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Blended Training Approach to Most Effectively Learn New Methodology

Becton, Dickinson, and Company

Challenge

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) is a multinational manufacturer and seller of medical devices, instrument systems, and reagents. The Diabetes Care division had identified a critical new sales channel for a new product, and recognized that as a result, its sales force would need to change its selling methodology. Specifically, success in the new channel needed to emphasize strategic thinking and consultative selling, rather than transactional interactions with buyers, as well as learning to sell in an entirely new sales environment unlike the office setting to which they were accustomed.

Solution

BD engaged with our team to design and develop a customized training that could be rolled out in concert with their annual sales meeting. We began by conducting a gap analysis of the new market and the skills and behaviors required to move from a solution selling to consultative selling model. With the results of the analysis, we designed a blended training program that incorporated self-paced eLearning, in-person practice exercises and a printed reference guide.

Since eLearning is particularly well-suited for background knowledge, we created a 1-hour course to provide the sales team with an overall understanding of the business processes and points of influence in the new market for sales staff to complete prior to the meeting. To maximize its impact, the eLearning course included self-check questions, scored simulations and exercises.

Then, to put the information into practice, we created a number of scenarios to be presented at the sales meeting that required the sales team to not only practice customer interaction, but business planning also. These live exercises included role playing various sales scenarios they are likely to encounter in future sales opportunities.

The final component we developed was a guide for future reference and learning. This 35-page sales playbook included tactics and best practices for closing sales in the new market, the competitive landscape, marketing materials, target accounts, and account call plans. Most importantly, the playbook contained additional exercises the sales team could do afterwards to continue sharpening their skills.

From decades working in the medical device industry, we knew that additional time would be required for BD’s regulatory review of the training materials. So, we developed a comprehensive and aggressive schedule upfront to enable time for regulatory review as well as, ample time for the sales people to complete the online training prior to the sales meeting, so they could make the most effective use of their time in-person.

Results

By training BD’s entire Diabetes Care sales force on the new sales channel and methodology, the sales team improved their ability to be more effective when selling in the new sales channel. BD has strengthened its sales team’s capabilities as they prepare for future product launches – allowing them to hit the ground running in a challenging new market.

Additionally, the company now has a comprehensive, self-paced eLearning product to prepare new staff moving forward — one that doesn’t rely solely on live trainers.