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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Improving Sales Performance | IMPACT Sales Leadership System – Enhancing the User Experience


Season 3 of the Improving Sales Performance Series is focused on helping sales leaders make an IMPACT on their sales performance through insight on 4 key areas: people, process, planning, and performance.

In this episode, Greg Giersch, Partner and VP of Client Experience at The Center for Sales Strategy gives viewers an overview and behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the IMPACT Sales Leadership System, digs into the user experience side of IMPACT to include what went into creating this system, the structure of the training, how long it took to build it, and more.

Tune in now to hear the Live broadcast or keep reading for a brief overview.

Behind the Building of IMPACT

Impact Sales Leadership System - Talent Defined CourseAs listeners learned last week with guest John Henley, The IMPACT Leadership System is a framework that helps improve your sales from the top, and helps any organization improve sales performance.

IMPACT started several years ago with that gathering of The Center of Sales Strategy (CSS) consultants taking a look at all of the materials they’ve used over the last 30 years and everyone agreeing that there needed to be a framework. Those internal meetings then moved to meetings with thought leaders and top-level leaders in our client base.

From conception to finish, IMPACT took approximately 2 years to build and over 1,100 hours to build. As discussed in the interview, these courses are not simply answering everyday questions and struggles, they bring a structure to the bigger picture and how to make quality decisions.

The Four “P’s” of IMPACT

There are four sections to the IMPACT Leadership System – People, Process, Plan, Performance.

  • People – This course was based on giving what we call our Growth Formula more power and structure. It’s about defining talent, but also how that connects to other areas.

  • Process – Process is based on the idea of a pyramid because you have foundational things that you must get right, such as sales structure. Everything under your sales process – Individual Focused Meetings (IFMs), CRMs, sales enablement – none of this will work without a solid foundation.

  • Plan – Plan is based on a puzzle because everyone can put a puzzle together in different ways and still get a final outcome. The topics in this section include things like annual sales planning and sales calendars, none of which you have to do first – just at a certain time of the year or when you change structures.

  • Performance –Performance was created with the mindset of an airplane dashboard. You have a lot of indicators, and if you ignore any of them then it’s a problem.

Each section eight courses that are between 5 to 15 minutes long. As pointed out in the interview, there is no added fluff in these courses. It’s very crisp, and jam-packed with important information that is affecting sales leaders today.

What is the Strategy Behind the Quiz’s vs a Final Test? 

Most sales training courses will present a final quiz at the end of the course – and sometimes even a certificate. IMPACT is not designed this way. “It was a conscious decision to create quizzes,” explains Giersch. “Quizzes are meant to be a review – frequent and spread throughout – a spot check of did I really understand that? An exam focuses on remembering names, which is important in the sales process, but not here.”

It’s important that sales managers know where to go to use the forms available throughout IMPACT. The quizzes throughout are meant to enhance the learning. The goal is not to check a box and deliver training to a group of people. The goal is to get results, drive real revenue performance, and use the information that’s in IMPACT.

“We want you to learn and use everything that you learn - not prove you finished a course,” states Giersch.

What is the Process of Building a Course? 

During the interview, Sunshine asks Giersch to describe the process of building a course. How does it happen? What are the steps?

“It all begins with a company like ours saying we need this,” explains Giersch.

It might be helpful to think of the course development process as consisting of overlapping stages: initiation, design, and development.

  • During initiation, we formulate a broad plan by asking a lot of questions and going through 30 years’ worth of materials. Then the Subject Matter Expert (SME) creates the content. Once the content is created, we got feedback from clients and consultants and began writing and editing.

  • Once the writing and editing process is finalized, we move to the design stage where we determine an instructional design on what will go on each slide and what we would like sales managers to learn.

  • After an instructional design is in place, everything to this point is reviewed by the product manager. The development stage involves several moving pieces such as downloads, quizzes, proofing, and a lot of back-end technical triggers.

It’s important to remember that all of the information in IMPACT already existed, we just found a way to put it into a repeatable and scalable format. To learn more about the process, tune in now!

Favorite IMPACT Courses

IMPACT features 32 total courses. In the previous episode, Sunshine stated his favorite courses in the system and why (click here to see those).

Giersch says that being a former sales manager, his favorite IMPACT course is on IFM’s (Individual Focus Meetings or one-on-one meetings) because the way it’s presented is you have a salesperson fill out a form and that’s the structure of your meeting. This process makes it more productive and straightforward for both the sales manager and the salesperson.

The other courses that he notably mentions are Talent Defined (click here for the FREE sample course) and Sales Structure. Tune in now to hear why those are his top picks!

If you’re a CSS client, all IMPACT courses are readily available to you through the resource center.

If you’re not CSS client, you can still use this framework to get an understanding of how to get the right people in the right positions, making sure your systems are in alignment, and ensuring all your actions and plans have a purpose.

If you’re interested in a sample course of IMPACT, we have two – click here!

Don’t miss another episode of the Improving Sales Performance series where Managing Partner Matt Sunshine speaks with thought leaders, experts, and industry gurus, who share their insight, tips, and knowledge on various topics that help companies improve sales performance.  

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Topics: sales performance IMPACT