The last few months have been a challenge for us all but, in the short term at least, as life begins to resume a greater degree of normality, the question many are asking how much some working practices developed during lockdown will continue into the future.
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions have been delivering the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited Finance Unlocked training programme to our partner sales teams for over five years and until March of this year virtually all training was delivered face to face in a classroom environment.
The option of delivering training via webinars has been available for some time and the digital versions of Finance Unlocked received CPD accreditation well before any of us had heard of Coronavirus, but training was rarely delivered using this platform.
Just as with every other aspect of working and personal life, lockdown changed everything and as our partner salespeople were unable to leave their homes, there was a ready-made audience for digital training, especially as face to face training was no longer an option.
We established at a relatively early stage that even furloughed employees could undertake training and many of those not furloughed saw an initial decline in time spent communicating with customers and colleagues, giving a perfect opportunity for salespeople to ‘brush up’ their knowledge and skills.
Finance Unlocked went bite-sized
The early weeks of lockdown were spent converting content designed for face to face training, normally involving sessions lasting a minimum of two hours, to a series of short modules lasting about 30 minutes each.
Our partners were provided with a catalogue of topics and selected one or more for their teams, each being tailored for the market in which they operated. Where a number of modules were selected, delivery tended to be on a weekly basis over up to eight weeks.
Given this was a new form of training delivery we were very keen to receive feedback from those taking part. Participants are invited to complete a survey on the quality and relevance of the training they receive and we are delighted to have received very high satisfaction scores, similar to the positive feedback we have always received after face to face training.
Will Finance Unlocked stay bite-sized?
The big lesson learned since March is that effective finance training can be delivered via webinars and that many people have become very comfortable with the idea of video-conferencing in both their personal and working lives.
Face to face training remains the best option where increasing sales-team knowledge about business finance is identified as a mission-critical priority, or where there are significant knowledge gaps amongst a number of the team.
There is however a place for digitally-delivered training where experienced team members are looking to refresh their knowledge in specific areas, such as regulation and compliance or understanding financial statements, or new team members want an intro to the basics of selling using leasing in their market/sectors.
Bite-sized webinars can be conducted at a time and place convenient to individuals, can be tailored to suit specific requirements, can be cost-effectively delivered and achieved without the loss of valuable ‘selling time’. It is therefore a logical conclusion that webinars will remain an important element of future training, even as we move toward a more normal way of working. With important additions to both content and means of delivery, Finance Unlocked is within easy reach of everyone and will prove a very useful way of refreshing knowledge after an extended period of reduced sales activity.
Andy is an experienced sales and finance professional with over 25 years’ experience in sales aid leasing. Andy is widely recognised as an expert in business finance and has in recent years focused his attention on developing partner sales teams develop an understanding of how businesses secure project financing. His training programme – Finance Unlocked – is a highly rated customisable course and is offered at no cost to partners.
If you’re interested in helping your sales team overcome finance-related hurdles during the selling cycle, please get in touch with Andy on 07966 114 243 or email here.