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Well, constant readers, for those of you that have been following this process, we are at the end of a four month process in determining how to anchor our training program and make that investment a Sustainable Competitive Advantage (SCA).

This particular article revolves around a real life example and application. Let’s say that you have a sales person, who, by all indicators should be a rock star for your organization. Yet, that person seems to be floundering and not living up to even the minimum performance standard (that is, hitting their quota.)

If we have 12 sales persons and decide to put them all through some type of general, competency based sales training there is no doubt that they will each get some type of information from the process and, hopefully, apply it to their sales ability such that, they will earn more money for themselves as well as increasing the top line (Revenue) for the company.

Let’s further assume that the training investment is $1,000 per person, or $12,000 for the entire process. Since this is an investment there needs to be some type of discernible ROI, and for the sake of this article, let’s say that each sales person will increase revenue by $1,000. At this point you might say, if we are investing a grand and only getting back a grand it’s a push! Why bother? The answer is that the training investment occurs in one time period, but the thousand dollar increase should go on for each period that the person is employed by your company. Thus, If a sales person is with you ten years after the occurrence of the training, they should bring in an additional $10,000 in revenue. (Not bad!)

Of course, this is relative. Some sales people may do better than the projected ROI, some not as well!

So, let’s dig deeper into our problematic sales person who is not living up to their potential. What if we assessed them and found that they have a “sensitivity” issue; that is, they have a natural aversion to cold calling because of the possible rejection that they may encounter. At this point, if we were able to identify that problem and put that particular sales person though coaching, they may liberate themselves from sensitivity and become the superstar that you hoped they would become.

Even if this process was, say, $3000 for that one sales person, what if they could now bring in that same among over and over again, for their tenure with your company? Wow! Big top line increase.

Now, let’s take that further. What if, instated of broad based sales training, you have instead institutionalized the SCA of “coaching”? That process would allow each sales person to be assessed on some type of consistent basis, and coached upon their own personal performance gap. As those gaps between potential and performance decease, top line should increase in some level of direct proportion. It really takes training and development and transforms it into a scientific process.

Let’s take it further. If we did use this process of assessing and coaching to the gap with sales people, why not other employees? How about supervisors, mangers, directors, executives? (Isn’t this getting exciting?) And, what if we could coach to the gap based upon their next logical promotion? What I mean is we don’t coach a supervisor to the gap of a supervisor, but to the gap of a manager. As we coach to the gap of the next logical promotion, our staff will constantly be engaged and motivated since the learning process will eventually reach critical mass.

Thus, our learning and development process is now an SCA!

I have endeavored, over the past four months to give you a broad understanding of Organizational Development as a SCA. Of course every company and every situation within every company is different. There is no cookie cutter approach to this process, however, it is one of the most dynamic and enjoyable processes that an executive can embark upon!

Contact Bill at or 570-430-9303.