Conservatory Outlet has responded to the industry skills gap with the creation of a £100,000 sales training academy to help its 27-strong network of retail customers attract a high calibre of sales professionals from outside the sector.
The company expects at least 50 salespeople a year will go through the intensive training programme, which will be a combination of factory sessions at key suppliers and ongoing virtual workshops to boost understanding of purchasing trends.
Chief executive Greg Kane said: “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 It goes against the outdated ‘double glazing sales’ model of pushy salespeople, but we believe it is the right approach to deliver the best possible product, the best possible service and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.”
“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, in Invergordon, will be the first member of the network to benefit from the new academy.
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.”
Pictured (l-r): ERG’s Dean Andrews and Brendon Evans