How to Find a Sales Training Program for Your Call Center
There’s a lot on the line.
Are you searching for a training vendor for your company or call center to enhance employee output? Perhaps you are an individual seeking to increase skills levels for career growth. Regardless, choosing the most effective training company for your situation can be difficult. Where you spend your time and dollars contributes heavily to your future success. 54% of U.S. labor force agrees that it will be essential for them to get additional training for their career. Unfortunately, too many of these individuals will choose the wrong company to help them fill in these skill gaps.
When assessing training, either at a convention, boot camp or on-site, consider the following:
1. Identifying training needs
Begin by assessing your needs. Make a list of the following:
- Are you at or maintaining maximum productivity? If not, list the causes.
- Which skills need improvement?
- What are the critical areas that, if not addressed, will create the greatest deficit for you or your company’s future?
2. The most common mistake
The most common mistake companies and individuals make when selecting the type of training needed is to confuse skill based training with motivational, keynote entertainment. In a nut shell, motivational keynotes provide instant excitement and temporary self-confidence. You can walk on hot coals Saturday night, but come Tuesday morning you cannot execute your job with greater acuity than you could the Friday before. Conversely, quality, skill based training provides long term results because the skills necessary for success have been mastered. Although motivation is a piece of your success puzzle, mastery of skills provides inexhaustible self-confidence for both current and future success.
For example, we were in a direct sales business for many years. During that time we brought many individuals into that business. Unfortunately, we were constantly replacing them due to high turnover. Why? Because distributors were not trained on ‘how’ to build their businesses. They received much product information and the conventions were loaded with motivational RAH-RAH. Unfortunately, there was never any training on basic sales skills. Once we recognized this and began sales training within our own organization, retention improved and our business grew rapidly.
If you are looking for long-term results, spend your training dollars on skill based training.
3. How to select the best training experience for you or your company
Roughly four-in-ten employed adults (45%) say they have taken a class in the past year or have gotten extra training to learn, maintain or improve their jobs skills. They spent money and time for this training. However, did this training produce measurable results? Were these individuals better off due to the training? Make sure you are hiring a trainer that will deliver results by considering the following:
Does the training address the strategy, skill, or need you require?
Take time to fully assess your needs or the needs of your employees. Consider which strategies or skills would play the largest role in producing positive results. Seek help in those areas first.
Does the training teach you HOW?
Philosophical discussions and explanations help provide clarity. However, confidence and productivity are a direct result of mastering skills. The most effective training for long term results includes some form of hands-on interaction. Before hiring any trainer, inquire about the amount of ‘real life situation’ training and repetition that will be provided.
Has this training produced quantifiable results for others in a similar situation?
Most trainers and training companies make a great first impression. Beautiful websites and professional promotional materials do not necessarily tell the whole story. Ask for a list pf past clients and do some of your own private research. Make sure the training company has delivered the results you desire for others.
Is the training stand alone, or will you be forced to pay for additional training?
Will this training meet your needs or is it just a ‘come-on’ to entice you to purchase other training in order for you to attain results? Beware of scams that offer seminar training at low or no cost and end up being more of an informercial than actual training.
Who will be facilitating the training?
When someone hires us they get us in the training room, not an associate. Make sure your contract specifies the exact individual(s) who will be delivering the training.
Is this training being facilitated by someone knowledgable and experienced?
Has the trainer been successful in the ‘real world’ with the skill set he/she is training? For example, I train clients how to book appointments on the phone. My coaching in this area is successful because I make over 100 out bound calls per week. Is your trainer still out there using these skills or teaching primarily from theory? You will gain more satisfactory results from the trainer who is still active in their field.
Mastering new skills takes time, patience, and support.
Training that provides hands on practice of the new skills being mastered will gain you the best results because many employees are caught in the daily grind. Therefore, it’s easy to fall back into old habits especially if they have not had the opportunity to improve skill levels during the training. Once the training is completed, they will need the opportunity to review what they have learned and experiment with applying those new skills. They may also need external support. Elements such as giving feedback as they learn, structure while they practice a new approach, and encouragement when they suffer setbacks.
These suggestions will not only you save money and time on training, but it will also leave your employees better informed, better suited to their jobs, and more able to succeed. Make the most of your time and training dollars and watch you, your call center, company, or career flourish.