The difficulty of aligning sales teams within Wellpoint became clear as early as 2004 when the company merged with Anthem. Later, the business further expanded acquiring Blue Cross, Blue Shield coverage in 14 states. The result: Wellpoint needed to develop a consistent process across all sellers. Therefore, they created five core competencies that apply to both national and local sellers. These goals required a scalable approach in which all sellers relied on the same language and methods to achieve the same results. This consistency is important because it lends itself to the kind of rigorous measurement that reveals the efficacy of sales efforts. Richardson devised a customised Consultative Selling and Developmental Coaching programme to upskill sales professionals and ensure manager alignment across the organisation.
The impact of training on the job, as measured by business results, reached 85% illustrating that training had a high relevancy to everyday challenges.
“Delivery” earned a score of 94% indicating the effectiveness of instructors when engaging with sellers.
“Learning Effectiveness” reached 89% representing broad skill adoption among sellers.
“I felt that the way they related the information to our everyday job was very helpful. The exercises and activities really made you think and apply the information to our real-life responsibilities.”
Sales Agent, Wellpoint
The revised sales approach required three steps. First, baseline measurements would determine current abilities. Second, Wellpoint needed training to provide industry-relevant solutions to selling. Finally, post-training reinforcement was necessary so sellers would retain what they learned. After reviewing twelve sales training providers, Wellpoint determined that Richardson was best positioned to elicit the needed engagement from participants. Richardson devised a customised Consultative Selling programme to implement at Wellpoint. To ensure consistency, Richardson also provided a developmental coaching course. This training aligned managers across the breadth of the organisation to the same selling techniques. In the end, the results were so effective that Wellpoint made the training a staple of their on-boarding process.