Five Reasons to Take Advantage of Product Training
By Paul Byrnes
Salespeople need product and application knowledge to better understand what they’re selling – to increase revenue, better service their customers and keep ahead of their competition. Other professionals in purchasing, accounting, operations, warehouse and transportation can also benefit.
Employee training provides a sense of purpose and pride in day-to-day work, which translates directly into productivity and loyalty.
NetPlus Alliance members who have participated in NetPlus training programs said they received improved confidence, better communication and the ability to overcome objections.
Companies of all sizes have, at one time or another, wrestled mentally with investing in their employees. The investment considerations include both money and time. To be worthwhile, the results of the training must justify the investment. Most of the time, training pays off in spades.
Here are five reasons to take advantage of product-specific training:
Recruitment and retention
Many companies struggle to attract and retain the right employees. Many good employees want to continue to grow and view organizations offering ongoing training as something they want to be a part of. Investing in people builds loyalties with existing employees and a reputation in the industry as a place that people want to work. An ongoing training program can become a difference maker in your efforts to attract and hire the talent you need.
Think about having a person you have trained and mentored “on the bench” ready to fill an opening in your organization. Who better to fill a position than someone you already trust?
Employees will remain focused and engaged in their work and not become stagnant or bored with ongoing training. Motivate employees to do their jobs better, and provide advancement opportunities. Happy employees contribute to a positive culture that will become part of the fabric of your organization.
Positive company image
Well-trained, confident and engaged employees present a positive image to your customers and suppliers. After all, people like to associate with winners. One surefire way to win is by maintaining a steady workforce with happy employees.
Look ahead and identify future needs, then match employees to tasks based on their skills. I have seen many good sales, purchasing and operational people who entered their company at the ground level and worked their way up. Managers recognized their traits and skills and offered training and mentorship to help them move to the next level.
Training has real ROI. In a study published by Tooling U-SME from Bersin & Associates, high-impact learning organizations that have a strong learning foundation in place tend to outperform their peers. About 32% are more likely to be first to market. They are also 58% more likely to have skills to meet future demand, and they are 17% more likely to be market-share leaders.
Retailer Dillard’s found that each hour it had its associates spend on product training increased their sales rate by 5%, according to a Harvard Business Review article, “Curing the Addiction to Growth.”
The NetPlus Academy’s goal is to expand distributor member education and training opportunities and support our members as they bring new people into the industry. Hands-on single- and multi-supplier training in partnership with our preferred suppliers gives teams the confidence and resources to sell more, while also guiding customers through tough decisions that affect their everyday operations.
Our Tooling U-SME partnership provides free online education resources for distributors’ teams, including courses on MRO, Manufacturing, Contractor Supplies and Safety Essentials.
Learn more about upcoming trainings offered by NetPlus Academy. Call the NetPlus office directly at 716-438-2014 for more information or to register.