Category Archives: Sales

Learning & Development is More than a Class


When our Consultants at Learning Dynamics meet with clients to discuss training initiatives, we always start by asking what the client wants to accomplish. Combined with a thorough understanding of the current conditions within the client’s company, sometimes down to the individual employee, we make recommendations that go beyond training alone. Here is the story of one client engagement that called for much more than instructor-led training.

Our client was a small specialty healthcare organization, and it saw some need to improve performance in its patient contact center. The department was made up of contact center agents and a supervisor tasked with training them, monitoring performance, coaching, and delivering on revenue objectives. Senior management’s opinion was that their people could be doing more.

Learning Dynamics engaged in a detailed review of the workflow, the talent, and obstacles to success. By bringing in a Consultant with contact center management as well as learning and development experience, we were able to identify several opportunities to help. Our proposed solution included instructor-led patient service training, follow-up written training materials (Learning Dynamics Skills Sharpeners), and performance coaching for the supervisor. Significantly, our solution also included developing a call monitoring and evaluation tool so the supervisor had a standard process and criteria to evaluate performance.

The process of creating the call monitoring tool was itself revealing. Our Consultant sat with the supervisor, listened to recorded calls, and identified immediately some opportunities for improvement. One issue – extended and unnecessary hold times – was addressed immediately. The tool continues to be used for agent coaching and has helped produce great results.

This engagement also allowed us to demonstrate flexibility to respond to the client’s needs. Toward the end of the coaching period, a senior manager identified agents’ time management and prioritization skills as needing further development. Knowing that pulling all agents off the phones for a long class was not practical, we created a 45-minute webinar, delivered before the contact center opened for the day, that delivered the essentials of what the agents needed. The feedback has been terrific.

This story is just one example of our ability and willingness to collaborate with our clients to customize a solution that meets your organization’s unique needs. Connect with us today to start the conversation about Investing in People™.

Call 203.265.7499 or email

Taking the Stress out of Sales Training

bob sellThe Learning Dynamics team just completed a sales training roll out with a new community bank client. The program, Building Customer Relationships, is an introduction to sales concepts for people who do not consider themselves to be sales people.  This bank chose to include all of its branch employees; everyone from tellers to branch managers participated. What we heard loud and clear, from the senior leaders to the people in the branches, was that a hard-core sales message that could damage customer service was not what they wanted. We didn’t do that, nor would it be wise to do so.

The stress in sales training (and the sales profession in general) comes from asking people to engage in high-pressure tactics that put the company’s needs and interests ahead of the customers’. Most people don’t want to do that. They enjoy treating customers with respect and as they would want to be treated. For most, this does not include being “sold to.”

Here is an important point: the world has changed, and people will not tolerate the hard sell.

Daniel Pink, in his book To Sell is Human, talks about the nature of information in today’s economy. Everyone has information about everything. New companies launch almost daily to provide consumers with information, reviews and tools (e.g., True Car, Angie’s List, Trip Advisor and others) to educate themselves and to negotiate the best possible price. Many car buyers, to name one scenario, have done more research and know more about their dream rides than the people selling them. The old days of the seller having all the information and using this to set the terms of the deal are long gone.

Today’s sales paradigm must start with customer relationships. In our world where competitors and their information are a click or a tap away, smart companies will maximize the value and emphasis on that which cannot be replicated with an app or a few lines of code. That something is people.

Customers want to be understood. Honest, professional employees will want to help customers uncover unmet or poorly-met needs. That can only happen when there is a relationship built on trust that evolves into genuine conversation with the interests of solving problems and making the customer’s situation better.

When the customer wins, the company will win with happy employees who feel like they are making a positive difference. They also benefit from customer loyalty, referrals, and positive word of mouth.

If your employees are not building customer relationships, if they are using stale and wearisome sales tactics, you could find a better way. High pressure is not sustainable. Relationships built on trust, service, and value will stand up over time and will make it much tougher for competitors to poach your best customers.

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Learning Dynamics offers customizable sales and customer service training programs, including Building Customer Relationships. Ask us today about how we can help your organization.