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Salesforce Training at a Telecom Company

Week 4 – Session 2 – Group Task
Submit before 11:59 PM on July 11
Salesforce Training at a Telecom Company
Sales at a large telecommunications company were down for the third quarter.
Management reviewed several strategies to improve sales and concluded that
one solution would be to improve training for the large, dispersed sales force.
For the sake of expediency, the training department began using a needs
analysis it had conducted several years before as a basis to develop enhanced
training. Their plan was first to update the original needs analysis, and then
to develop new training strategies on the basis of what they found. They also
began investigating new training technologies as a possible way to reduce
training delivery costs. However management was so intent on doing
something quicky that the training department was ultimately pressured into
purchasing a generic, off-the-shelf training package from a local vendor.
One of the features of the package that appealed to management was that
the course could be delivered over the \Y./eb, saving the time and expense of
having the sales force travel to the main office to receive the training. Hence,
even though the package was costly to purchase, the company believed that
it was a bargain compared to the expense of developing a new package inhouse and delivering it in person to the sales force.
Six months after the training had been delivered, sales were still declining.
Management turned to the training department for answers. Because no
measures of training performance had been collected, the training department
had little information upon which to base its diagnosis. For lack of a better
idea, members of the training department began questioning the sales force
to see if they could determine why the training was not working.
Among other things, the sales people reported that the training was slow and
boring, and that it did not teach them any new sales techniques. They also
com-plained that without an instructor, it was impossible to get clarification
on things they did not understand. Moreover, they reported that they believed
that sales were of not because they needed training in basic sales techniques,
but because so many new products were being introduced that they could not
keep up. In fact, several of the sales people requested meetings with design
engineers just so they could get updated product information.
The training department took these findings back to management and
requested that they be allowed to design a new training package, beginning
with an updated needs analysis to determine the real training deficiencies.
1.What were the objectives of the training program? Write a training objective
for the program described in the case that contains the key elements and
components of a training objective. How would your training objective have
helped in the choice/design of a training program? How would it have helped
trainees and managers?
2.Explain how using a request for proposal (RFP) might have changed the
company's decision to purchase the training program. Do you think the
company would have purchased the same training program from the same
vendor if they had created a detailed RFP? Explain your answer.
3. If you were to design the training program, describe what you would do
dif-ferently in terms of (a) training needs analysis, (b) training objectives, (c)
training content, (d) training methods, (e) active practice and conditions of
practice, and (f) active learning. How would your training program be different
from the one described in the case? Would your program be more effective?
4.Comment on the company's decision to purchase a generic, off the shelf
training package by a local vendor. What were the advantages and
disadvan-tages? Do you think it was a good idea for the company to purchase
the training rather than to have it designed in-house? Explain your answer.
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