Companies honored in Best Unique or Innovative Sales Training Program category; New Extreme Productivity Challenge (XPC) helped SAGE end Q1 20% ahead of previous year

Framingham, Mass. – August 27, 2019 – RAIN Group, a global sales training and performance improvement company, and SAGE Publishing, one of the world’s leading independent academic and professional publishers, announced they won a coveted Brandon Hall Group Human Capital Management Excellence Award for Sales Performance.

The companies were awarded Bronze in the Best Unique or Innovative Sales Training Program category for the implementation of RAIN Group’s Extreme Productivity Challenge (XPC) sales training program. The program helped SAGE to end Q1 20 percent ahead of the previous year and increase customer outreach by 31 percent.

“It’s an honor to be recognized with SAGE by such a highly respected awards program for the outcomes we were able to achieve with the XPC program,” shared Mike Schultz, co-president of RAIN Group and the director of the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research. “XPC is truly a unique, transformational experience that drives accountability, changes behaviors and habits, and unleashes sales potential.”

According to the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research, 64 percent of companies do not believe their sellers manage their time, focus, and personal effectiveness well.

XPC is an innovative program that helps sellers and sales managers maximize motivation, take control of their time, and achieve peak performance. While most sales training focuses on teaching sellers about the skills they need, XPC provides the execution assurance that most programs lack.

“Our sales team has great selling skills, but they weren’t getting traction. After examining CRM data, we found that our sellers weren’t spending their time effectively with each customer. We needed to revisit the fundamentals of productivity and learn how to spend time more efficiently. XPC was the best sales training we’ve ever received and has had a significant impact on productivity and sales,” shared Nicole Louderback, Director of Commercial Sales at SAGE.

Award entries were evaluated by a panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group analysts, and executives based upon the following criteria: fit the need, design of the program, functionality, innovation, and overall measurable benefits.

“The HCM Excellence Awards recognize programs that measurably benefit organizations,” said Mike Cooke, Brandon Hall Group CEO. “Many human capital management departments are unable to confirm that their initiatives help the business’s bottom line. Because we focus on measurable benefits, our awards program is universally recognized and highly prestigious.”

Details about the Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards Program and winners are listed at:

About RAIN Group

Founded in 2002, RAIN Group is a global sales training and performance improvement company that has helped hundreds of thousands of salespeople, managers, and professionals in more than 75 countries significantly increase their sales results. Headquartered in the greater Boston area, office locations include Bogotá, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Mumbai, Seoul, Sydney, and Toronto. To learn more, visit Follow RAIN Group on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About SAGE Publishing

Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 1,000 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. Our growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne.

About Brandon Hall Group

Brandon Hall Group is an HCM research and advisory services firm that provides insights around key performance areas, including Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition and HR/Workforce Management.

With more than 10,000 clients globally and 25 years of delivering world-class research and advisory services, Brandon Hall Group is focused on developing research that drives performance in emerging and large organizations and provides strategic insights for executives and practitioners responsible for growth and business results.

At the core of our offerings is a Membership Program that combines research, benchmarking and unlimited access to data and analysts. The Membership Program offers insights and best practices to enable executives and practitioners to make the right decisions about people, processes, and systems, coalesced with analyst advisory services which aim to put the research into action in a way that is practical and efficient. (

Media Contact:  Aly Jamison, APR, PR Manager, RAIN Group,

Rachel Cooke

Chief Operating Officer Rachel Cooke Rachel is responsible for business operations including overseeing client services, research events and project management. Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Rachel was the Chief Operating Officer Co-founder of AC Growth. Rachel has over 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development, and sales performance management. Prior to AC Growth, she held several senior management roles and was on the leadership team at Bersin & Associates, a pioneer analyst firm in e-learning and now industry leading HR and talent Research Company. In her Senior Director role, Rachel developed the strategy and led the commercial execution of the solution provider vertical, and grew the vertical into the company’s largest market segment. In her role as Director of Sales, Rachel developed and led a team of senior account executives focused on acquiring global strategic accounts. Rachel was solely responsible for developing key business relationships with over ninety companies including industry icons, such as: Adidas, Hewlett-Packard, Toyota, Oracle, Starbucks, Avnet, Boeing, Kaiser Permanente, Safeway Inc., Wells Fargo, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Clorox and Affiliated Computer Services. Rachel began her career in the banking, media and hospitality industries. In these industries, Rachel held several key senior management and executive sales positions. Rachel received a BA in social science and interdisciplinary studies with honors from Florida Atlantic University. Rachel continued her postgraduate education by completing a series of executive management education courses from American Management Association.