Perhaps this third installment in our series dedicated to examining the ROI in employee training ought to start off with a couple of simple bulleted lists. In fact, it could be argued that these lists sum up the point of our series quite nicely.

If you haven’t yet been convinced about the correlation between training and increased profitability, allow yourself a few moments to think about the bottom-line impact of each of the following:

No Brainers

  • Understanding the difference between margin and markup
  • Being able to recognize the importance of gross margin dollars
  • Appreciating the real costs associated with errors
  • Standing firm on pricing
  • Awareness of price sensitivities among different classes of customers and products
  • Adding more line items to each sale
  • Controlling the operating costs per order
  • Providing your more costly services only to your higher-margin customers
  • Regularly prospecting for new customers

    Ask yourself whether everyone on your sales team has a solid handle on these high-impact areas affecting your company’s profitability. And if your answer isn’t a resounding “Yes!” it could mean that they are leaving valuable dollars on the table.

    Besides these “No Brainers,” there are other ways in which your profitability can be affected by the behavior and skills of your team members.

  • Also Impactful

  • Speaking the language of the customer
  • Understanding how customers make money and control costs
  • Suggesting alternative products to customers
  • Getting up to speed in new job areas faster
  • Treating internal and external customers with respect
  • Understanding the connection between profitability and job security
  • Seeking out new ways to develop knowledge and skills for professional development

    The dollar value associated with these behaviors and skills are a lot harder to pin down, but it’s not difficult to understand how they relate to the big picture.

    If you didn’t answer a resounding “Yes!”, how do you get your employees to address these issues that directly impact your profitability? Wishing and hoping won’t do it, neither will thinking your employees will eventually “get it” the longer they are on the job. Identifying and fulfilling the need will, just as it does in every other profit center of your business. You need to take the bull by the horns and train your people.

  • Investing in Training

    There are a number of providers of good, quality training programs that address these areas, but perhaps none so targeted as ASA’sEssentials™ brand of courses, directed specifically at the factors that make the plumbing & PVF industries profitable. Among the three editions in theEssentials™ series are chapters that specifically address each one of the “No Brainers” or “Also Impactful” areas of possible profitability enhancement.

    Since their introduction in 2004,the Essentials™ series has been accessed by more than 1,800 individuals, who have taken the courses, passed the final exam, and been issued their certificate of completion.

    And owing to their ongoing and increased usage this year, even in a depressed market, one can make the assumption that the companies who enroll their employees in the Essentials™ programs know something that others don’t –training isn’t an expense, it’s an investment in your most valuable resource, your employees.

    For more information about theEssentials™ brand of training courses, which includes modules on Inside Sales, Showroom Sales and others, as well as a superior product knowledge training series, ProductPro®, visit the Education and Training section, or call Inge Calderon at 312-464-0090, ext. 202.