The retail industry is changing as new and disruptive players enter the market. ReSource Group Canada, a national sales organization that helps consumer electronic brands develop go-to-market and sales strategies for implementation coast to coast, knew it needed a vision for the future to maintain its position as a sales leader.
ReSource Group Canada launched a comprehensive staff training program with CPSA and Accredited Partner Lisa Leitch of Teneo Results.
“There’s something very powerful when everyone uses the same language, with the same knowledge, and approaches sales the same way,” says Jeremy Lenk, ReSource Group Canada president & CEO, noting the investment paid off with a 25 per cent growth in business the year they completed training. “There wasn’t one person driving it – every person saw growth in their business, so the proof is there.”
Learning to coach
The CPSA’s Sales Coaching for Success course taught managers the skills they needed to more effectively coach staff. Mr. Lenk says it’s tempting to “go in and be the rainmaker. The training helped us learn to step back, train our staff and build the leadership pipeline so we have the leaders of tomorrow.”
Training the team
As an established sales organization, ReSource Group Canada had considerable sales success, but everyone had their own process, Mr. Lenk says. CPSA training taught a new and consistent approach, but for veteran sales reps, overcoming resistance to change was often the first hurdle.
“Within that first hour in the training, they start to realize much is changing in the marketplace and, as a result, we (as salespeople) need to change,” says Ms. Leitch. “We help them lock in the consultative selling process. Many people might think they’re already using this process, but we give them tools to have better conversations and uncover opportunities to get better results.”
When you are selling yourself as a professional sales organization, showing that we’re investing in training and accreditation helps sell the value of our business. It really resonates with people.— Jeremy Lenk, President & CEO, ReSource Group Canada
Knowing they’re making an investment in their employees was very important to me. It definitely helped make my choice to join ReSource Group a whole lot easier.— Ryan Escalante, Key Account Manager, ReSource Group Canada
Ready for the real world
To make the training even more relevant, the program was customized to situations ReSource Group Canada was facing. “It’s not like we were talking about some fictional character and their selling issue; it applied to our business. It was quite powerful,” recalls Mr. Lenk.
For the sales team, the comprehensive, year-long training program and earning their Certified Sales Professional (CSP) designation helped embed the processes and engrain the skills. “When you do it for a whole year and you speak the same language, it becomes ingrained and a part of your culture,” says Mr. Lenk.
Ms. Leitch adds that the skills help companies become much more agile and prepared to overcome any challenges that are going to come their way.
Investing in professional development is a core business value, and having a formalized professional development program helps with recruiting new talent. “It’s more than just a salary or a car allowance; they are getting something tangible that will be with them forever,” says Mr. Lenk.
Ryan Escalante recently joined ReSource Group Canada as a Key Account Manager from a large electronics retailer, where he worked for seven years as a buyer. The move from buyer to sales was going to be a learning curve, so Mr. Escalante appreciates that ReSource Group Canada makes training a priority.
“Knowing they’re making an investment in their employees was very important to me. I didn’t have experience on the other side of the table in terms of strategic selling. I knew it was going to be an adjustment, but they weren’t going to leave me high and dry,” he says. “It definitely helped make my choice to join ReSource Group a whole lot easier.”
Mr. Escalante’s buyer’s experience also provides a unique perspective during the training sessions, but he admits “it can be a little scary to go from a role you’ve been doing for a long time (as a retail buyer) to a new (sales) role. The training is helping me make sure each conversation and each meeting is effective, and I think will help me be even more successful.”
A mark of professionalism
With its entire staff trained in consultative selling and CSP accredited, ReSource Group Canada profiles its team’s professional sales designations on business cards and electronic signatures.
“We actively tell clients about CPSA and that we’re all CSP designation-holders,” says Mr. Lenk. When you are selling yourself as a professional sales organization, showing that we’re investing in training and accreditation helps sell the value of our business. It really resonates with people.
Produced by Randall Anthony Communications. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved in its creation.