By Margery Weinstein
At ADP, the Major Accounts Sales Trainee and Sales Office Week Program accelerates new sales associates' productivity and exposes them to the ADP culture by giving newly hired associates access to tenured ADP experts, exposing them to on-the-job sales experiences, and delivering relevant content using cutting-edge technology and a blended curriculum that makes hearty use of live classroom training.
ADP says the blended learning approach Major Accounts uses includes:
• Individual instruction
• Group discussion
• Online assignments reviewed and commented on by nine different learning consultants
• Experiential field learning
• First-hand exposure to the ADP Sales Process
• Asynchronous Learning via the ANGEL Learning Environment
• Live classroom application
New sales associates complete nine weeks of training that blends ADP product knowledge with sales and messaging skills within the ANGEL Learning Environment. As they complete the lessons each week, they receive feedback and coaching from a learning consultant. Each week the new hires work with a different learning consultant so they will be exposed to a wide variety of knowledge through the course of the program.
Once the sales associates complete the nine weeks of baseline training and receive a territory, they attend live classroom training at the company's main training facility, Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree.
ADP says this classroom training gives the new associates a head start with their territory by allowing them to begin practicing the sales process with the guidance of a highly trained learning consultant.
The company is pleased with the results it has seen. Some 93 percent of sales leaders agree the new hire program has accelerated their new sales associates' ramp-up and readiness to assume an assigned territory; 93 percent of sales leaders agree the debrief calls they receive from the learning consultants identify key strengths/opportunities for development in their new sales associates; and more than 1,100 new appointments have been set in the Sales Office Week by new sales associates the first year.
Vice President, Learning and Talent Management Karen Kichline-Ruef offers tips on implementing sound classroom training in a sales associate new hire program:
1. Constant Communication
2. Preparation for Facilitators, Participants, and Managers
3. Connect the class with the larger business environment.
Our approach includes engaging guest speakers, executive hosts, and leaders in partner functions such as Implementation. The voice of the client is a prevalent focus throughout our programs.
4. Align content with business goals and market changes.
Our approach includes a traditional competency-based approach, as well as a rigorous focus on ensuring content is field relevant and models the way we expect our sales associates to stay abreast of market changes to provide maximum insight and value to our clients.
5. Listen to the client.
We continue to improve programs and maximize their impact through a close partnership with sales leaders, front-line management, and participants as a key component of our ongoing research and innovation efforts.
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