By: Stephen Howard, Account Manager
Gartner is riding a period of incredible development as it heads into its 36th consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth, and it looks to the sales team as the driving force behind this sustained expansion. As content amasses and practices refine, Gartner has developed a program, from onboarding through hitting the sales floor, that ensures its associates continued success.
The process starts in Sales Onboarding and Readiness, more colloquially known here as SOAR. This four-week program is designed to rapidly equip sales representatives with the acumen, skills and best practices seen to be the most useful in the early stages of acclimation. In a fast-paced, content-dense curriculum, sales trainees spend their time in a classroom setting absorbing as much as they can as quickly as they can. The first week is built around an understanding and articulation of Gartner’s value — not just the “what,” but also the “why” for the organization’s products and deliverables. Weeks two and three dive into the sales process, where new hires learn how to frame Gartner’s value to prospective clients and how to leverage its resources to advance the sales process. Lastly, practice makes perfect: Week 4 gives ample time to double-down on the skills accumulated throughout the month, including final SOAR role-plays and review of the material covered up to that point. From classroom sessions to live role-plays based on real prospects, the SOAR program has been designed and optimized to equip new hires with the foundation they need to excel through the readiness process.
This year, Gartner introduced a new stage of training: Experiential Learning (XPL). Responding to feedback from its sales reps on experiences they wish they had before going “live,” this portion of training allows sales trainees to connect the concepts they learned in the classroom to real-world applications. During XPL, weeks are divided into three portions: Two days of professional development workshops and continued Gartner education, two days of salesfloor shadowing, and one day of role-plays to ensure retention of the skills developed during SOAR. Each new hire will have a specific team to which they are aligned, developing both professional and personal relationships with account executives, business developers and the team’s respective area manager. Beyond operating as a functional member of the team and participating in their meetings and strategy sessions, participants in XPL will shadow calls that showcase the sales process, from discovery and qualification through contract close and retention. The scenarios set for role-plays become tangible examples of prospect and client engagement, and the acumen accumulated throughout the program will be applied to real situations and dilemmas with the CIOs, CEOs and CMOs representing midsize enterprises.
Perhaps the most incredible and notable feature of Gartner’s culture is an aura of collaboration that starts out of the gate and carries into the careers of sales representatives on the floor. While some sales organizations see more of an “every man for themselves” mentality, there has never once been an instance where I had this impression of Gartner or any of its employees. Anyone and everyone within the buildings’ four walls want to see you succeed, and are prepared to come alongside you in continued personal and professional development. The team to which I am currently aligned leverages a “shadow partner” initiative, pairing together individuals who have the most to learn from one another. They shadow each other’s calls, frequently give feedback, and work together to strategize game plans for tackling a new prospect, closing a deal stuck in limbo, and retaining business from their client books. Sales readiness isn’t a race with a finish line, it’s a perpetual process of self-reflection and improvement — and Gartner’s dedication to encouraging the student mindset in all its sales professionals constantly reinforces this truth on the sales floor.
Gartner’s immediate investment in the success of its hires is simply unparalleled in the sales space. Trainees watch their understanding of Gartner jump from simple knowledge of the cookie-cutter value proposition to a holistic command of the enormity that is Gartner’s ability to drive success in businesses of all industries and sizes. The best and brightest that Gartner brings on board are deliberately equipped, immersed and encouraged to improve by Gartner’s world-class methodology for sales readiness.
Are you interested in joining Gartner’s growing sales team? Search for your next career opportunity here.