The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

Archive for October 2009

How to polish the skills of seasoned sales people

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It's a simple equation. Better trained salespeople means more money.


We all know that the world of business is based on sales.

But with customers becoming increasingly sophisticated and well-informed, some of the methods sales people adopt have become dated in today’s corporate world. So how can you ensure that your company’s sales people capitalise on their good skills and update their irrelevant ones?

Bruce Murphy, sales training manager of Ricoh Singapore and associate trainer with NTU’s Centre for Continuing Education, shares with us seven points to help sales managers prescribe the right training solutions to even the most experienced of sales people.

Do a GAP analysis

There’s always room for improvement, no matter how seasoned a sales person is. Get feedback from their peers, supervisors and even customers or follow them out on field attachments. Initiate an open and honest discussion with them – this would help you identify the gaps hindering them from achieving higher sales figures.

2. Take care of their self esteem

Sales people are driven and proud of their achievements. If you hurt their self esteem, you risk having them ‘shut you off’. Position their ‘gap’ as areas for improvement rather than areas which they are lacking in.

3. Let them discover it for themselves

Get them involved in role playing in an everyday scenario. Then ask them to describe what happened during a sales call that didn’t go well and ask them what they could have done differently if given a second chance. Be sure to take note of their answers as it will come in useful when you eventually decide on what training to prescribe in order to add value to them. But the role playing will allow employees to discover their weaknesses for themselves.

4. Show proof through white papers, research, and statistics

Provide your seasoned sales people with white papers. Quote relevant research findings and statistics. Show them that many other seasoned sales people have benefited from upgrading their sales skills. Assure them they are not alone.

5. Customise a Training Plan for them

Training doesn’t just refer to classroom training. Customise a plan comprising of a variety of learning strategies like role plays, coaching or field attachments. Remember to tailor it to match the requirements that have been discovered during the gap analysis.

6. Measure their success

Create appropriate metrics that have been agreed upon with the sales person and update him or her on their success rate after training. This would help you to identify areas of improvement that may have been missed out during the initial gap analysis. Some examples of success include improved win ratios or even shorter sales cycles.

7. Celebrate early wins

Share success stories of others with experienced sales people on how they too can reap the benefits of sales training. As soon as they see their peers improving after training, they too will want a piece of the action. Furthermore, celebrating wins helps publicise the credibility and effectiveness of your training.

Murphy says experienced sales people are like valuable diamonds that need to be polished to keep them shining for a long, long time. So never write them off as people who do not need to be trained further.

Written by mavelltan

October 29, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Posted in Training

The latest print issue!

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The latest issue of Human Resources magazine is up online!

In this issue, we talk about:

Written by Human Resources

October 27, 2009 at 11:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Humour at the workplace

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In order to thrive in the workplace, some employees feel the need to don a more serious persona and lose their sense of humour. However, Lenny Ravich, optimism guru at says using humour at work can help relieve stress and encourage creative problem-solving.

To find out the benefits of using humour at work, watch the short video below.

Written by Human Resources

October 27, 2009 at 10:47 am

Posted in Personal career, Video

Young managers and their pitfalls

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As employees get promoted to managerial positions on their technical capabilities, these young and inexperienced managers often lack effective listening and coaching skills.

As a result, employees under the watch of the young manager may become disengaged and eventually leave the company, says David Wee,  managing director for Lee Hecht Harrison South East Asia.

So what are some of the common pitfalls of young managers and how can companies train and develop this group of people? David Wee shares his thoughts.

Written by Human Resources

October 20, 2009 at 10:36 am

Posted in Leadership, Video

Getting the sack

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For Australian ad creatives Shane Dawson and Ben Birchall, getting booted from their their company after it lost a key account meant starting a whole new project about their unemployed status.

Armed with a website, The Sack, the two men document their daily lives of the unemployed. Some of the video content include montages of the guys clearing out their desks at work, going for job interviews, and working on their portfolios.

They have even managed to garner a fair bit of media interest in their project – which could certainly help in landing their next job.

As far as creative job searches go, this one definitely comes up tops.

(Via The Pitch)

Written by Human Resources

October 14, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Retrenchments, Video

How do you lead in times of crises?

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Stay in line and follow my lead!

Stay in line and follow my lead!

Crises such as the economic calamity can result in unfavorable outcomes such as employee layoffs, degrading employee morale and even bankruptcy.

If you’re leader, a crisis can either make or break you. In fact, crises have brought down many leaders and their organisations with them. But there are also others who have risen to the challenge to prove their mettle.

With tough challenges and a heavy responsibility to lead your employees through them without getting undone, how can you deal with the predicaments?

Lesson 1: Face reality.

The crisis isn’t going to fix itself, so denying its existence would only make things worse. Until you acknowledge the fact that you’re facing a serious problem, you will not be able to move forward and solve it. You will also have to guide your employees to face reality as well.

Lesson 2: Don’t carry the world on your shoulders.

You can’t get through this alone. So don’t attempt trying. Instead, reach out to others in the organisation and your personal circle to share the burden. They will be more than willing to help if you ask them and are willing to open up to them. Also, this will create an opportunity for you to strengthen chemistry within your team, because the strongest bonds are built in crisis.

Lesson 3: Dig for the root cause.

Often, employees are mentally blocked from recognising the implications of a crisis because they get frightened by it. This would leave your organisation vulnerable to repeating the mistakes made in the last crisis. Thus you, as a leader, must bring your employees together to confront their worst fears and address the risks. The only way to solve these problems is to identify the root cause and implement permanent solutions.

Lesson 4: Prepare for the long haul.

Never underestimate the severity of the crisis, even if it has nothing to do with the economy. Don’t declare victory too soon if you are in its early stages, because you may only be looking at the tip of the iceberg. Prudent leaders recognise survivability as their most important goal, so they can make a strong come-back as when the crisis subsides.

Lesson 5: Take advantage of the crisis.

A good crisis is one that presents you with the opportunity to make major changes in your organisation because they lessen the resistance that exists in good times. Move aggressively and implement reductions in infrastructure and employment if the decision helps strengthen your organisation as you emerge from the crisis.

Lesson 6: Use the spotlight as opportunity.

As a leader, you are constantly in the public eye. Your compensations are published in newspapers and your statements are widely quoted. Get out in front of the crisis in its first hours with clear statements, both internally and externally. This shows that you accept responsibility and also builds confidence and credibility with all your constituents.

Lesson 7: Focus on winning.

Be sure to maintain your focus as you emerge from the crisis. The market never looks the same as it did going in. But this period offers you the best opportunity you will ever have to reshape markets to your advantage. The best leaders emerge from a crisis because they are not only aggressive and courageous in turning challenges into advantages, but are also passionate about using their leadership to make a difference in the world.

Via “Seven lessons for leading in crisis” by Bill George, published by Jossey-Bass 2009

Written by mavelltan

October 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm