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SAP - Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year


Gold Stevie Award Winner 2019, Click to Enter The 2020 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Company: SAP, Newtown Square, PA
Company Description: As a global market leader in enterprise application software, SAP is at the center of today’s business and technology revolution. Our innovations enable more than 365,000 customers in 180 countries worldwide work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Achievement Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year - Technology Industries

Nomination Title: Year One Success Onboarding at SAP

Tell the story about your organization's sales training and/or coaching program since the beginning of July 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:


As the leader in enterprise application software with over 413,000 customers worldwide, SAP is at the center of today’s business and technology revolution.

One key to our success has been preparing Account Executives (AEs) for the challenges they will face in the field—an end-to-end process that begins the moment they join SAP to their ongoing professional development.

This process became especially important in recent years due to rapidly changing business conditions and strategic change at SAP, which—beginning in 2010—focused increasingly on helping customers understand the value of the Cloud and our Digital Business Framework.

With these changes came a much larger, more diverse customer base and solution portfolio. Meeting the increased demand, required us to quickly hire thousands of AEs who needed training on our solutions and sales strategy.

To complicate matters, SAP didn’t have a sales onboarding program in place in 2010 to train the influx of new hires, and the lack of formal and global onboarding had a significant effect on performance. Compared to the industry standard, our AE new hires took up to 2.5 times longer to close their first sale. Many AEs hadn’t closed any deals during their first year, and most achieved less than 50% of quota.

These factors led to lost revenue opportunities and attrition more than twice the industry average. We needed a sales onboarding program to address the glaring deficiencies listed above and to pave the way for SAP’s success in the Digital Age.


With the support of executive management, our team of enablement professionals took the initiative to design and launch SAP’s first global sales onboarding program called, Year One Success (Y1S)—a 90-day blended learning program (with virtual and f2f components) designed to help experienced AE new hires become more productive in less time.

Y1S participants learn the fundamentals for success in their new role, including in-depth knowledge of SAP’s portfolio and services, along with the sales skills and tools they’ll need to help customers make a smooth transition from “On-Premise” to Cloud software deployment (more commonly referred to as the “Digital Transformation” and a necessary step toward becoming an intelligent enterprise).

In the following years, tremendous results from Y1S led to the creation of two additional global programs:

Franchise Gain2Grow (FG2G)—For those with 6 months tenure. Designed to further enhance lessons learned in Y1S, including new hire selling skills, executive engagement behaviors and productivity/effectiveness along the full buying cycle. Participants apply new techniques to their own, existing opportunities during the workshop.

Everyone’s a Teacher (E1T)—a program designed to leverage the unique knowledge and savvy of SAP’s own Subject Matter Experts as internal trainers / facilitators. In addition to meeting our rapidly expanding training needs (outlined in the section above) and supporting SAP’s learning culture, E1T offers a unique experience for employees, a profitable cost model and a high-quality alternative to outsourcing.


Together, these programs form a “triad” that is Year One Success Onboarding at SAP—an end-to-end process that ensures SAP’s new hire and organizational success into the Digital Age. With results like these, it’s easy to be optimistic about the coming years:

Since July of2017:

AEs who completed the initial 90-day Y1S onboarding program, outperformed non-participants by the following margins:

+51% more deals won
+76% greater avg. revenue generated
+16% larger avg. deal size

AES who then completed the FG2G program outperformed 2 control groups of non-participants by the following margins:

+44.5% more deals in pipeline
+12.1% greater conversion ratio
+33.3% more deals won
+156.3% greater avg. revenue created

E1T has expanded serve a total of 6950 AEs across SAP’s 6 regions (+517 in 2017) and:

Delivered 4,246 hours of training

Decreased cost per learner, on avg., by 45% when compared to external vendors

We look forward to building even greater success for SAP new hires and for our customers moving forward.