Instructional Design Ninja

Instructional Design: How Long Does It Really Take?!

the-hourglass-249950_640Have you seen those instructional design to development ratios? You know, the ones that show it takes 40+ hours to design and develop 1 hour of classroom instruction?

The problem with these ratios is that even if they are true, they are simply not believable. I dare you to tell your boss or a stakeholder that it’s going to take a week of full-time work to put together an hour-long … Read More

1 Question Every Sales Rep Must Be Able to Answer

berries-2558_640On the last afternoon (after 3 pm to be exact) on the last day of an information-stuffed, tongue-dragging-on-the-floor-exhausting training session, one of the instructors kicked off his presentation by showing this video: Increasing Sales of Milkshakes.

It was so compelling that I managed to lift my head off the desk to stare riveted at the screen. The premise was brilliant and yet utterly simple.

You should really go watch … Read More

How to Know When Your Sales Onboarding Program Is Good Enough

map-455769_640Does your sales onboarding program feel like it’s never done? Are you making significant revisions every time you run it?

Here’s the deal. How much you change your sales onboarding program from implementation to implementation should directly reflect the level of change in your company. So, if your company is going through a lot of upheaval, such as a shift in sales roles and responsibilities or a product launch, expect … Read More

Is Your Sales Onboarding Too Long???!

salad-1264107_640Last week I attended one of the premier conferences for entrepreneurs. The conference packed tremendous value into a short time with presentations by such super stars as serial entrepreneurs Devin and Melanie Duncan and UGG founder Brian Smith. I couldn’t have asked for a better learning experience.

Yet before the last slide for the last session was shown, I slipped out the side door to catch an early flight home. … Read More

How to Screen Instructional Design Candidates

manager-308474_640Finding qualified instructional designers (IDs) to work with has been perhaps one of the biggest headaches and heartaches of my career. There are good IDs out there. But, finding them has been no easy task. Over time, I have learned both what works and what doesn’t. I hope you can benefit from my experience – some of it quite painful.

First, here are three common tactics that I’ve found surprisingly … Read More

4 Ways to Help New Sales Reps Get Beyond Features & Functionality

adult-1260380_640“They go right to features and functionality. I can see our prospects’ eyes glazing over while our sales reps wax on about the technical details of our product. At least half the time, our prospects don’t even care. This is costing us sales!”

This is probably the most common complaint I hear from my tech startup clients. Somehow new sales reps have gotten the idea that if they can just … Read More

How to Measure the ROI of Sales Training

calculator-428294_640(1)I was speaking to a highly data-driven company the other. They were concerned about their ability to measure the effectiveness of their sales training in terms of return on investment. While ROI measurement is possible, you’ve got to start the process well in advance. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to select a training course to measure ROI on retrospectively.

To start with, training, in and of itself, isn’t … Read More

How to Make Sales Reps Productive From Day 1

calendar-159098_640The number one complaint I hear from sales managers, especially in start-up companies, is that it takes new sales reps too long to become fully contributing members of the team. After all, if they are not selling, sales reps are an overhead expense. And, of course, overhead expenses are a financial drain on any company.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. With planning and preparation, you can make … Read More

3 Dangers of Designing Activities First

caution-642510_640A prospective client was shocked when I told him during a recent meeting that we develop content before designing activities. I guess designing activities first and then developing content based on those activities is the approach many people are taking now. Not me. In fact, there are three very specific reasons that I believe designing activities first is dangerous.

1) The purpose of training is to improve job performance. At … Read More

7 Steps to Learn Something at Lightening Speed (For Instructional Designers)

thunderstorm-71197_640Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of being an instructional designer is that you are never done learning. In fact, the very raison d’être of the instructional design job is to learn new things so that you can teach them to someone else. But if what you need to learn is highly technical or completely foreign to your experience, that excitement can quickly turn into intimidation. Couple that with … Read More