PDA and Training Design

PDA is an assessment tool that through a simple, precise and scientific methodology allows us to detect and analyze the behavioral profile of individuals. It also allows us to evaluate the behavior and competence requirements for a particular position and thus, ensure that we recruit the right people and develop them properly.

The PDA Assessment does not qualify behavioral profiles as “good” or “bad”. It describes behavioral characteristics of an individual.

And, what is the connection between the PDA and training design?

We recently acquired a project with a local production company, in a process of transition from an entrepreneurial to a corporate governance model. The company recorded a business growth since its founding 15 years ago, while more than 80% of the revenue is generated through export business. The company sells its products through various distribution channels, and is globally present. Big share of sales volumes are achieved through Web store, which is surprisingly high, especially in Serbian market.

Programs and projects that we develop for our customers are never just a two day training project, but more comprehensive processes that include a detailed analysis, proposal and implementation of development activities, and continuous monitoring of the effects, both through the monitoring of skill application and through measuring the impact of our activities on the overall the client’s business.

Our task was to strengthen the competencies of the sales team in order to support further development of sales channels that are not based on the Internet and thus, begin the transformation from “web shop back office” team into a highly skilled B2B sales team.

What was the role of the PDA Assessment here?

PDA basic behavioral profile report is generated on 21 pages and one of the segments of the report is candidate’s sales style. This part of the report covers three key areas of the sales dialogue:

  • Opening – how the candidate establishes relations and communication with the prospect, what is his preferred communication style; whether his focus is on the products and / or services, or on building relationship with the client; what are the strong communication aspects of the profile, and what may be considered as an obstacle in the sales dialogue and thus, be an area for development.

  • Closing – what communication style is dominant at this stage; what will be the candidate’s techniques for closing the sale; how he tends to react to possible obstacles or objections during the sales dialogue; as well as what may be an obstacle for closing the sale, all this based upon dominant behavioral tendencies of the candidate.

  • Customer Care – the way how behavioral tendencies are supporting the provision of post-sales services; how they relate to customer care administration and regular maintenance both of customer database and customer relationships; how a candidate tends to leverage existing customers to generate new sales opportunities.

One of the additional PDA reports the “Job Fit” report, which can be generated for different areas of business. The PDA has 7 predefined sales roles each with its set of competencies required to be successful in that specific role. The report shows the extent to which more or less effort will be required by the individual, in order to identify a specific set of competencies to develop.

Anyone who is engaged as a designer of training programs has a predefined structure of the program in his/her portfolio. Still, desired effects of the training can be achieved only if the program is tailored to specific needs of the audience.

PDA analytics gives you an insight into the current state of each trainee in terms of skills, communication preferences, strengths and areas for development. Various training needs analysis questionnaires are developed to provide the “big picture” of the audience to the trainer. Frequently, those questionnaires are focused on the self-assessment of a certain skill, while the PDA provides an objective insight into behavioral tendencies and the skill set.

By using this method, the common structure of a training program can easily be extended and adapted so that the key messages are conveyed; to focus activities on areas for development and reinforce skill application in the areas in which candidates are already performing well.

When your training program is just one component of the development project, the PDA can assist you in providing valuable recommendations for the client’s organization or a team, identify new and redefine existing roles and responsibilities within the team, and support further growth of the organization based upon potentials and talents, and not on the structure itself.

Most importantly, every training session is organized with the aim to lead to achievement of business goals and objectives, as well as changes in behavior. When you have analytics that help you apply tools, techniques and approaches that directly lead to it, then everything is much easier.

And, when activities that you have applied show the expected results in a short period of time, then the great feeling of value of what you have done is enormous for you, your trainees and for your client’s businesses.

PDA and Training Design
HiNT d.o.o, Dragan Vukosavljevic
19 June, 2016
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