Cheif Learning Officer Solutions for Enterprise Productivity

The 2008 Learning In Practice Awards

“We looked at those three metrics: customer satisfaction, turnover and sales volume,” DePerez said. “Everyone that got trained blew away that metric versus those that didn’t get trained.”

Trained consultants sold 35 more units per year, but DePerez said the underlying metrics were perhaps more important.

“Sometimes basic and more traditional metrics are not telling you the whole story. Almost 40 percent of our sales consultants had unacceptable monthly sales volumes. The reason was there were so many more untrained ones than were trained ones,” he explained.

“From a retail perspective, it’s nice to know the training works and that a trained consultant can sell more and satisfy customers better. The downside is most stores didn’t have enough trained sales consultants. That was the last challenge that we faced.”

During the experiment period, the Chrysler Academy performed a gap analysis, talking to sales consultants with superior performance to determine what they did on a daily basis to satisfy customers. A performance map followed that outlined the behaviors top performers executed to get the desired result.

“At the very highest level we tried to prove that training was not an expense; it was an investment,” DePerez said. “We are obviously very happy with the results because it gave us a way to come back to customers.

“In the Chrysler Academy, our customers are our dealers, our sales consultants and sales managers, service advisers — all the people a retail customer meets when he or she enters a dealership. Our sole purpose for existing is to make sure they do the best job possible, not only to satisfy our retail customers but to ensure the profitability of our dealerships.

“It’s about profitability; it’s about the business. And satisfying customers is great business. That’s our role: teaching people how to do that. We proved that skills’ training does work.”


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