Imaginative Staffing Inc, a temporary-services firm in New York was formed in 1990. Since then, it had grown to a total of $17 million in revenues. The company is composed of a minimal number of employees – the CEO and her assistant, a sales director, a chief financial officer, four sales representatives, an operations manager, 10 account managers, five administrative assistant and a receptionist. The CEO, Angie Roberts, came up with the idea of engaging into team selling for the reason that she was frustrated with the length of time the company closes a deal with a good prospect.
In most cases, it took them 6 months before closing a deal with a good prospect. In one of their meetings, Roberts discussed the idea of team selling to the board. Among the members who attended the meeting, it was only Susan Borland, the sales director, who had an idea about team selling but she didn’t want to take the lead. Roberts asked her to prepare a plan for possible training and development of sales team. Since she didn’t want to take the lead and just wanted to focus on her assignment instead, she asked her assistant, Judy Morgan to the research. In one instance, Borland got the chance to talk to a friend about team selling.
Her friend advised her not to put too much person on the team – it might only be a disaster. Also, the members of the team haven’t undergone training; hence, it is quite hard to work successfully. After the conversation, Susan already had in mind who would best become a member of the team. Of course, everybody needs to be trained. (B) - Should Imaginative Staffing adopt a team-selling system for selling to important accounts? Imaginative Staffing, Inc has practiced individual selling; but the result made the CEO a little dismayed. With this, the idea of Roberts to engage in team selling is one of the things the company has to respond quickly.
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Team selling is a good idea since more than one person can try to convince the other party – to close the deal or not. However, before each member starts working in the team, they must undergo extensive training to ensure they get the appropriate knowledge. Training is one good way so employees can become better and improve their skills. With this, the management must prepare a budget to cover the training expenses. The management must plan, together with the members of the team, about how to successfully implement the project and how to increase more their net income.
Moreover, the management must be willing to support the training development programs to, also, improve their services to their clients. - If so, who should be on the team? The team must be composed of employees who are have passion in what they do and those who are willing to expose themselves to various trainings and workshops. The members of the team can be composed of a sales representative, 1 account manager and 1 administrative assistant. These 3 persons must undergo extensive training before they will go on a battle in the field. - What training would be needed by the team?
To what extent should the team’s presentation be planned? The team must be exposed to the basic concept of team selling, including its advantages and disadvantages; how to engage successfully in team selling and how to easily convince a prospect to finally close the deal. Basically, the training may revolve in improving oneself in terms of establishing rapport with prospective customers. Before implementing such project, the management must carefully analyze the project and must undergo a systematic way of developing a training program.
In addition, training on good communication skills must also conducted to establish a healthy relationship between and among company personnel. (C) Training people is important if an organization wants to achieve competitive advantage. Since the technology is ever-changing, everybody must be well-updated of what’s new in the market. In the process of selecting who can best qualify to become members of the team, the management must include in the program the training of some experienced sales reps; this may be done to further enhance their skills and to improve in areas which need improvement.
It is also observed that the highest return on dollars is invested in training the middle managers. In addition, sales manager must also be trained in some managerial tasks. This may be done to develop the manager in all these five competencies – planning and business organization skills, strategic implementation ability, human resource management, leadership and team building and professional commitment. (D) Training Modality for initial training and recurrent training • For initial training – it is best to include newly hired sales rep.
This may be done to give them an overview of what it’s really like to work in the real-world. The newly hired sales reps may be exposed to case study analyses in the training; this is done to prepare them on how to attack when similar situations happen in the real-world scenario. In the conduct of an initial training, the management must carefully choose the topic – the one which is most useful for the newly hired sales reps. The management must carefully design the program to cater the needs of the newly hired personnel.
In the program design, it must be clearly stated who will conduct the training. In the case of initial training, it may be conducted by an experienced sales rep which may either be an employee of the organization or an invited speaker who is willing to share his expertise in the field. Teaching methodologies may include lecture-discussion, case study analysis, demonstration and most importantly on-the job training. The latter may widen their horizon and let them experience what it’s like to be in the corporate world.
This type of training may be done twice every year – January and June. This may also serve as an orientation for newly hired employees. • For recurrent training – it is best to offer refresher course to the sales reps as well as to the administrative staffs and the sales workforce. This is to ensure that they get to know and be reminded constantly how to get customers attention and how to improve their satisfaction rating. In the design of the training program, refresher course in terms of the ideas and concepts in winning customers and in making them satisfied at all times.
In addition, it may also be a good topic to include in the program ways on how to motivate themselves to do better in their assigned tasks. Most importantly, the program must include topics on the latest training tools available in the market such as web-based training. This is a good venue for the experienced sales reps to explore the web and find out what’s best in persuading clients. The methodologies which can be applied may be lecture-discussion, demonstrations and role-playing. Refresher course must be given once every quarter to refresh the memory of the employees.
This may not only be regarded as a refresher course but an enhancement program as well. (E) To motivate a team, the members must spend some time once in a while to continue establishing an open communication link. This will also enable them to build a positive relationship with each team member. In addition, each member must be a colleague and a coach at the same time. Being a coach enables them to tell other team members about any feedback – positive or negative. And the member must be a believer and each member and leader must have the power of empowerment.
The process of empowerment is basically about utilizing the skills, knowledge and experience of an employee. (Fairweather, 2009) In addition, to motivate employees on sales training, some financial methods may be applied such as bonus, commission, profit sharing and piece work. In piece work, the employees are paid according to the number of items they finish in a given time frame. Other than financial motivation, non-financial ones also exist such as job rotation/sharing or team working, consultation, quality circles and fringe benefits. http://www. hoddersamplepages. co. uk/pdfs/cceabus4. pdf) Employee Motivation may be quite a difficult to achieve since each individual may be satisfied in different areas. However, a common meeting for various individuals is through financial motivation. For Imaginative Staffing, it is best to consider giving bonus and rewards to those who can patiently attend the extensive training program. For Imaginative Staffing, it is best to apply some motivation methodologies so personnel can feel they are given importance.
Borland must carefully prepare documentation regarding factors which can greatly affect the performance of the sales reps. Most importantly, the management of Imaginative Staffing must continue designing programs for the old employees as well as training programs for the newly hired sales reps so they can continue to achieve competitive advantage. Being in a the world where change is bound to happen most of the time, it is best to be updated with the latest trends as well as to keep informed of what’s happening. With this, the management must design a program to suit the needs of the market and the client as well.
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