Great Sales Training Makes a Great Company to Sell For

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Each year Selling Power identifies and ranks the top 50 companies to sell for among the top sales forces in the United States. To gather data, the Selling Power research team issues an application with detailed sections covering three broad categories: 1) compensation and benefits, 2) hiring, sales training, and sales enablement, and 3) customer retention. And each broad category uses a unique and proprietary scoring system. For sales enablement category, Selling Power begins rankings from a base training level and scores each company at varying degrees above, below, or at the established base level. 

According to the rankings, the three companies with the greatest emphasis on sales enablement include Microchip Technology (ranked #18 overall) and Hormel Foods (ranked #26 overall).

Mitch Little, vice president of sales for Microchip Technology, explains that his company is focused on helping new sales people create a career. Another thing that sets Microchip apart from other organizations is that it considers “sales to be a team sport while other companies treat selling an individual effort,” says Little.


At Microchip, that all starts with following the thinking from Daniel Pink, author of To Sell Is Human. Pink maintains that to motivate today’s sales representatives organizations need to offer mastery, autonomy, and purpose over strictly monetary rewards. And that’s where learning plays a big role, notes Little. What’s more, the only way to meet goals is to create value for each client, and the only way to do that is to “accelerate continuous learning,” he says.

Meanwhile, Hormel has a long-standing commitment to developing its sales people and to promoting from within. In fact, Hormel prides itself on its sales training programs, which are used as a recruitment and retention tool. “To foster the high level of performance and engagement we have in our sales organization, Hormel has a strong commitment to development. From our new salespeople to our senior leaders, talent development is critical to our long-term success,” says Deanna Brady, vice president of consumer product sales for Hormel.

For instance, Hormel has worked with Harvard Business Publishing on some of its leadership development programs. Over time, the initiative has evolved from online learning to a blended approach that incorporates self-paced learning, facilitated discussions, and on-the-job activities. Whatever the delivery, though, “the focus is squarely on helping sales leaders enable their people to meet revenue goals,” explains HBP. Some of the topics covered in training include emotional intelligence, marketing, coaching, communication, team leadership, and execution of plans and negotiations.

For a look at the complete rankings, visit the Selling Power website.

About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at 

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