United Healthcare: Sales simulation and podcasts

The Challenge

How do you change a sales culture to increase cross-selling of multiple solutions and improve consultative selling skills? How do you maintain the momentum of a successful annual sales conference once the sales force is back to their daily grind? How do you prepare the sales force for an intensive, two-day consultative selling skills class they aren’t sure they need?¬†These were the challenges faced by Optum, part of United Healthcare.

The Solution

Optum turned to the Gronstedt Group to develop a suite of innovative, character-rich, story-centered learning simulations and talk-radio style podcasts. Characters from the dramatized scenarios called in with questions to the guests of the Cross-Selling and Up-Selling Café podcast radio show.

The program was announced at the National Sales Conference with the trailer. The first online video module was launched the following week. Six video “webisode” modules and six podcasts were launched in alternating weeks for 12 weeks. The success stories of the sales leaders featured in the podcasts have inspired the sales organization.

The Results

“People were looking forward in anticipation of the next video module or podcast to come out,” says Pamela Conyngham, Director Business Development Training. “The videos were engaging and fun. Our reps referred to them during our follow-up classroom skills training,” says Conyngham. “The main characters of the video, ‘Bob and Giselle,’ became part of our vernacular, as symbols of the old and the new approach to selling. People said, ‘I don’t want to be a Bob.'”

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