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Dear Workforce How Do We Customize Training for Sales Managers

How could our retail organization customize training for our inside sales managers, the people that coach our sales reps? What competencies should we should require?
November 22, 2006
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Related Topics: Career Development, Employee Career Development, Dear Workforce
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Dear We Want the Best:
This would depend on your company's learning environment. Start by making sure the delivery method fits the training population. Is this a geographically dispersed group, or is everyone under one roof? Is there time for traditional classroom learning, or would a blended solution with a CD, DVD or Web-based components be more appropriate?
 
The heart of soft-skills training remains real-time skills practice with another person. But an urgent need to increase the impact of training while reducing its cost may necessitate that you search for more efficient methods and media. Classroom learning could be the answer for a group in a single location. For a large retail organization with numerous divisions and locations, a well-conceived blended solution that includes Web-based learning or other delivery methods (such as self study or just-in-time training) would be more accessible, more individualized and perhaps less costly than classroom training alone.
 
Once you determine the best delivery method, begin to align the learning content with the specific competencies that your sales managers will need. Business leaders consider problem-solving skills, along with communication, strategic, technical and decision-making skills, to be crucial. More specifically, managers must be able to help their team members overcome their weaknesses while recognizing and cultivating their strengths. This requires competency in the initiation of coaching, ability to evaluate sales calls, pre- and post-call coaching, and planning for and facilitating the long-term professional growth of individual salespeople.
 
Leaders at global sales organizations say new supervisors generally need training in:
 
  • Motivating others and getting them to go "the extra mile."
  • Adapting to new and changing situations, and helping others do the same.
  • Understanding organizational goals and using them to determine priorities and motivate employees.
  • Establishing productive relationships with managers.
  • Making a smooth transition into supervision.
  • Delegating.
 
For the training itself, learning scenarios should reflect situations that are likely to occur as managers interact with team members. Allowing learners to practice the desired competencies in scenarios that are realistic and connected to their organizational roles helps them quickly recognize opportunities for application and seize them.
SOURCE: K.C. Blonski, AchieveGlobal, Tampa, Florida, February 3, 2006.
LEARN MORE: Please read how to measure competencies of salespeople and How to Develop Competency Models.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
ASK A QUESTION

 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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