CooperVision is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of soft contact lenses and related products and services. Every year CooperVision hosts an internal conference, the Americas Sales Conference (ASC), for their regional sales team. The purpose of this conference is for CooperVision to equip their sales force with the latest data, industry trends, knowledge, and skills to effectively market CooperVision’s products to eye care professionals.
Equipping the salesforce with the latest data, industry trends, knowledge and skills to effectively market products.
For the 2017 conference, the sales managers planned to present workshops on three different topics: The Business of Optometry, 1 Day Strategy Execution, and Business Selling Conversations. To prepare their sales managers to facilitate these workshops, CooperVision enlisted the help of GP Strategies®.
Under an extremely tight deadline, GP Strategies’ collaborative team stepped up to the challenge to create a highly engaging solution that included high-gloss materials; instructionally sound and activity-rich workshops; an interactive digital game; and a Sales Success Playbook that sales representatives could use after the conference. These learning assets were delivered to learners using partner platforms Allego and Showpad, which integrate mobile cloud and video technology. All modules for the workshops consisted of a facilitator guide, presentation materials, a participant workbook, and five to six quiz questions.
The project included three sustainment modules, one for each of the three workshop topics, deployed virtually by CooperVision Sales Force Development. These were delivered to learners in the weeks and months following the conference.
GP Strategies provided major assets including an interactive, highly visual Sales Success Playbook packed with current research, company-provided information, sales tools, job aids, and links to additional assets and resources. Examples of these resources include customer testimonials via Allego videos, job aids aimed at helping sales representatives handle common objections/challenges, and PowerPoint decks. GP Strategies also provided detailed facilitator guides for the regional directors to use during their facilitation of multiple workshops during their internal national conference held in December. GP Strategies tailored the playbook to meet the sales team’s specific needs. Additionally, GP Strategies provided a sustainment plan with modules consisting of a 60-minute PowerPoint presentation designed to minimize the use of WebEx advanced features and to focus instead on highlighting key points from the workshops.
Since CooperVision’s sales managers would be facilitating the workshops that GP Strategies developed, the sales managers needed to be trained on the delivery. GP Strategies set up on-site train-the-trainer (TTT) sessions for workshop modules. A GP Strategies lead instructional systems designer (ISD) led the training for each workshop module with the CooperVision facilitators. These TTT sessions consisted of a detailed walkthrough of workshop materials and instructions for facilitating the workshop and conducting all activities. In addition to the on-site TTT sessions, GP Strategies provided virtual TTT sessions, conducted using WebEx, for the sustainment modules. This training focused on preparing the facilitators to deliver the sustainment webinars.
Following the conference, CooperVision partnered with GP Strategies again to provide regular updates to the Sales Success Playbook throughout 2018, ensuring that sales representatives are aware of the latest industry trends, product releases, sales strategies, marketing tools, and relevant sales data. This playbook is released to sales representatives quarterly using the Showpad platform and is available via their computers or mobile devices.
In addition, CooperVision Sales Force Development and GP Strategies together have designed, developed, and released additional collateral sales training for sales representatives, including a training module that representatives can use to explain the value proposition of 1 day contact lenses, training on a new sales data analysis tool, and presentations and resources on these new modules.
The Sales Success Playbook was delivered to sales representatives and regional directors in advance of the conference. Asking sales representatives to complete preconference assignments was a new approach for CooperVision and was favorably received by learners who felt well prepared during the conference.
Regional directors who delivered the workshop training were well equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to be effective presenters by the TTT event. The ASC was held over two days in December 2017. Sales representatives provided feedback following the live event. They reported feeling much more educated and prepared for complex customer conversations.
In a quickly evolving industry, where even eye care professionals often feel overwhelmed, our sales representatives reported having more valuable insights to share with their customers to help navigate the changing industry and challenges within. The workshop design, collateral, and preparation helped ensure that all sales representatives, regardless of tenure, received valuable information that could be immediately applied back on the job.
One of the most highly rated deliverables from the sales conference was the Sales Success Playbook—so much so that sales leadership requested that this asset continue quarterly. To meet this need, the sustainment plan was adjusted to included quarterly Sales Success Playbooks that continued to provide the newest industry information and sales effectiveness tools available to their sales representatives. Regional directors saw considerable value in these tools as a way to keep their teams educated and valuable in the eyes of the customer. With each new edition, asset views doubled or more, showcasing the desirability and validity of this project.