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Posts Tagged ‘Sales Training’

Training – Undefined!

January 8, 2013 12 comments

“I am going to conduct a training program for employees of one of the business house of Nagpur. I want to distribute a training kit at the end of the training session. Can you please tell me as to what all materials should be included in the training kit?” (Quoted as received)

This request was posted in a forum of trainers on Yahoogroups by the Founder – Director of a ‘training institution’ … Isn’t that so inspiring?

At its website this training outfit has listed dozens of training programs as “solutions” offered in their portfolio.

–          What level of credibility would they have in the organizations where they have conducted training?

–          Will their programs make any kind of impact?

It is not difficult to imagine that this Founder – Director would wonder later on why they weren’t given a repeat assignment?

In India such incidents are commonplace – the forums where I have subscribed would regularly feature requests from TRAINERS:

–  “I have been asked to conduct Communication Skills training – can you suggest the program outline?

–  “Please give me a PowerPoint and Workbook for a Selling Skills training.”

–  “I am doing a Negotiation Skills training – I need activities to conduct during the program.”

Usually it’s a request, but I have also seen suggestions and firm demands without any courtesy. And the request comes without defining the audience or industry. Maybe I am wrong, but they surely believe that one-size-fits-all.

How can such an individual be expected to conduct an effective training program?

Like in the case of many sectors in India training too is happening in an unregulated environment:

–  There are no certifications needed to be a trainer: It’s not that there aren’t courses – a number of institutions offer certification courses, but getting certified is not mandatory.

–  The courses offered for training aren’t verified and there are no guidelines for the design and delivery of courses.

–  The effectiveness of courses and the trainer’s ability to deliver the content are rarely verified.

Usually, the request of the kind mentioned at the top comes from a young person appointed as trainer (having has no formal  experience in training) or someone who has been asked to conduct training as an additional assignment. But I have seen requests from senior professionals and even teachers.

The training domain is filled with practitioner’s with little or no experience – to add to it the training role is usually the last resort for employees who are not performing to expectations in the role they were appointed (like a Sales or Service Executive who is not able to cope or has missed targets regularly).

A lot that’s happening under the heading ‘Training” has no right to be classified thus; so many who are posing to be “Trainers” do not deserve that exalted status.

There is need to define the role of trainers and the conduct of courses in this country. Who wishes to join this crusade?

Why train?

September 28, 2012 10 comments

As a Consultant I have often been stumped by this question thrown at me by Business Managers and HR Managers.

They are convinced that the resources hired by them have the requisite knowledge/skills needed to excel at the workplace. The reasoning is as follows: the employees are products of leading colleges or have been recruited from another organisation where they have had rich experience.

Deduction: They have received the inputs needed to do the job well.

So they hire these people, put them through a sketchy induction process  and send them to the war-front. I agree that there are a few organisations that take every new employee through a comprehensive training/induction program to get them battle-ready, but they form a small percentage of the pie.

The Managers of the employees in the first category often wonder why the new recruits aren’t performing as expected? The crib being: We thought they knew how to do the job! This isn’t rocket science and any sensible person should be able to do it.

Another commonly heard reason for not training – We don’t have budget. These same organisations would invest in a lot of other things that do not yield expected results, but pay scant regard to a mission critical activity like training.

There is a third reason given – People don’t stay for long; so why should we train people to excel elsewhere? The counter query to that one would be:

– What if training can make them performance better while they are with you?

– What if you don’t train them and they stay on much longer than expected?

I had mentioned during a recent interview that the best organisations invest 3-5% of the payroll on training. Why would they do that?

After all they get the best resources available in the market and they have the best selling products/services too. Doesn’t it sound counterintuitive that they should be “spending” so much on up-skilling their employees?

Wrong!

There is a lot of change happening in the market:

Business Environment / Customer Preferences / Technology / Methods

People develop rough edges as they go along – their knowledge, skills and attitudes need to be fine-tuned and buffed for them to shine once again.

The best organisations know this and are reaping the benefit of their investment into this important activity.

If the best employees need training, do I have to stress on the need to train average or poor performing employees?

So Business Manager / H.R. Manager, what are you waiting for? If you want to reach /remain at the top  …. Do train!

Importance of Sales Training – First Interview on Dubai’s Radio ME

September 16, 2012 8 comments

A new opportunity came my way in August. A young professional I knew a long time ago is now the Programming Head of Dubai-based FM radio station Radio ME. He remembers me as someone who gave him valuable lessons in Sales.

Kris Iyer called a few days and asked me to provide information and advice on Sales and Sales Training to Dubai’s business community. I was to be interviewed on their program Business Talks.

You can hear the entire conversation here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Cnaih14yBk

Kris and I speak in malayalam, our mother tongue, in some portions, but only very briefly, so you will not miss out on much. I intend to provide an English transcript soon.

You will also find me a bit rushed in my speech; maybe because I was excited with this new opportunity. The next time I plan to speak at a more relaxed pace.

Since this interview was given over the telephone network you will find the speech quality poor in certain segments. Kris’ voice is clear because he was in the studio.

Kindly send me feedback on this first effort.

Note: I had posted my third interview a few days back.

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