The UK’s leading manufacturer of high-quality windows, doors, home extensions and conservatory products has invested over £100,000 into creating a new sales training academy.
Conservatory Outlet has responded to a shortage of new talent coming into the industry by pioneering a new programme that will look to equip individuals with all the skills they need to hit the ground running.
It has taken several months in the planning and supports part of a wider recruitment strategy to help the firm’s 27-strong network of retail customers attract a high calibre of sales professionals from outside the sector.
Bosses anticipate at least 50 salespeople will go through the intensive training programme annually, which will be a combination of factory sessions at key suppliers to improve product knowledge and ongoing virtual workshops to boost understanding of purchasing trends.
Greg Kane, Chief Executive of Conservatory Outlet, commented: “Our model is all about adding value to our customers and this is another example where we have been listening to what they need and coming up with a solution that will hopefully make a big difference.
“The network adopts a consultative approach to sales, taking time to listen to our clients and understanding what they are looking to achieve with their home. It goes against the outdated ‘double glazing sales’ model of pushy salespeople, but we believe it is the right approach to deliver the best possible product, the best possible service and the best possible experience.”
He continued: “This is why we have taken the decision to create a central Training Academy that our retail customers can tap into and put new recruits through, so they learn the basics, the knowledge of the products and the culture we try to live by.
“We believe it will take the stress out of recruitment for our members and will help attract new and exciting talent to our industry.”
The content covers the key features and benefits of all Conservatory Outlet products, as well as detailed technical information relevant to their position.
Sessions will be delivered onsite at appropriate factories, so individuals can see the manufacturing process from start to finish of windows, doors, conservatories, rooves and glass, helping them understand different types of styles to suit differing consumer need.
All training will be delivered by technical experts and sales professionals from Conservatory Outlet and its core suppliers. This is then complemented by interactive digital courses to reinforce and expand product knowledge and to ensure staff are aware of crucial industry updates and legislation.
ERG Scotland, which is in Invergordon, will be the first member of the network to benefit from the new academy.
Ian Joy, Managing Director, added his support: “There is so much interest in home improvements currently that we need to increase our sales team and attract new talent into the industry.
“We’ve been chatting with Conservatory Outlet about this and are delighted Greg and his team have listened and come up with a way that we can tackle the shortage together. I’ve agreed that ERG Scotland will be one of the first companies to enrol new staff into the academy and we’ll also help to shape the delivery going forward.”
Conservatory Outlet’s Greg Kane concluded: “There is a widely publicised shortage of ‘new blood’ coming into the home improvement sector and firms are struggling to come to terms with an ageing sales workforce.
“We want to bring in talented people from outside our industry and one way we can hope to attract them is through this dedicated Training Academy, which will give them everything they need to be a success.
“It is estimated that we’ll need at least 50 new salespeople across the network in the next twelve months, in order to keep up with consumer demand.”