Antoni Girod, Managing Partner, Halifax Consulting AsiaAntoni Girod, Managing Partner
Sales training is vital to improve a company’s bottom line. Yet, more often than not, employees who enroll in training don’t make it to the finish line. Other priorities, lack of motivation, time constraints, insufficient technology, and inadequate training are to blame for the high dropout rate. Adding to this, due to the natural forgetting curve, employees fail to retain the learning content as there’s no reinforcement afterward. This results in a major loss for companies, financially and in productivity levels, as employees’ skills quickly become outdated, in particular, in a fast-changing world.

This is where Halifax Consulting Asia comes in with its comprehensive digital learning and training solutions for sales performance management. Halifax adopts a spaced learning approach that includes online or offline classes and digital learning to provide first-class training for salespeople. It optimizes the learning process through memorization and repetition and ensures the retention of information and optimizes the implementation in the field through multiple virtual classes, digital reinforcement tools and online exercises.

When companies consider digital learning and distant training to develop the skills of their sales teams, they have two main concerns. 1. “Are we sure we are not going to waste our money if the trainees do not complete the e-learning modules?” 2. “Is online training as efficient as in-person training and what will be the ROI?”

According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn in 2020, completion rates for online courses are, on average, as low as 5-15 percent. “One key differentiator of Halifax’s digital solutions is its exceptionally high completion rate, which stands at 86 percent on a global scale and at 100 percent in Asia in 2022,” says Antoni Girod, Managing Partner, Halifax Consulting Asia. For example, with Total Energies, one of Halifax’s key global clients in APAC, the completion rate moved from 91 percent in 2021 to 100 percent in 2022 thanks to increased ownership from the HR and management teams and from trainees themselves.

But a 100 percent completion rate is not an end in itself. Just like its clients, Halifax is result-oriented. We want to precisely define from the start what are the KPIs to be measured before and after the training. All the training programs from Halifax generate a 10 to 25% sales growth for our clients. For negotiation, the ROI can be even more significant and immediate. For example, for one of our clients in South East Asia, a Swiss company specialized in advanced technologies & products for laboratories, one of the sales team members started to increase his margin in an ongoing negotiation right after having completed the e-learning. In fact, he did the e-learning 3 times and used it to successfully prepare his negotiation. Further to the training and individual coaching on real business cases, the whole team generated a significant ROI in terms of profitability.

Halifax advocates that fruitful training should start with the right kind of motivation. To achieve this, Halifax offers online kickoff sessions, where the trainers start by explaining the value of the whole learning process. The kickoff is an ice-breaker and a motivational session for sales reps, who learn to understand the significance of spaced learning and how it can benefit them.

After the kickoff session, Halifax provides learners access to targeted interactive e-learning modules out of 120 modules from our online Sales Academy. Our 4 BEST SELLERS are the LEAD Method® for mastering value selling, the DEAL Method® for successful negotiation skills, the BOSS Method® for leadership and sales management, and the PAC$ Method® for effective key account management. The content is available in more than 12 languages, including Chinese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese, and is precisely aligned with the training classes, which reinforces the learning process. All the modules can be accessed through a PC, tablet, or smartphone.

Halifax understands that the learning process can be significantly enhanced by leveraging gamification. This is the reason why we created the DEAL Serious Game, a gamified version of DEAL with four different scenarios, illustrating the different phases of the negotiation method. It helps learners advance through the many steps of the negotiation process and provides them with a score and personalized feedback at the end.

The different digital learning methods and solutions acquaint learners with the training, which can be face-to-face or remote, based on the client’s requirements. The bite-sized remote training consists of weekly virtual classes of two to three hours. Halifax uses the periodic interval between sessions to assign homework and optimize the learning reinforcement. Learners become a part of an active and ongoing learning process to better retain information and reverse the forgetting curve.

One key differentiator of Halifax’s digital solutions is its high completion rate, which stands at 86 percent on a global scale and at 100 percent in Asia

To optimize the training, Halifax has developed a Sales Bootcamp that includes sales competencies online selfassessment and a video training platform where salespeople, for example, can practice their pitch by recording themselves and receive personalized feedback from Halifax consultants, who evaluate the videos once the learners submit them on the platform. Along with video training, Halifax provides online 1to1 coaching, where the learners can engage in sales role-playing in their native language with our Halifax consultants acting as the client. The one-hour coaching session enables salespeople to improve their selling skills and receive immediate feedback. In APAC, Halifax has a team of 18 local consultants able to deliver in 8 Asian languages.

After 3 years of almost 100 percent online training due to Covid, the trend for 2023 will be hybrid training. Companies are more likely to choose in-person training for team building purposes or when the training is done for a sales team located in one single country. But remote training/coaching will remain a very good option when the training involves salespeople from multiple countries. The advantages are numerous: time and cost savings due to the absence of travel which results in higher productivity and a global training cost reduction of up to 50 percent, but also a huge reduction of the carbon footprint: for example, the CO2 impact of an in-person training delivered for a group of 12 participants coming from multiple countries can be more than 12 tons whereas the same training delivered remotely will have a 24 kg carbon impact which represents 500 times less.

The future of training is definitely hybrid, with a larger part of digital and distance learning. It’s good for the People, it’s good for the Profit, but it could also be good for the Planet! Envisioning a future of advanced learning and training methodologies, Halifax aspires to make the learning process more interactive and engaging and help companies enhance their sales performance and client relationships.