Lessons from a Year in Consulting: Sales Training Weekly

Lessons from a Year in Consulting: Sales Training Weekly


Sales Training Weekly

When starting Chambers Pivot Industries, I have used the excellent guide from Alan Weiss, Phd. titled Million Dollar Consulting. In it, he introduced me to the idea that in order to grow a consulting practice, there needs to be a focus on multiple product offerings at different price points. That makes sense, right? If you only have one thing to sell, your audience is narrower than the audience of the persons selling multiple products at multiple price points.

On one end of the spectrum, Chambers Pivot Industries does some heavy hand holding with clients, a mix of traditional consulting and contract labor. If the problem being solved is a car, I’m offering to drive it. Be the chauffeur. On the other end of the spectrum is free content like blog posts and presentations that can be accessed by anyone at any time. Going back to “problem as car”, I’m giving you a written guide to snippets of driving the car but you have to string them together on your own. The product offering ended up looking something like this:

Online Sales Training

CPI Product Offerings – graphic based on Alan Weiss’ work 

You can see that it’s a mix where high engagement, big results are on the right and low engagement, small results are on the left. The intimacy of the engagement is along the X axis and ease of user implementation is on the Y axis.

In that mix is some educational content that comes in the form of online courses. (3rd spot from the left) As you may know, my lovely bride is an instructor at our Community College and teaches a mixture of traditional classroom courses and online instructor led courses. Watching her manage these courses and listening to her discuss the process of knowledge transfer, I saw that approach as an offering that fit between my free pamphlet and chauffeur driven approaches.

Fast forward about 10 months and CPI is about a week away from a joint project with my friend Drew Laughlin of Laughlin Marketing. Drew is an experienced “infopreneur” as they say. He has put together courses, tools and processes that he sells primarily through an online channel. We decided to combine his experience and my experience into a new product offered to . . . well, offered to someone. The idea that we had something to offer came before the actual offering itself.

We started with some test marketing. A list of 7 topics we could help people with that were outlined and put out in front of what we thought the test market would be. One of those topic ideas was a call center sales management helper. A set of training topics that a sales manager could use to guide weekly lunch and learns. You can see it here: Sales Training Weekly.

The great thing about test marketing is that you find out how dumb you were just a few days prior. The result of that particular survey set was what we were looking for: a strong “for” coupled with an equally strong “against”. If there were fans of what we were doing it was a sign of hope and if some people were willing to say “bad idea” then we knew we were on to something. This test gave us those results but what made me feel like a dummy was this: the number of people that said “We don’t want this as a training tool for our sales people, we need something like this for ourselves.”

Of course they did. We had mixed up our audiences and that landing page and survey went to an audience of solo-preneurs and not an audience of sales managers. As we dug deeper, the path for our first class jumped out and we started on a series of lessons that has become Sales Training Weekly.

If you’re interested, I’ll be covering the details of the course (how it’s built, how it’s marketed, why it works or doesn’t work) on the STW blog that will be launching with the site. The site will go live on Oct 17 but the blog will be up by the 10th.

Back to the point of this post, the course is a deeper dive into one particular aspect of the CPI consulting offerings. In this case it’s foundational sales training, but in the future it may be lessons on how to find work, how to manage a complex lead generation program or how to maximize your sales process. If my top level engagement is $100,000 projects and bottom level engagement is free blog posts, these courses fill the $200-500 product offering.

As always, at some point I will share the broad results from the original program launch so consider subscribing to the newsletter and staying in touch.

If you’re reading this after Oct 17th, check out at Sales Training Weekly to see the course in action.

Good stuff.


About the Author: Greg Chambers is Chambers Pivot Industries. Get more business development ideas from Greg on Twitter and .

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