Why Industry Training for Salespeople Matters

Travis Cook

At Connection, we have a particular focus in the healthcare, retail, and manufacturing industries, with dedicated resources and expertise specific to each. I’ve personally been selling into, supporting, and otherwise engaged with healthcare clients at Connection for well over a decade. My interest in and focus on the retail and manufacturing industries is fledgling by comparison—less than two years in each. One of the more obvious truths is that each of these industries has a unique language—the more fluent you are in the language of an industry, the greater your ability to connect with clients in it.

One of the ways that we as human beings judge competency is based upon the speaker’s correct use of key phrases, terminology, and later, an ability to understand and articulate key concepts—misspell HIPAA in a customer email for example, and correctly or not, you’ve instantly identified yourself as someone who doesn’t “get” healthcare. Most importantly, an educated salesperson is positioned to have a relevant conversation with our clients, bringing value in the form of resources, information, and the sharing of industry best practices.

So, what’s our approach to industry training for our sales teams?

  • Certification Training: Participants take a 101-level healthcare, retail, or manufacturing training that covers the big picture, including an industry overview, trends, and customer challenges.
  • Partner Training: Our partnerships with HP, Apple, Microsoft, and hundreds of others are crucial to client success—we ensure that our teams receive this critical training from our largest partners, as well as from more niche providers who have key industry solutions.
  • Connection University Events and Summits: Lasting a full day or more, these annual offsite sessions include presentations from clients, peers, key partners, internal resources, and other industry experts.
  • Advanced Training: Some of our salespeople attain industry certifications to further their knowledge and enhance their value, such as the CHIME Foundation Certified Healthcare Executive (CFCHE) designation held by several of our sellers.

Healthcare, retail, and manufacturing are each dynamic industries, and as we close 2018, we’re once again evaluating our curriculum to ensure that the content remains current. We’ll continue to make strategic investments in industry training for our sales teams because our customer-centric approach to discerning, designing, and delivering IT solutions requires a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by our clients in these markets. Coupled with an industry-leading average tenure of 10 years (yes, really), this level of commitment to the education of our salespeople helps to ensure that when you speak with a Connection representative, they are more than just an “order-taker”—they are prepared to serve as a highly trained extension of your IT department.

Travis Cook is Director of Industry Solutions Group at Connection, with over 20 years of technology industry experience, including positions in sales, sales management, and operations. Travis is passionate about the application of IT within the retail, manufacturing and finance vertical markets, and he has particular interest and experience in the healthcare industry.