Through organic growth and a series of acquisitions, Blue Coat had three solution areas—application performance monitoring, WAN optimization, and secure web gateway, acceleration, and security. The company was committed to integrating the sales and marketing of all of its product lines under its unified ADN infrastructure offering. As part of this wide-reaching corporate initiative, Blue Coat needed to train its worldwide sales force in the new company positioning, messaging, and value proposition, so they could more effectively sell solutions to global customers.
The question was, which sales training method would best help Blue Coat sales professionals learn how to communicate its value proposition with customers in an effective, engaging, and exciting way. Traditional learning methods, including PowerPoint slides, were ruled out as too passive.
Blue Coat implemented a "whiteboard selling" methodology allowing salespeople to convey their organization's message and value proposition visually—on a whiteboard or any other writing surface—in a compelling, confident, and consistent fashion. Blue Coat created one interactive whiteboard conveying the company's new "corporate story," as well as a second whiteboard
diving more deeply into product positioning and the company's new integrated value proposition. This process was supported by a sales technology platform from WhiteboardSelling.
"Having the ability to use a Web-based interface that facilitated the whiteboard development process was critical," says Kip Darcy, director of sales enablement at Blue Coat. "This is what made it possible to get sales involved from the very beginning of the process.
If sales is not involved up front in the content development, field adoption will suffer. Since sales people don't have time to sit in content meetings, having the ability to sign into a secure site and provide content updates in real time was extremely valuable."
Blue Coat initiated the whiteboard learning process in a two-day interactive meeting for more than 160 sales professionals in the Americas. The sales professionals were then able to take this strategic knowledge with them into the field to deliver sales presentations, recreating everything they learned in meeting rooms around the world. In the first month, the Blue Coat ADN Whiteboard was delivered more than 150 times to existing clients, prospects, and partners.
Salespeople reported feeling excited, confident, and eager to take the whiteboarding sales communication technique out in the field. Blue Coat delivered the same training, in local languages, to more than 300 sales professionals in Asia Pacific and Europe. All new hires are taught to white board in new hire sales training. The Blue Coat goal is to ensure all sales professionals have completed this training program.
Blue Coat's sales professionals were satisfied with this approach. In just a few months of using this methodology, global sales representatives have reported more follow-up sales calls and more closed deals.
"The whiteboard selling methodology enabled our sales teams to deeply connect with our new value proposition and messaging," says Steve Rowland, vice president of North American Sales. "They left these sessions knowing our core positioning cold. More importantly, they learned how to use whiteboarding to confidently and effectively communicate this key positioning to prospects in the field.
My teams can now walk into sales meetings and recreate the whiteboard in an interactive way that really engages prospects in open dialogue. This enables our sales professionals to add differentiated value to our clients, prospects, and partners.”For additional information, please visit www.bluecoat.com.