Since 2001, George Ludwig has helped organizations like yours dramatically improve their productivity and performance. His clients range from corporate giants like Johnson & Johnson and Northwestern Mutual to mid-size companies like Cutera, STAAR Surgical, and Biolase Technology right down to small entrepreneurial firms like TimeMed Labeling Systems and Team REIL.
What makes Ludwig’s clients rave about his services? They say it’s his holistic, customized approach. When someone calls asking for “sales training,” he doesn’t try to superimpose a set of generic techniques. Instead, he examines the company organically, searching for “best practices” by diagnosing factors like:
1. Corporate Culture
Starting with your CEO on down, is it sales-, manufacturing-, or operations-focused?
What’s your company’s philosophy as it relates to sales?
Do you really live by the philosophy?
2. Sales Strategy
Is your company laser-focused when it comes to sales?
What arenas are you playing in?
What markets are you going after?
Is everyone headed in roughly the same direction?
3. Sales Structure
Do you have the right sales rep profile?
The right number of sales reps?
Does your structure reflect your overall sales strategy?
How are you deploying your reps: geographically, by market segment, etc.?
Do you have the right field managers in place?
The right ratio of managers to salespeople?
4. Sales Process Methodology
How does it work? Describe the steps of the process. From the greeting handshake to the deal- closing handshake, what do your salespeople’s best practices look like across the process?
Do your tactics reflect your strategy?
Do you follow a system that adheres to the philosophy that how you sell is as important as what you sell?
5. Sales Training
Is it sporadic or ongoing?
Do you have spot-on customized training based on your sales process?
Is it being delivered in such a way that your team buys in and commits to improving their behaviors?
Are you reinforcing your training consistently?
Are your front-line managers holding your people accountable for improving their selling behaviors?
6. Hiring Practices
Have you developed a template for hiring the right people to meet the specific criteria necessary for sales success in the markets in which you play?
Do you have a truly effective way to help your managers interview for these criteria?
7. Sales Compensation
Is your company’s sales compensation driving the kinds of behaviors you want to see? (It’s not about total payout; it’s about how you disperse it to drive behaviors.)
8. Sales Management
What happens when you promote a salesperson to a management position?
Do you provide any sales leadership training?
What about coaching training?
If a rep is weak on, say, consultative questioning, are managers able to help him or her improve?
9. Sales Pipeline
Is your organization effective at managing your sales pipeline?
Do your managers forecast accurately?
Do your managers help their sales team maximize their sales funnels and not waste their precious time on marginal opportunities?
Have you implemented a Sales Force Automation (SFA) Tool that effectively guides your sales organization on what to do and where to go and gives you an accurate dashboard view as well?
Or your SFA Tool bogging your salespeople down with busy work and is really automating only chaos?
10. Metrics & Accountability
Do you have the right kind of metrics and accountability practices?
Do you have the right scorecard?
Are you measuring the right things and holding people accountable for delivering them?
Have you established a culture of constant accountability?
Once Ludwig has audited all these components, he has a clear picture of:
a) which “best practices” are already in place and
b) which areas your company needs to strengthen
This provides a "big picture" context that ensures the strategies and techniques learned during his sales training take root and grow in all of your salespeople. After all, even the best training in the world won't work well if you're hiring the wrong people or if your compensation structure is inherently de-motivating.