For any company, hosting a successful national sales conference is an ordeal. For Chuck Mengel, training manager for Sherwin-Williams, a January event in Dallas that schooled nearly 1,900 salespeople in the company's Seven-Step Sales Process was no exception.
Only this time, in addition to the usual necessary preparation, Sherwin-Williams decided to incorporate audience response technology. After securing the rental of approximately 1,700 TurningPoint audience ResponseCards from Turning Technologies, Mengel and his colleagues conducted a two-day train-the-trainer session to give conference session facilitators and masters of ceremonies time to develop interactive presentations. To ensure it ran smoothly, Turning Technologies had 14 technicians on hand at the event.
The sales training conference was inspired by an event the previous September for which Sherwin-Williams, a producer of paints and coatings, used 150 ResponseCards to enhance a meeting about coaching. The company wanted to go beyond the "had a nice time" evaluations it usually received from attendees after training events. So trainers looked to TurningPoint ResponseCards to capture and quantify learning at its four training centers. After those early efforts proved successful, managers figured TurningPoint also would help reinforce the Seven-Step Sales Process.
A quiz-based training session that utilized the ResponseCards was organized. Quiz questions were based on sales rep knowledge and understanding of the Seven Steps. For the 14 separate sessions at the conference, sales teams of 80 to 260 people were created based on their geographic sales areas. Each individual on the team was given a ResponseCard, with geographic teams competing by their number of correct responses to 40 questions. At each 10-question interval, teams received feedback on how they ranked relative to their competitors. Because the teams were comprised of different numbers of people, team scores were weighted accordingly. Members of the winning team won a lapel pin and bragging rights. But more importantly, the event encouraged participation through friendly competition, a type of learning Sherwin-Williams values. Sales conference participants were just as happy with the results as their managers, says Mengel. Feedback was upbeat, with learners excited about what audience response technology could accomplish in a short span of time.
The purchasing decision on the TurningPoint system didn't encounter any objections from Sherwin-Williams decision makers. With a constant stream of new hires, says Mengel, there is an ever-present need to train. An enthusiastically received audience response system is an effective way to get reps up to speed while assuring learning has occurred, too.
To learn more call 866-746-3015 or visit www.turningtechnologies.com.