At Sellex we are passionate about sales training and capability development, and have long held the view that many of the various offerings of Account Management training available are not keeping pace with the market and its rapid rate of change.
To back this up, we went out and gained feedback from leading consumer goods companies, by getting more than 50 Commercial Directors and Sales Directors to complete a short survey on their teams’ selling skills. The themes we uncovered; we regularly discuss with senior business leaders…
- Account Managers are trained with what’s available, rather than what they really need. Although there are extensive offerings in some specialist areas such as category management and negotiation, other critical skill areas such as channel/ account strategy, revenue management and sales mind-set are not well provided for. We received feedback from some Directors that they are training what is available, rather than what they really need.
- Relationship skills have gone out of fashion, but, are still a burning platform. Our respondents all agreed that relationships are less important than they have been in the past, but they were emphatic that they are still a pivotal foundation of any account manager’s skillset. The consistent feedback was that account managers are spending too much time sat in the office, and not enough time building professional and collaborative relationships with key stakeholders within the customer.
- Line Manager involvement is crucial, training shouldn’t be outsourcing development. Over 85% of our respondents agreed that training workshops were still the best way to build skills, but nearly all of them voiced frustration about the sustainment of these new skills in the workplace, and the tendency of their salespeople to “revert to type” when the pressure is on. Respondents also bemoaned the fact that Line Managers are not involved and can even see training programs as a way of “outsourcing” development.
- Technology is under-utilised in building the skills of a modern account manager. The respondents were generally not enthusiastic about online learning, but they nearly all voiced a frustration that technology is not being used to improve the effectiveness of skill-building within their businesses.
Based on these insights, we developed The Sellex Academy, an account manager training platform, that we believe is a unique and leading-edge account management offering. The key characteristics of the Sellex Sales Academy are…
- The Academy comprises 13 modules which deliver the full skillset of the modern account manager, everything from planning to revenue management to selling and influencing. We don’t expect all clients to deploy all modules, but, there’s a solution to every modern account management skill gap in The Academy.
- Modules are delivered in a truly sustainable way, through a unique 5-step process (of which the workshop is just one step), that drives the accountability of the delegate and their Line Manager to take their new-found skills back to their day job and make them stick.
- Technology now plays a critical role in The Sellex Academy, in two ways: firstly, The Academy is housed in a secure portal which allows clients to review available modules, sign up for them, track who has done what, and access everything they need to work through the 5 steps for each module; secondly, an App has been designed with the specific objective of prompting delegates to quickly and easily exercise new skills and approaches in “their moment of need”, when the pressure is really on.
The Sellex Academy is designed to help account managers step-change their skills and to be prepared for the myriad industry changes that are happening as we approach 2020 and beyond. To learn more about The Sellex Academy or to arrange a meeting click on the contact button, and we would be delighted to understand your challenges and give you a view on how The Sellex Academy can help.