Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 13

PERSPECTIVES
Melissa Lowe

Building Your Bench
The first step
doesn't come from
the organization -
it comes from us.

W

hen your organization looks to fill a
promotable position - manager,
marketing, operations - how oen
does it fish in the talent pool of the field sales
trainer team?
If you're thinking rarely or never, why is that?
Might the selection criteria or field sales trainer
definition be too restrictive? Is there a perception - or reality - that the role is for training
only? Or might the organization not understand
what the team stands for and is capable of?
In working at large, medium and small
companies, I've faced those challenges and
found success by redefining field trainers as the
backbone - and a bench - of the company. A
developmental group who can lead, coach and
mentor your organization through anything
becomes not only an extension of the
leadership team, but its talent pool.
In 2016, my organization looked to the field
sales training program to fill four key positions.
In addition, multiple field sales trainers moved
up one level in their current sales role. e
program - and the company - tapped into
the best talent to fill its needs and drive
organizational objectives.
To accomplish this, the first step doesn't
come from the organization - it comes from
us. As learning leaders, we own the field sales
training program and the first action is to build
fundamental skills in each field trainer. ese
can include business acumen, strategic thinking, coaching and performance management,
servant leadership, emotional intelligence, facilitation, project management, building and leading teams and communication.
e second action is to provide the field
training team with multiple, diverse, challenging opportunities in which to flex the skills
learned. e definition of opportunity shouldn't
be restricted to just a new-hire training assign-

ment. Consider expanding the definition to include meeting facilitation, coaching a colleague,
building strategic corporate projects, delivering
performance feedback, product launch SWOT
teams and creating corporate policies/processes.
In my experience, I've learned that field sales
trainers - and organizations - demand skill
development to achieve goals and growth. By
building and flexing key skills in field trainers,
these individuals can span the range of open
positions and develop to be better, stronger
professionals in their current roles.
At my current organization, two
developmental field sales trainer meetings are
held annually to build individual skills.
Competency-based workshops are the
foundation of each meeting and the curriculum
builds from one meeting to the next. Postmeetings, diverse opportunities exist to flex
skills learned such as meeting facilitation,
coaching a colleague, building strategic
corporate projects and product launch SWOT
teams. Executing those two actions drove
positive organizational outcomes and culture
currency, which in turn built a bench.
You may be thinking your budget is
crippling and I will challenge that assumption
as well. Regardless of budget or delivery
vehicle, start somewhere and go! I've run field
sales training development coupled with
opportunities on a shoestring budget,
electronic delivery and zero meetings. It's more
about getting it done than getting it perfect.
Why shouldn't we, the learning leaders of
development in an organization, be the driving
force behind helping our companies discover
that the field sales training team can fulfill any
role? Building your best talent - your field
sales trainers - to be even better can be
priceless for them and your organization's
bench. ■

Melissa Lowe is senior manager, VI sales enablement & learning, for Spectranetics. Email Melissa at
Melissa.Lowe@spnc.com.

FOCUS | Field Sales Training 2017 | www.L-TEN.org

13


http://www.L-TEN.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017

LTEN Focus on Training Magazine
Opening Statement: A Thank You Letter to Field Trainers
Table of Contents
Directions: Unsung Heroes!
Guest Editor: Striking a Balance
Front of the Room: The Privilege of Field Trainers
Perspectives: Building Your Bench
The 46th LTEN Annual Conference: Supporting Field Trainers
Supporting & Cultivating the Field
Rock, Paper, Scissors: Ensuring Success
Bayer's Evolving Development for Field Sales Trainers
Amping Up the Role of Field Sales Trainers
Influence & Impact Others
The Missing Ingredient for Field Skills Trainer Programs
The Evolving Role of the Field Trainer
Ad Index
Focus Contacts
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Intro
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - LTEN Focus on Training Magazine
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Cover2
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Opening Statement: A Thank You Letter to Field Trainers
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 4
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Table of Contents
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 6
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Directions: Unsung Heroes!
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 8
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Guest Editor: Striking a Balance
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 10
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Front of the Room: The Privilege of Field Trainers
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 12
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Perspectives: Building Your Bench
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - The 46th LTEN Annual Conference: Supporting Field Trainers
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 15
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Supporting & Cultivating the Field
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 17
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Rock, Paper, Scissors: Ensuring Success
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 19
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 20
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 21
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 22
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Bayer's Evolving Development for Field Sales Trainers
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 24
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 25
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 26
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 27
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Amping Up the Role of Field Sales Trainers
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 29
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 30
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 31
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Influence & Impact Others
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 33
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - The Missing Ingredient for Field Skills Trainer Programs
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 35
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 36
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - The Evolving Role of the Field Trainer
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 38
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - 39
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Ad Index
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Focus Contacts
Focus Supplement 2 - Summer 2017 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/LtenFocus/2017winter
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/LtenFocus/2016winter
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/focus/2012fall
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/focus/2012spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/focus/2012winter
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