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Technical Training for Sales Roles


I am calling on my training zone colleagues to offer some advice and maybe some experience.

I am the L&D Manager for a Hosted It company which historically had dealt with mobile communications.

Our sales teams had a great understanding of our telecoms product and were successful at delivering on this.  As our business has moved into other specialisms we have attempted to upskill the sales force through product training, skills training & all repeated a number of times.

They have had some success delivering on our extended product range but the results demand further development.  I have consulted with the relevant line managers and have suggested that we bring in a partner company of ours to bespoke a technical sales course for them focussing on the products we offer, what questions to ask and further technical information to aid them in articulating the return on investment to prospective customers.

The line managers would preffer that we use off the shelf training delivered via webinar to meet this need.

I am slightly frustrated as I believe we need to look at their exact requirements and meet the need rather than trying to shoe horn something in that is easier at this stage but will potentially not be as successful as a consultative bespoke programme.

Does anyone have any advice, suggestions on how best to manage this challenge?  I am tempted to consult with the partner anyway but am concerned that without line manager buy in it will be doomed to fail.

Thanks in anticipation,


One Response

  1. When solutions collide

    Hi Julie

    Your situation reminds me of one that a boss of mine used to demonstrate – his need to get his own way.

    Let me explain; when his solution to the problem was different to mine he piled on the pressure to get me to change my views and fall in line with him.  It was like putting more and more weights onto a set of scales until the scales eventually broke. He could then believe he had won the argument.

    How did I feel?  upset, abused, submissive, dis-engaged and unwilling.

    He got his solution implemented but he rarely got the results he predicted, as I and my colleagues showed no passion for implementing the solution.  It wasn’t ours.

    Can I suggest an alternative to you?

    My experience is that when people propose differing solutions, it’s because they have differing views of the problem.

    So I suggest that you re-engage with our line manager colleagues and focus again on exploring and defining the problem and its elements.  Your aim being to craft a mutually accepted and agreed problem/desired outcome definition.  You might consider using something like the Goals Grid to guide your discussions.

    With this definition it is more likely that the appropriate course of action will naturally emerge.  And if you still have differing opinions about the solution, you can then use the definition to help decide which is most appropriate, or use the discussion to identify further elements needed to improve your problem/outcome definition.

    Hope that helps.  Would love to know what you decide to do.

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