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Fruitful Selling Ltd,
Basepoint Bromsgrove,
Isidore Road, Bromsgrove Technology Park,
Bromsgrove B60 3ET


George Blakeway: 00 44 (0) 7812 568117

E: info@fruitfulselling.com

Co Reg - 7526998
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Sales Academies

Our guide to developing a Sales Academy

What is a Sales Academy? A Sales Academy can mean different things to different people...

  • For the sales person a Sales Academy can “professionalise” the way that they do their job.
  • For a Manager, it can be a development tool to Coach their team.
  • For a Sales Director is can be a strategic deployment tool to focus the right skills at the right part of the market.
  • For the Learning and Development professional, it can align competencies with a professional development pathway.
  • For Human Resources it offers talent management and succession planning strategies.
  • For an applicant, it can be a reason to apply for a job. 

With the potential to add value to all of these areas of your business, where do you start?

How do you add these values to your business?

If you want everyone to be aligned, you need to start at the top. Gaining qualitative feedback from managers and the sales people about what they need is vital. However, to “future proof” the academy, it needs to be informed by the strategic planning function of the organisation. If your market place is contracting, competition increasing, vendors consolidating and raw materials increasing, it's going to affect your approach to Key Account Management, Negotiation and your entry strategy into prospects.

This macro level view acts as a compass to make sure that all decisions link to the “big picture.” In fact, a hidden benefit of a Sales Academy is that it is also a way to communicate and reinforce the organisation's strategy (a frequent complaint of sales people is that they see no coherent sales strategy).

Alignment between business functions

With that in place, it is an opportunity to make sure we have the right roles, goals and controls. A multi-disciplinary steering group is a key part of agreeing priorities but also of maintaining the relevance and focus of the Academy long into the future.

Competencies and observable behaviours help us define what changes in behaviour need to happen to drive the right change in result. A Training Needs Analysis will only get so far at this stage, we also need to understand and benchmark what separates your most successful sales from the rest. Once isolated, we can drive highly focussed behaviours with specific interventions and coaching strategies.

Defining the ciurriculum

Now we know what we want them to do, we need to identify what they need to know to be able to do it. This is about clustering some areas of content that will support the desired behaviours and in turn, the desired result. This could include a range of programme content from sales fundamentals, negotiation, account management or presentation skills all at benchmarked levels of progression.

The areas of content and levels of competence can then be plotted against the different career development pathways within the sales organisation and the Sales Academy starts to take shape. The art here is to give enough structure to have a clear progression in role and ability, while allowing enough flexibility for individuals to plot and own their own development route.

The style of interventions is then developed. Whether it is a workshop, simulation, shadowing or blended solution we develop the pathway that generates the best return on investment for that chosen pathway.

Setting Expectations

With a brand in place, the communication strategy and launch is organised. Starting with the Managers, pre course and post course coaching protocols are established and the roll out plan is developed.

We deliver most of our Academy programmes for our clients using our international faculty. However, we also run Train The Trainer programmes to make our clients completely self sufficient.

To make the Sales Academy aspirational and high profile, we then develop an internal brand and a strategy to promote that brand. Here is an example of a multiple pathway Academy that we developed for an organisation that promotes investment into London:

Our in house design team developed the concept to reflect a uniquely London brand that showed individual groups how their route through the Sales Academy was structured and where it connected with other parts of the organisation.

With a brand in place, the communication strategy and launch is organised. Starting with the Managers, pre course and post course coaching protocols are established and the roll out plan is developed.

We deliver most of our Academy programmes for our clients using our international faculty. However, we also run Train The Trainer programmes to make our clients completely self sufficient.