Analyzing each training objective individually allows instructional designers to explore blended solutions and find the best possible training approach. A workbook that links all the elements is essential.

This workbook should contain technical and activity instructions, logistics, contact information, and sales training content. A blended approach to the ABC new hire sales training would include the following elements.

Objective 1: Represent the organization in a professional manner.

The asynchronous approach will be used, with the video of ABC's president, signing the dress code statement, and reading the short assignment. The blended approach also includes the culminating presentation to the field office at the end of the training period.

Objective 2: Describe the features and benefits of the company's five core products to prospective buyers.

The participants will use an e-learning tool to learn about ABC's products. Then they will enter a synchronous classroom to take a quiz about the core products, learn about features and benefits, and participate in a breakout activity.

Objective 3: Compare and contrast the company's core products with those of its closest competitors.

New hires will conduct independent research on ABC's main competitors. Participants will be assigned a partner to complete the activity used in the synchronous design. In the synchronous classroom, each team will make a presentation.

Objective 4: Target high potential prospects.

Participants will view the narrated PowerPoint presentation and survey colleagues about ideal prospect characteristics. Using the 10 prospect profiles in their workbook, they will rank order them. In the synchronous classroom, the group will discuss the prioritization.

Objective 5: Demonstrate the ability to open a sales call.

The synchronous approach of the sales call opening video will be used, followed by a group discussion. In addition, new hires will go on sales calls and write diary entries on the discussion board.

Objective 6: Demonstrate the ability to manage a prospect meeting.

An unfacilitated synchronous approach will be used initially, which includes an online tutorial about questions that uncover prospect needs. Groups of four will meet via phone or in a virtual classroom to analyze a prospect profile, identify questions for the prospect, and recommend a product. Teams will make a presentation to the synchronous class.

Objective 7: Demonstrate the ability to close a sales call.

In the blended learning approach, closing a sale is covered eight weeks after the training begins. This allows participants to learn more about the sales process. The class will be divided into groups of four for role plays in a synchronous session.

Objective 8: Manage objections.

In the blended approach, this topic is addressed six week after the training begins. In a synchronous session, participants discussion objections and how to respond to them.

Objective 9: Implement an action plan designed to meet quota in the specified time period.

New hires complete a goal setting template with their sales managers. In a synchronous session, they will discuss their expectations and whether or not they are on track.

To improve the continuity of a blended curriculum, it is common to introduce a capstone activity. For ABC, this will occur three weeks after the training ends.

It will consist of each new hire making a presentation to their field office. After the presentation, participants will write a critique and post it to the discussion board.

They will then meet with their sales managers to review the presentations, discuss areas of improvement, and determine if additional training is needed.
The blended curriculum will provide a formalized two-week learning agenda, with additional training opportunities over the first two months on the job.

Each week through week 14 on the job will offer a training opportunity; some will be required, others will be optional but strongly recommended. An additional suggestion for ABC Company is to provide additional training opportunities to new hires over the first six months on the job.

This would enable new sales people to take advantage of resources that can help them be more successful.

Author's Bio: 

Samantha Johnson is the social media manager of the website Business Book Summaries.

Business Book Summaries (BBS) provides comprehensive, concise summaries of the best business books available. Using stringent criteria, only the top business books published each year are selected to be summarized. More than 260 summaries are produced each year…that’s one each business day. The BBS Library includes more than 1,000 summaries of the top business books from the last 20 years, and is constantly growing. The summaries are available in a range of formats, from text to PDF to MP3 to PowerPoint to PDA.