You know the old adage "the day you stop learning is the day you die"? We live and work by that ideology here at Business.com, and we're not alone. As reported in Forbes, Bersin by Deloitte's 2014 Corporate Learning Factbook analysis of the U.S. training market showed spending on corporate training grew by 15% last year to over $70 billion. The highest growth rate in over seven years.
Why are companies spending time and money investing in employee education? Josh Bersin shared in the Forbes article: "not only do more than 70% of organizations cite 'capability gaps' as one of their top five challenges, but many companies also tell us that it takes 3-5 years to take a seasoned professional and make them fully productive."
Similarly, brands from Starbucks to utilities companies, are tapping programs like Customer Experience Training to better train their staff's and in turn create a better customer experience. Educating employees not only makes your team better at their jobs, but can directly affect your bottom line.
In order to foster a culture of learning at Business.com, we've baked education into our schedules, routine, and core values as a company. As CEO Tony Uphoff puts it, "We go by the acronym 'ABT'-always be training. Training is one of the core values on which we run this company. Our goal is that people in our company experience incremental learning everyday."
From 15 minutes a day of allotted time to read and share market knowledge and trends, to company-wide "Lunch and Learns," in which subject matter experts from inside and outside of the company share insight into their areas of focus, our leadership encourages us to better ourselves, and in turn, the company.
Though it's encouraged (and expected) for each team to be knowledgeable in their respective disciplines, the training of our Sales team is a particular focus. There are three types of training that they do at least once a week for 30-60 minutes, all of which have an end goal of better serving our customers.
The three areas of focus in sales training are:
- Our Customers: Our primary area of focus in our sales training is helping our team better understand the needs and challenges of our customers in order to help them find solutions.
- Our Market: Our sales reps need to be market experts on digital media and marketing. Our customers depend on our insights into brand engagement and demand generation and we view this expertise as a part of the customer experience of working with Business.com
Our Product: We provide a full-funnel marketing platform and have products that support our clients needs in each area of the funnel. As the market and our customers needs evolve, so do our products, and therefore our training.
And it's working, according to Account Executive Chris Warren: "The crowd-sourcing of ideas and strategies, and getting to hear what works for other people is the best way to learn. A lot of times, you think you have a good idea, but our trainings help you realize what you could and should be doing."
Business.com Sales Team post-training