Business Acumen Training Case Study
CareerBuilder operates the largest online job site in the U.S., but they’re more than just a job board. They are a global leader in human capital solutions. At CareerBuilder it's all about consultative sales. Our business acumen programs focus on helping reps understand the inner workings of a wide range of companies, and the industries and markets in which they operate.
CareerBuilder's strategy is to mine the valuable employment and human capital data from its job board and other services, organize it, and then help their customers leverage this intelligence to make faster and better employment decisions. This requires salespeople who can position complex talent analytics and human resource solutions as part of a streamlined recruiting strategy.
As a fast-paced Internet tech company with a real entrepreneurial spirit, CareerBuilder has no problems recruiting talented young professionals to join their sales team. And while these reps are eager to make their mark and make a difference, they lack experience selling to executives who are primarily interested in business outcomes. And since CareerBuilder's complex and large-scale solutions have the potential to impact multiple areas of a customer's business, executives want to work with reps who can navigate purchasing committees and achieve cross-functional coordination within their organizations. In other words, they want to do business with sales reps who can maneuver through their own organizations and build censuses around a solution because they don't have the time to do it themselves. In short, CareerBuilder needed their reps to be more business savvy.
CareerBuilder was first introduced to Acumen Learning at a Chief Learning Officer networking event. Both companies had expressed interest in meeting with one another and had scheduled a time for a quick introduction. But CareerBuilder's head of learning was unable to attend, in his place he sent Jamie Womack who was then CareerBuilder's Vice President of Sales and Marketing Training. The meeting proved to be serendipitous. Jamie quickly recognized that Acumen Learning's Business IQ Training for Sales Professionals was the solution that she had been looking for all along.
"Kenny Snarr taught a business acumen course when I was at CareerBuilder and it was one of, if not, the best trainings I have had in my sales career."
Senior Account Executive
CareerBuilder's business acumen sales training focused on empowering salespeople to think more like decision makers and gave them opportunities to practice articulating the business value and ROI of a particular solution. Additionally, sales leaders worked through exercises to help them move beyond their typical pitch to HR and demonstrate an understanding of business functions, disciplines, and the interrelationship between HR and other parts of the business. Participants worked through selected financial statements and shareholder letters from customers in CareerBuilder's pipeline to help them make the connection between performance metrics and strategic goals. This exercise armed salespeople with insights and data as to why their proposed solution would specifically help a client achieve one of their goals. In the end, each team formulated a business development plan with a particular emphasis on the short- and long-term consequences of a purchasing decision and then presented their plans to the class.
CareerBuilder's plans were aggressive, 16 sessions were completed in the first year alone, and since that time over 1,000 sales, marketing, and customer service professionals have been trained.
There are a lot of popular, and very effective, sales methodologies and sales training solutions on the market. We're fans of SPIN Selling, Challenger Sale, Conceptual Selling, and we've seen a lot of homegrown solutions that are exceptional. With that said, business acumen is too often overlooked by sales executives who can't quite put their finger on why their investment in sales training isn't moving the needle faster. If you're like CareerBuilder and selling to the C-Suite has become a big part of your strategy, you're likely to find that your best salespeople are good businesspeople – and we can help you develop a business-savvy sales force quickly and cost-effectively.