Is Didactic Sales Development Relevant In The 21st Century?

Use Our 10-Point Checklist To Determine Your Sales Orientation

In our fast-changing age of diversity, technology and talent management, can a sales organisation continue with traditional didactic sales development “this is how you do it” style of training and gain any competitive advantage? As sales people increasingly aspire to be seen as business professionals, does the didactic approach have any relevance today?


Key Challenges

Hierarchical, Rigid silos

Sales Structures

Flatter, flexible networks

Position / Role

Status Attachment


Command and Control

Management Style

Transformational, Empowerment

Focus on Outputs
Results and KPIs

Work Style

Focus on Inputs,
Value-adding activities

‘how many do you want?’

Selling Style

‘my advice would be’

Tactical focus on next period’s target

Planning Time Horizon

Strategic focus on long-term improvement

Supplier of products and services

Sales Orientation

Business Partner

Waits to be told what to do and
how to do it

Learning Style

Open, Questioning, Challenging

Shoving in

Training Style

Drawing out

Us and Them

View of Customer

We’re in it together

Which side of the table is your sales organisation on?

In case you haven’t spotted the obvious; we believe that the traits described on the left-hand side of the table belong to the sort of organisation that favours the ‘didactic’ school of training and development for its sales people. The biggest problem with the didactic approach is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – the more of it you do – the more of it you need to do.

The characteristics in the right, we believe, are exactly those which will enable sales organisations to position themselves for the challenges of the 21st Century and lead the way in defining what a successful sales team can look like in a rapidly-evolving, increasingly competitive world.