In conversation with LSX
One of the things we love about our job here at Flume is catching up with clients to find out how things are going, what changes they have made since they started working with us and – most importantly – what they are achieving as a result of their new sales culture and changed behaviours. Recently, we caught up with Matthew Pullan at LSX who explained that increased revenues are only part of the sales training story. A robust, ongoing sales training culture is also vital when it comes to recruitment and retention of the very best salespeople.
A bit of background
LSX is an events promotion company and, as we all know, the world of events has changed a lot in recent years. People coming to events purely for content has been on the decline for years as there are now so many ways to get that content. There’s no need to travel to get it. These days, events are far more about business partnering meetings, qualified leads, knowing which 10 people you want to meet in a day and booking in meetings before you go.
Events are a strange product to sell. It’s always a concept sell. The product itself – the delegate list – doesn’t fully exist until the day.
Recruitment and retention are equally important
Three years ago, as part of a set of ambitious growth plans, LSX set up their Graduate Recruitment Programme.
“We wanted to recruit these really smart, high quality people with a great work ethic and personality traits that we admire. Then we would grow them – teach them, train them and move them steadily up through our business. We also felt we had people already in the business who maybe had a bit of a skills gap and wanted to bring them up to speed too. But when you’ve done that, you don’t want your best people going off elsewhere and taking their new-found skills with them. Retention is just as important as recruitment, which is why ongoing sales training is crucial.
“Add into that an ambitious growth target of at least 35% over the following year and we knew we needed to scale up our sales training. Before Flume, we were doing it all ourselves – basically me – and that was fine up to a point but we got to a position where there were too many people. My role and responsibilities meant that I wasn’t able to give them the attention they deserved. We needed external help.
“Having experience of external sales training in my previous job, I think it’s always helpful and important to have another voice when you’re delivering key information and training to staff. It helps to reinforce the messages you want to get across.”
“Initially, I reached out to the first two managers I had when I was straight out of uni. They’d started their own sales training consultancy so I gave them a call, we had a chat and they said they weren’t really the guys to help. It was them that recommended Flume and said we should definitely have a look at you. So I signed up to one of your webinars. Wow! It seemed like the whole industry was there and it blew our socks off. From that point on, I was hooked. If you could generate such passion in an all-inclusive webinar, what could you do with a tailored, targeted sales training programme just for us?
“When we met Raoul, the first thing that struck me was that his way of selling to us aligned really well with how we think sales should be done. He had taken the time to research and understand us as a business, recognising that we are in a really crowded market. The snippets of content he showed us very much chimed with what I was already saying to the team – that our approach needed to be personal and tailored to each individual, not just bashing out calls or emails. This fitted with our philosophy.”
“We are a small company but it was obvious from the start that Flume put a lot of effort into tailoring the training, adapting to the way we do things and making the learning spot on for our business. Unlike a lot of sales training, Flume don’t just dust off a book of generic lessons and hand it to the next client. The 4-stage coaching process is invaluable, with follow up and feedback so everyone knows how they’re getting on and no one is left behind. Learning is bite sized and continuously reinforced.
“Everyone loves the platform. It’s non-disruptive and means they can dip in and out of the training. It’s not taking them away from what they’re doing, it’s adding to it. The gamification and competition aspects of it really appeal to salespeople and get buy-in across the board. They all want to get on there and show that they’re the best – a typical salesperson trait, right?”
Recruitment, onboarding and retention
“Having such an engaging and transformational sales training programme is absolutely fundamental when it comes to recruitment. It’s a tool we use to attract people and is something we can shout about, especially when we’re competing for hires.
“Graduates come along with a lot of questions about what we can offer them. They want to know how they’re going to be onboarded, what are their personal development prospects, how they will be encouraged to grow. We can tell them that we invest in our people, with continuous internal and external sales training, and that’s music to people’s ears.
“It’s equally important in terms of retention. We value our salespeople, we want them to stay and grow with us and we can prove that we invest in them and their future. They are getting the most up-to-date, data-led sales training in a way that is fun, easily-digestible, reinforced and fits around their day-to-day activities. And it works.”
If you saw our blog on Preboarding, Onboarding and Everboarding earlier this year, you’ll know that everboarding is the ethos of ongoing learning. Everboarding aligns with Flume’s belief in an ongoing structure to review and renew learning and development. Without reinforcement, 87% of training is forgotten within a month. An always-on approach to learning increases engagement and hard wires it into your culture. New recruits feel confident in the structure around them – and great everboarding can increase retention by 50%.
Flume are experts in behaviour change, continuous development and staff engagement. For insights into recruitment, onboarding, ongoing team development, staff retention, and our game-changing approach to sales training, check out our blog, follow us on LinkedIn, or book a call. We love to share.
Head of Customer Success