When you are trying to grow your business during those first few years, the ability to turn prospects into customers and to keep customers satisfied with your products and services is MISSION CRITICAL. However, some entreprenurs and small business owners may have a common misconception thinking their inside sales professionals and the customer service staffs also possess the same abilities and desires in keeping the business running and growing Every sales trainer has heard the: "not in the budget" "we are not big enough for training and coaching" and "I am the sales manager-trainer" answers before and that type of response only makes me more committed to help them see the importance of investing some monetary resources into turning their operation into a successful and cohesive sales and service organization. I have first-hand experience not thinking it was a necessary investment.
As a result of a major business crisis for my sales organization in the mid-90s, I became convinced that sales and customer service training was needed to save the company. After finding that I needed to retool and retrain my staffs in order to weather the storm of losing our largest vendor, I had no alternative but to make a necessary monetary investment in trying to recover from this loss. In looking back at the results before and after the training, I see that I had made a HUGE mistake and probably lost significant revenues by not taking that step 5-8 years earlier.
The sales training that I chose was not appropriate for my team of "inside sales" account managers, but it was all I could find at the time. Without the convenience of the internet and websites, I had to rely on a referral from a business associate who gave me the name of the trainer and the program. The trainer tried to modify the program to address the needs of my company and ultimately it did help me to retool the entire sales and customer service team. It was at that time that I decided that there was a lack of assessment and training programs that were targeted to the small inside sales team and small customer service staff -- but these companies need that type of process training and coaching more than the Fortune 100 organizations.
As a small business owner, investigate the overview of training and coaching systems. Make sure they meet your appropriate needs and offer the following services: A comprehensive Assessment and Sales Training System for smaller inside sales organizations (2 - 20 Inside Sales Executives), an Assessment and Training for Inside Sales Managers and a complimentary coaching system for Customer Service Departments (3-10 CSRs). Several training organizations have developed programs like these and they can be the best investment you make in your own company.
Some of the most well-known training programs demand months of training and high-ticket pricing. That is overkill for most businesses. The training should have elements of onsite training, follow up, and offer teleclass and teleseminars on an ongoing basis for brush up and advanced skills.
Any program you choose should be able to assess if the sales and service teams to assure they are well-suited for their jobs. If they are - the training will be completed in less than 3 months with a minimum of disruption in the company. Results are almost immediate. Proper assessment, training and ongoing coaching provide a way to set goals, develop a process, overcome fear of cold calling, a method of improving their vocal skill to make a greater first impression on those critical calls. Training organizatins should have additional modules as needed for more advanced training.
The basis of successful programs are very simple: If you have a passion for sales, or the emotional empathy to be a great customer service representative, then any program you choose must provide the training and coaching to make your employees excel. For Business Owners, it is an opportunity to insure results and growth in revenue and satisfaction with customer service and support.
Melissa Vokoun - From 1983 to 2005 she was COO and VP of Sales and Marketing for a telecom distributor. Her passion for recruiting, training and managing these staffs was instrumental to the company. To learn more about the NuVo Partners Programs please visit the website at: http://www.nuvopartners.com or call 847-392-6886.