Appleton Greene corporate training programs are all process-driven. They are used as vehicles to implement tangible business processes within clients’ organizations, together with training, support and facilitation during the use of these processes. Corporate training programs are therefore implemented over a sustainable period of time, that is to say, between 1 year (incorporating 12 monthly workshops), and 4 years (incorporating 48 monthly workshops). Your program information guide will specify how long each program takes to complete. Each monthly workshop takes 6 hours to implement and can be undertaken either on the client’s premises, an Appleton Greene serviced office, or online via the internet. This enables clients to implement each part of their business process, before moving onto the next stage of the program and enables employees to plan their study time around their current work commitments. The result is far greater program benefit, over a more sustainable period of time and a significantly improved return on investment.
Appleton Greene uses standard and bespoke corporate training programs as vessels to transfer business process improvement knowledge into the heart of our clients’ organizations. Each individual program focuses upon the implementation of a specific business process, which enables clients to easily quantify their return on investment. There are hundreds of established Appleton Greene corporate training products now available to clients within customer services, e-business, finance, globalization, human resources, information technology, legal, management, marketing and production. It does not matter whether a client’s employees are located within one office, or an unlimited number of international offices, we can still bring them together to learn and implement specific business processes collectively. Our approach to global localization enables us to provide clients with a truly international service with that all important personal touch. Appleton Greene corporate training programs can be provided virtually or locally and they are all unique in that they individually focus upon a specific business function. All (CLP) programs are implemented over a sustainable period of time, usually between 1-4 years, incorporating 12-48 monthly workshops and professional support is consistently provided during this time by qualified learning providers and where appropriate, by Accredited Consultants.
Sales Generation – History
As early as 1900–1915, advocates of sales scientific management, such as Frederick Winslow Taylor and Harlow Stafford Person, recognized that their ideas could be applied not only to manual labor and skilled trades but also to management, professions, and sales. Person promoted an early form of sales process engineering. At the time, postwar senses of the terms sales process engineering and sales engineering did not yet exist; Person called his efforts “sales engineering”.
The evolution of modern corporate life in the 1920s through 1960s, sought to apply analysis and synthesis to improve the methods of all functions within a business. After the famous NBC Whitepaper in 1980 titled “If Japan Can… Why Can’t We?” the 1980s and 1990s saw the emergence of a variety of approaches, such as business process reengineering, Total Quality Management, Six Sigma, and Lean Manufacturing. Inevitably some of the people involved in these initiatives tried to begin applying what they learned to sales and marketing.
For instance, Cas Welch was instrumental in designing and installing Westinghouse Electric’s Total Quality program. As one of the first such programs in American industry, it was emulated by other firms and government agencies. His audits of Westinghouse sales offices caused him to realize companies were mistaken in their assumption that quality applied primarily to products. “Their focus has been to remove the flies from the soup after the customer complains; not to cook the soup without flies in the first place, when it would be less expensive and time-consuming for the sales person to do it right the first time.”
James Cortada was one of IBM’s management consultants on market driven quality. His book TQM for Sales and Marketing Management was the first attempt to explain the theory of TQM in a sales and marketing context. George Antoin Smith, Jr. in Naperville, IL, an Electrical Engineering graduate of Purdue University, had been a successful Field Sales Engineer and District Sales Manager of Hewlett Packard electronic components to OEMs. In 1989 George Smith received the HP President’s Club Award for career excellence in HPs sales organization. In 1992, he started a consulting company to demonstrate to sales managers how they could tactically measure and improve sales productivity. He also wrote the Sales Quality Audit. Todd Youngblood, another ex-IBMer, in his book The Dolphin and the Cow (2004) emphasized “three core principles”: continuous improvement of the sales process, metrics to quantitatively judge the rate and degree of improvement, and a well-defined sales process.
Meanwhile, another executive from IBM, Daniel Stowell, had participated in IBM’s expansion from selling hardware in the 1960s and ’70s “the only way it knew how, through face-to-face sales” to the company’s first use of a market channel in a project known as the “Alternate Channels Marketing Test.” The idea was to incorporate direct response marketing techniques to accomplish the job of direct salespeople, and the initiative was quite successful. Notably his story illustrated the need for “consensus management” of the sales team. Traditional ways of managing sales people did not work, when team members who had to develop a new way of selling were embedded in 14 different sales offices around the US.
The culture of sales was based on intuition and gut feel, not on data and mathematical logic like the culture of operational excellence. However, many people inside the quality movement could see that the scientific mindset ought to apply to sales and marketing. Paul Selden’s “Sales Process Engineering, A Personal Workshop” was a further attempt to demonstrate the applicability of the theory and tools of quality management to the sales function. The book applied Deming’s 14 Points and the tools of quality measurement (such as check sheets, run charts, histograms, etc.), in a sales context. While the book did a great job of explaining the management theory, like most of the other books up until this time, it suffered from a lack of real examples demonstrating how such measures had actually helped salespeople sell things.
Then In 2006, Michael Webb wrote Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way. With more than 20 years of field sales, management and B2B sales training experience, Webb was the first to explain how the scientific, measurement orientation of process excellence could help salespeople sell.
He pointed out that the purpose of sales is to get customers to take actions, and this is fundamentally different than the purpose of manufacturing. Salespeople have always known they must earn the customer’s attention, their time, and their trust if they are ever to get a chance to earn any of their money. Webb pointed out the customer’s actions determined whether value or waste had been created. He included case examples of B2B companies whose management used data to make changes that improved conversions by 100% or more. It proved (both to the quality community and to the sales community) that the data-oriented tools of science could help customers buy and salespeople sell. It demonstrated a valuable alternative to management’s usual approach of just repeating the “Usual Fixes” such as sales training or CRM, which typically have little measurable or sustainable effect on productivity. The book earned 4.5 stars on Amazon and sold more than 21k copies.
Brent Wahba, an engineer with a background in Lean at GM and Delphi Automotive, also saw that root cause thinking had not yet penetrated the culture of sales and marketing management. His book “The Fluff Cycle,” criticized business writers in sales and marketing. He observed that traditional “best practices” approach as well as the insights of sales consultants usually do not work for very long. His point was that this is precisely because they are transplanted from outside the company, rather than being the result of people inside the company improving their thinking about the problems they face.
Wahba’s point was not a new one, however. In his book High-Impact Consulting, Robert Shaffer made a resounding statement about all kinds of consulting – not just sales and marketing: “No matter how wise and creative the consultant’s analysis and recommendations, they pay off only to the extent that the client does what is necessary to benefit from them. The result is that many consulting projects fail to contribute nearly as much as they might because of the implementation gap, and a great many produce virtually no lasting benefit.” As Edwards Deming said “It does not happen all at once. There is no instant pudding.”
Scientific methods enable individuals to solve problems. When an engineer succeeds with a difficult problem, he or she can become a hero to his or her company. It may not really matter if no one else understands how they did it. However, companies require many different people to collaborate if sales and marketing problems are to be solved. And people cannot collaborate without learning and sharing an explicit approach for identifying evidence, generating theories, and experimenting.
Most executives are not taught to pay attention to how their employees think and solve problems. Instead, as described by Brian Joiner in his book Fourth Generation Management, they tend to either dictate the activities they want their people to follow (called “2nd generation” management), or (when that fails) hand down objectives without regard for how they will be achieved (called “3rd generation” management).
Sales productivity has been declining due to changes in their customer’s behaviors. For example, Google and the CEB recently reported that B2B companies are avoiding salespeople until as much as 60 to 70% of their company’s decision-making process is complete. Companies who study sales and marketing, such as Forrester, commonly admit that chief sales officers are expecting difficulty securing revenue targets. CSO Insights reported that the average sales forecast has a lower probability of winning than a pass bet at the craps tables in Las Vegas. Perhaps it is no wonder the turnover rates of salespeople are often 40% or more.
In this environment, some companies are looking for alternatives. Robert Pryor points out in his book, Lean Selling, that “Lean is a methodology that revolutionizes the processes for producing products and for delivering services, and th