MarketBridge won the Gold Stevie® Award for Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year in the 2012 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top honors for sales, call center, and customer service professionals. Here we look at how the sales awards winner's training efforts directly led to higher employee performance.
In 2010, sales award winner, MarketBridge, was tasked with building a sales training and coaching program by MasterCard and Saks Fifth Avenue to help promote their joint card, the Saks Fifth Avenue World Elite MasterCard. Offered in all Saks Fifth Avenue stores nationwide, the card is complete with features and benefits designed for the upper-affluent consumer market segment.
MarketBridge was primarily charged with helping to drive new card member acquisitions, but also to solve key issues that arose during initial product roll-out including: an unbalanced and incomplete card launch, knowledge gaps among store associates as well as limited, complicated, and non-actionable training materials.
Using best sales practices, MarketBridge developed a flexible training and coaching model that allowed for modified versions of their program to fit the unique needs of regions, individual stores, departments, and store associates. MarketBridge had three training modules:
- Territory Support, which included regularly scheduled visits from an Account Executive to train, coach and, incent the store management and employees.
- Accelerator Support, which involved a 1-2 day credit event that included training, strategic credit planning, one-on-one sales coaching and, incentives, like vacations for top performers.
- Air Cover Support, which did not feature any regular Account Executive visits, but rather on-going support through distance learning and mailed materials.
Through in-store visits, MarketBridge conducted fun and interactive training classes, during which associates:
- Were taught about credit,
- Helped to overcome objectives, and
- Learned about ways to promote the co-brand to their customers.
Post-training, regardless of module, incorporated additional training tools and reinforcement materials such as takeaways, quick tips, fun facts, and games, to help ensure that learning was affective and information was retained.
In the first 3 fiscal months of 2011, the sales excellence focused module led to improved credit performance year-over-year, while reenergizing associates and increasing program participation. Three major achievements include:
- In terms of total card applications, the stores in the regions being supported by the MarketBridge program consistently outperformed the total company performance, with up to a 62 percentage point increased improvement year over year.
- A 65% training penetration in stores for 2011 contributed to higher performance and associate participation in credit.
- MarketBridge incentive initiatives alone increased private label card performance by 24%, and co-brand performance by 62%, when compared to pre-program performance.
MarketBridge is a leading global provider of technology-enabled sales and marketing solutions and services for Fortune 1000 companies, delivering client results based on an empirical approach to designing, building, and managing programs. Through their understanding of connected sales and marketing, MarketBridge helps clients make investments in brand development and demand generation to measurably drive sales productivity in both direct and indirect sales channels. MarketBridge delivers solutions via three core methodologies, MarketBlueprint, RevenueEngines, and DemandAnalytics, which are customized to fit each client’s unique business objectives. To learn more about MarketBridge, visit www.market-bridge.com.