The 2008 Guide, which was published last December, compares and contrasts 19 leading sales training providers across many different capabilities such as depth and breadth of offering, program effectiveness, educational design, available customization, post-program reinforcement, learning technology support and measurement.
Although the 2008 Guide came in at 170 pages, the ESR/Arena (right) was, for many, the highlight of the report. With appropriate deference to the Gartner Magic Quadrant, we designed the ESR/Arena to provide a quick, graphical perspective for those who would read the report.
We released a standalone copy of the ESR/Arena early in 2008. We found that some buyers of sales training were leaning toward making decisions about vendor selection based solely upon a single glance at the Arena. We're certainly delighted that they have that degree of trust in us, but that is precisely the wrong way to go about such a critical decision.
Selecting the right sales training company-the right way-is a process. There are no shortcuts. The foundation, and most critical component of the process, is a comprehensive assessment of the selling company's situation. I'm not talking about a quick, "The reps need training in cold-calling," or "They need to get higher in the customer's organization." Hundreds of millions of dollars a year are wasted on training based upon such short-sighted and matter-of-fact statements. I know. Performing postmortems on failed sales training interventions is part of what we do at ESR. And now is a really bad time to spend money getting your people trained only to find that there has been no measurable improvement.
Now that I've offered that disclaimer you can take a look at the 2008 ESR/Arena. (Click on the graphic for full size.) There are a few things for you to keep in mind:
- This graphic is a year old. A number of vendors have gone through changes during the past year.
- There are eight additional vendors that ESR has included in our coverage that are not represented in the 2008 ESR/Arena. (Here is a complete list.)
- There are literally hundreds of other training firms, from one person to many, that could very well be the right one to meet your company's training requirements. Your perfect partner may very well not even be on this chart.
- No single vendor that ESR covers is right for every company. It's your job, not theirs to make sure you've selected the right one.
ESR's 2009 Sales Training Vendor Guide will be published early in the year. It will include 26 vendors and considerably more information about training programs, CRM integration, Sales 2.0 technology, and other critical capabilities than previous Guides.
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