Classroom Format

Selecting a classroom format should be by design, not by default.  This format should be selected as a delivery option, when you know you need to maintain the engaging interactive learning process essential to learning.

Like any meeting, classroom training should be planned carefully.  For a training meeting to work, and justify travel and lodging expense and lost time on the job, it should employ a systematic learning process to achieve progressive learning objectives.


The TBA Learning Process

1. Awareness of need


Pre-course information, Cases, Policy, and Strategy Deployment Overview


2. Acquisition of skill concepts


Discussion, Text, Video Modeling

3. Strengthening of skill concepts


Application & Fast Draw Exercises

4. Transfer of skills


Role plays, Team presentation cases

5. Reinforcement and application


Pre-call planning, computer-based assessment, Coaching, Continuous improvement

Utilizing gifted instructors is also a key ingredient.  Doing so ensures that  learning goals will be met.  In general, outside instructors are desirable because they provide cross-industry expertise, generate a higher level of interest, conduct more energetic discussions, and maintain a higher demand for excellence in the classroom.


Sample four-day agenda design

The following is a fast-paced agenda illustrating how learning principles can be applied to maximize return on investment.

Pre-Course Reading (For Illustration)

  • Organizational Expectations
  • Self-Directed Learning Workbook
  • -Introduction to Company

    -Our Market

    -Value We Bring to the Market

    -Account Teams

    -Consultative Selling & Customer Service Planning

    -Appendix Units on Three Account Team Functions (handed out in class)

Day 1

Unit 1- The Consultative Process

  • Introduction/Expectations
  • Introductory Discussion Case
  • Ideal Representative Discussion
  • Diagnostic Role Play and Debrief
  • Video Episode & Debrief
  • Consultative Selling Objectives OverviewSmall Group Review of Pre-Course
  • Large Group Review of Issues and Applications
  • Development Plan and Learnings Exercise

Unit 2- Building Relationships, Establishing Purpose & Exploring Needs

  • Skills for Establishing Purpose
  • Application Exercise
  • Skills for Building Relationships
  • Skills for Exploring Needs

Unit 3- Determining Solutions

  • Skills for Determining Solutions
  • Application Exercise
  • Fast Draw Exercise
  • Evening Assignment



Day 2 Agenda

A high level of intensity is necessary to change behavior.  This agenda provides immersion in brainstorming and challenging role play cases, as well as for a comprehensive case on Day 3.

Unit 3 - Determining Solutions (Cont'd)

Preview - Day 2

  • Strategic Questions for Exploring Needs
  • Great Questions Exercise
  • Role Play Case Preparation
  • Strategy Team Reviews
  • Role Play #1 and Critique
  • Role Play #2 and Critique
  • Role Play #3 and Critique
  • Large Group Debrief

Unit 4 - Handling Objections

  • Skills for Handling Objections
  • Application Exercise
  • Objection-Handling Game

Unit 5 - Committing to Action

  • Skills for Gaining Commitment
  • Application Exercise
  • Fast Draw Exercise
  • Introduction to Account Team Service Planning
  • Discussion of Account Team Service Planning Tools
  • Evening Assignment



Day 3 Agenda

Day 3 is devoted to analysis of a comprehensive case in which teams prepare detailed recommendations and compare their conclusions over a number of phases of analysis.There are three more challenging role plays, in which one third of the time is spent planning, one third executing, and one third debriefing.

Unit 5 - Committing to Action (cont'd)

  • Preview - Day 3
  • Introduction to Maxi-Discussion Case
  • Stage One Case Analysis|
    -Team Presentations
    -Discussion of Sample Answers
  • Stage Two Case Analysis
  • Stage Three Case Analysis
  • Stage Four Case Analysis--Positioning
  • Learnings and Debrief
  • Application of Account Team Service Planning Tools
  • Role Play Case #1
    -Strategy Team Review
    -Role Play
    -Debrief of Role Play
  • Role Play Case #2
  • Role Play Case #3
  • Large Group Debrief
  • Introduction to Live Case Review
  • Evening Assignment



Day 4 Agenda

The final day consists entirely of one exercise, a panel role play case, set up as  competition between three firms to secure a major piece of business.  Following analysis based on three individual interviews with different types of decision makers, teams make major account presentations with visuals as they would on the job.  Constructive critique comes from senior management (playing the various customer roles).

Unit 6 - Follow-Up

  • Preview - Day 4
  • Introduction to Client / Broker Panel Role Play Case
  • Customer Submittal Briefing
  • Account Team Analysis
  • Private Customer Interviews
  • Team Presentation Preparation
  • Preparation of Visuals
  • Account Team Presentation #1
  • Account Team Presentation #2
  • Account Team Presentation #3
  • Sponsor / Customer Panel Comment
  • Preparation of Live Cases
  • Live Case Presentations #1-#6
  • Follow-up Expectations
  • Review Exercise
  • Development Plan
  • "Takeaways" Exercis
  • Evaluation/Conclusion
  • Computer-Based Diagnostic Knowledge Assessment (following conclusion of course)