London, 9th December 2010 – The Natural Training Company (‘Natural Training’) is celebrating success in the London region’s 2010 National Training Awards. The company has been honoured for a pioneering sales training programme that helped EMC, the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, to exceed its targets for the project.
Through the ‘Natural LIVE Call-Out Day’ programme, which was run nationwide over a 12-month period, over 350 EMC Inside Sales personnel and channel partners had their selling techniques augmented in highly-intensive coaching sessions, radically departing from traditional ‘chalk and talk’ training methods.
As a result of the training, EMC’s up-skilled inside sales teams were able to rapidly accelerate past the project’s initial targets, exceeding projected performance benchmarks and contributing to a greater opportunity pipeline to the business. This success reflects the training’s focus on improving cold-calling skills, which has helped generate a higher number of sales leads across the organisation.
The volume of business leads secured through the Natural LIVE Call-Out Day programme was one of the key achievements praised by the National Training Awards judges.
Natural Training’s managing director Paul Owen says: “EMC showed tremendous vision in how they responded to the recession. Rather than slashing training budgets in an attempt to save money, EMC decided to give their inside sales teams and channel partners the best chance of succeeding despite the weak economy. We are thrilled that EMC’s training investment paid off so well for the company and its inside sales professionals.”
Charlotte Campbell, director, sales skills EMEA at EMC, adds: “Together, EMC and Natural Training achieved something extraordinary. Through Natural LIVE, our trainees developed more confidence in calling new customers, new behaviours to make them more effective on the phone and a renewed sense that selling can be exhilarating and rewarding. The success of the programme was due to a mixture of the energy NT brought to the day, combined with some of their fresh sales training ideas.
“Importantly, Natural Training was able to truly partner with EMC through flexing its approach to meet our business needs.”
Natural LIVE, tailored to EMC’s business, rips up the rulebook of conventional classroom training. Sessions are conducted in small groups, with a maximum ratio of eight trainees to one trainer. Training is designed to be bite-sized and focused on the needs of the individual, with only 25-40 minutes in the classroom, followed by 60-90 minutes of real sales calls. During each phoning session, the trainer is on hand to coach the salesperson one-to-one. And when the calling time is up, the group reconvenes in the classroom to receive more feedback and see who has emerged ‘top of the class’ in terms of live calling success.
Paul Owen says: “The biggest challenge sales managers face is getting their sales forces to make the calls and to engage in productive activity for more of their working day. One of the main reasons that sales people avoid making more calls is that they don’t feel they have the skills to consistently engage clients in great conversations.
“Conventional sales training to address this challenge has a poor reputation for keeping sales teams engaged. By their nature, sales professionals like energy, activity and targets, so locking them in a classroom for hours on end does nothing to sustain their interest.
“Natural LIVE has proven itself to be the most successful sales training format in increasing the productive activity of sales teams because, unlike conventional training which turns out identical sales ‘robots’, its approach is based around individual personas which encourages sales people to play to their strengths and to gain more self-confidence in delivering the results they’re looking for. This is the vital difference that EMC recognised.”