 11Getting the Most from Sales Training

In 1996, Bloomberg Businessweek featured an article titled “Ryder Sees the Logic of Logistics.”1 The story outlined the shift at Ryder from primarily renting, leasing, and selling trucks to primarily “planning transport for others.” Imagine the impact this change in strategy had on the Ryder sales force. One day the titles on their business cards are something akin to Truck Sales. The next it’s more like Global Supply Chain Management and Integrated Logistics Solutions Consultant.

In the 1990s, the shift to logistics in the shipping industry was a forceful trend. At that time we were working with a company facing the same kind of transition as Ryder. The charge was to transform a truck sales force into logistics consultants.

Take an old-school truck sales and leasing strategy, and boil it down. You get something like, “You wanna buy a truck? Oh, good. What kind of truck?” When the company’s whole strategy changed to logistics, everything needed to change. Describing the sales transformation necessary would take pages. Instead of doing that, we’ll just tell you the title of the training initiative: (Name of company) Insight Sales.

Before that time and since, consultants at RAIN Group have transformed sales forces across industries to raise their game and drive their own demand by selling ideas and inspiring buyers to think differently. In this chapter, we share seven keys to success we’ve learned over the years for what it takes ...

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