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A Blended Training Approach to Most Effectively Learn a New Sales Methodology

Becton, Dickinson, and Company


Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) is a multinational manufacturer and seller of medical devices, instrument systems, and reagents. The Diabetes Care division had identified a critical new sales channel for a new product and recognized that its sales force would need to change its selling methodology. Specifically, success in the new channel needed to emphasize strategic thinking and consultative selling, rather than transactional interactions with buyers, as well as selling in an entirely new sales environment, unlike the office setting to which they were accustomed.


BD engaged Orbis Technologies to design and develop customized training that could be rolled out in concert with BD’s annual sales meeting. We began by conducting a gap analysis of the new market and the skills and behaviors required to move from solution selling to a consultative selling model. With the results of the analysis, we designed a blended training program that incorporated self-paced eLearning, in-person practice exercises, and a printed reference guide.

Since eLearning is particularly well-suited for instilling background knowledge, we created a one-hour course to provide the sales team with an overall understanding of the business processes and points of influence in the new market for sales staff to complete prior to the meeting. To maximize its impact, the eLearning course included self-check questions, scored simulations, and exercises.

To put the information into practice, Orbis then created a number of scenarios to be presented at the sales meeting that required the sales team to not only practice customer interaction, but business planning also. These live exercises included role-playing various sales scenarios the team is likely to encounter in future sales opportunities.

The final component we developed was a guide for future reference and learning. This 35-page sales playbook includes tactics and best practices for closing sales in the new market, the competitive landscape, marketing materials, target accounts, and account call plans. Most importantly, the playbook contains additional exercises the sales team can use any time to continue sharpening their skills.

From our experience working in the medical device industry, Orbis knew that additional time would be required for BD’s regulatory review of the training materials. So, we developed a comprehensive and aggressive schedule upfront to enable time for regulatory review, as well as ample time for the sales team to complete the online training prior to the sales meeting so that they would maximize the effectiveness of their time at the annual sales meeting.


By training BD’s entire Diabetes Care sales force on the new sales channel and methodology, the sales team improved its ability to effectively sell the new product. BD strengthened its sales team’s capabilities in preparation for subsequent product launches, allowing them to hit the ground running in challenging new markets.

Additionally, the company now has a comprehensive, self-paced eLearning product to prepare new staff moving forward — one that doesn’t rely on live trainers.

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