Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Two Approaches to Sales Training

There are two approaches to training and employee development in the sales industry. One side firmly believes that the responsibility to become a fully trained salesperson is ultimately up to the salesperson. The opposing view encourages a company supported training platform that is designed to identify the best candidates and train them to reach their full potential. For anyone to be successful in the sales profession there must be a strong sense of self motivation evident. The most prolific in this field are considered to be self starters. Because most sales positions are commission based, a willingness to work and produce with little to no supervision is necessary.

People who need the stability of a regular paycheck often are not successful in the sales industry. The most productive salespeople typically enjoy the challenge of having to produce everyday to insure necessary compensation. Those that are willing to find answers and make things happen tend to be the best fit for sales. The attitude of not being denied serves many salespeople well. The culture that exists in companies that prioritize training and employee development is often positive and provides excellent results and below average turnover. There is a cost, however, to the company for providing this type of environment. A commitment from the top levels of the management team is truly needed for this type of workplace synergy to exist.

Whether the approach is based on individual effort or a company supported training platform, the desired result is sales and productivity with the least possible investment of time and resources. In other words, the most bang for the buck! A move towards the middle of these two extremes would have a positive influence on the perception the public has of the sales industry in general. The best pieces of the argument for self motivated sales professionals are their willingness to work hard and be held accountable. The training position states that the necessity of training and employee development will always pay dividends. Anyone that trains salespeople will always welcome a motivated trainee. Conversely, a new salesperson that is willing to do the work would definitely appreciate the opportunity to plug into an environment that will help them be successful. There is a great deal to be gained by merging these two approaches to achieve training programs that produce well-trained, motivated employees that contribute substantially to the overall success of their companies.

You really can motivate minimum wage employees

There are those that will tell you no. Typically these folks have never really made an attempt. They default to making assumptions regarding their employees. Most of us have heard things like you get what you pay for, part time people will only try so much, and other negative, limiting proclamations. Let me help you navigate past these land mines so you can be the manager that always gets the most out of your staff.

The reality of many businesses is that they employ a high percentage of minimum wage hourly employees. Retail, customer service, and hospitality companies often are completely dependent on this segment. The conventional wisdom is that these people will always come and go so the proverbial revolving door is just a part of doing business. What a bunch of nonsense. This is an easy out for managers that refuse to be held accountable for the environment and culture that exists in their company.

It comes down to one simple question that if asked forces managers to evaluate environment and culture. Here it is: will people always move on to the next opportunity for an additional .10, .15, or .25 an hour? Although there are those that will say .25 an hour is substantial enough to warrant a change, most employees will not initiate a move based on hourly rate alone. The following are some things that will cause a person to put out feelers:

  • being forced to work with people that do not pull their own weight
  • not having the resources to do the job effectively
  • inconsistent message regarding priorities
  • unnecessary stress and aggravation
  • blatant lack of respect
  • feeling underappreciated
  • sexual harrassment
  • uneven application of discipline by management
  • unprofessional behavior by management

This short list is just a sample. They all have one thing in common. All of them can be minimized or eliminated by good management. Remember that people fill these positions and people do respond to positive, encouraging work environments. A smart manager will put an emphasis on this area and will enjoy a positive, motivated staff as a result.