NCI Building Systems (NCI) is one of the top designers, manufacturers, and vendors of metal coatings, components, and buildings for nonresidential construction in North America. For over three decades, the company supports a broad client base, including manufacturers and contractors, mining and energy companies, retailers, wholesalers, schools, governments, and do-it-yourselfers. Almost everywhere you look you can find products made by NCI. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, the company has over 4,000 employees and 45 manufacturing facilities across the United States.
The NCI components division is supported by a team of inside sales representatives located across twenty manufacturing facilities. The sales team receives and fulfills incoming customer order requests for services. In order to generate additional sales opportunities, a new ‘outbound’ sales strategy was being implemented across the sales team. However, there was a significant skills gap within the sales team. The team was highly skilled in taking inbound customer order requests but lacked the outbound telesales skills necessary to sell products and services. The training goal was to teach the sales team the ‘tricks of the trade’ of selling, to successfully perform their new role.
“We had the product experts on staff but we did not have the training expertise to deliver the specialized telesales training skills and individual coaching sessions needed for our employees,” said Dave Barber, Director of Training at NCI Building Systems.
At first, finding a sales training provider did not seem like a difficult task. NCI knew several sales training providers capable of providing a variety of training services. However, the company soon experienced the challenge of finding a provider that could offer something other than an elaborate, prepackaged sales training solution involving several days of training, mounds of courseware, and other elaborate sales tools.
NCI needed a flexible training solution that was tailored to their specific training needs, without incurring any extra training expenses. “We needed a captivating trainer with the telesales experience to deliver one-on-one training in a casual atmosphere to our employees,” said Barber. The companies NCI contacted could not offer a training solution to meet their training requirements.
As a result, the company extended the search. NCI contacted The Training Associates (TTA) and after several in-depth conversations about the company’s telesales training initiative, TTA delivered the ideal training solution needed. “TTA quickly identified a qualified training professional with the background and skills to match my exact training requirements,” said Barber. “The flexible, on-demand training talent provided us with the flexibility and customization needed to meet our training goals.”
TTA delivered a training talent solution based on NCI’s need to effectively deliver instructor-led training (ILT) at each manufacturing facility. Based on TTA’s robust resources of highly qualified training professionals, TTA immediately identified and delivered an experienced trainer to provide the hands-on telesales training to the sales team at each location. “TTA knows how to get it done,” said Barber. “The training professional provided was perfect for the training engagement. The trainer easily transitioned into the company culture and possessed the telesales background we needed to connect with the sales team.” The training delivery schedule consisted of half day hands-on training followed by coaching sessions. In order to deliver individualized feedback and to further develop each sales representative, the trainer listened to their phone conversations and provided guidance and best practice sales tips – in real time.
By quickly and accurately identifying training talent that met the precise needs of the customer, TTA was able to decrease the company’s time-to-training and time-to-competency – saving NCI both time and money. The goal of up-skilling the sales team to successfully re-establish relationships with former customers to generate additional sales was achieved through the customized training. The training professional provided the effective training needed to turn the employees’ energy towards performing confidently and successfully in their new role.
The training was successful due to the increased volume and penetration of new accounts. “TTA’s ability to listen and to be open minded to my needs as a customer and to quickly identify and deliver the appropriate talent for our needs was what made this project a big success,” said Barber. “TTA was able to push customization to the extreme for us – when a canned solution would not work. TTA delivered us a flexible and customized training solution without the huge training overhead expense.”
NCI continues to rely on TTA to deliver training for the project. “TTA delivered the ideal training professional to train our sales team and we see it in the end results,” said Barber.