The ISM has been helping sanitary products manufacturer Geberit boost its sales training and recently 10 of the company’s salespeople received their ISM Level 3 Certificate in Professional Sales
Over the last two years Geberit, an ISM corporate partner, has invigorated its sales training approach to the point where, today, it meets the requirements of ISM qualifications and of the national training standards of which they form a part.
The Geberit Way
The architect of Geberit’s UK sales training is Matthew Hotten, People and Organisational Development Manager, UK and Ireland. Faced with a rapidly expanding salesforce, and a brief to sell a wider range of products in a greatly enlarged marketplace, Hotten was keen to instill a ‘Geberit Way’ – an effective, reputable and repeatable way in which all the company’s salespeople would sell to customers.
Hotten was keen for the Geberit Way to be professionally accredited, “so I approached the ISM and asked it to look at our sales training methods and materials and, if they met the required standard, to endorse it,” he says.
Following a thorough examination, ISM not only endorsed the sales training programme, but also made the company an ISM Endorsed Centre, enabling it to deliver ISM qualifications to suitably trained staff on an ongoing basis. Hotten personally runs the programme in-house at Geberit’s UK head office in Warwick, with additional external verification and assessment conducted by the ISM.
“Today, every new and existing salesperson within the business has been through the Geberit Way sales programme,” says Hotten. “There’s a lot for new recruits to get their head around, but we want them to have the very best possible start we can give them in their sales career.”
While Geberit’s sales training is mandatory, the ISM Level 3 qualification that it can lead to is not. That’s because Level 3 is a challenging standard, requiring a minimum of five days of intensive classroom training, as well as the completion of assignments and a variety of other tasks to broaden and deepen sales knowledge. Even so, Hotten reckons that by mid-2018 about 25% of salespeople will have achieved ISM Level 3, with representatives from all the major parts of the business.
“These guys will have letters after their name,” says Hotten. “A lot of salespeople haven’t done much educationally since leaving school, so it really means something to them to be able to study for, and achieve, a very worthwhile qualification. With that comes some real kudos and considerable potential benefit to them as professionals pursuing a sales career.”
Hotten is absolutely passionate about sales being a profession. “Sales is much maligned and people have some very negative, stereotypical ideas of it,” he says. “I wanted our salespeople to be regarded as professional and be able to clearly demonstrate their commitment to developing their skills in sales.”
He concludes, “I love the idea that people who probably never thought they’d pursue a recognised profession now have the opportunity to achieve a professional sales qualification and become a member of the ISM – a body that truly represents them as sales professionals.”