The skills and competence of callers is the foundation for the success of any telemarketing company. Investment in training and development is critical to retain skills and maintain quality standards for longer term business success. Our interview with Wendy Nobbs, the Learning and Development Manager at The Telemarketing Company, looks at the company’s approach to people development.
Wendy, you have been with The Telemarketing Company for a year now, what attracted you to the position?
My background is in operational management, and learning and development within large corporate companies in sectors such as Finance, Insurance, and Utilities. Those are key sectors for The Telemarketing Company and the position offered the opportunity for me to apply my commercial experience in a context where I could make an impact.
Was this a new role within the company?
There had been a part time trainer providing a base line programme including induction and core skills, but this was a new full time role, designed to take a strategic view on people development. The key change and main objective in creating the full time role was to align learning and development with overall business goals, rather than taking an ad-hoc approach. The potential to introduce an end to end solution across the whole business, integrated with business priorities, was very appealing.
How have things progressed over the year?
One of my first objectives was to implement a leadership and development programme providing a career path into management for our more experienced telemarketers. This has been extremely successful and supports a wider vision to establish clear career paths and succession plans for all roles across the business.
This year has been about laying the foundations for future initiatives within our Telemarketing Department. We are an ISMM (Institute of Sales and Marketing Management) accredited centre and the priority now is to take a structured approach, embedding the ISMM training and assessment process so that each and every employee is performing in line with the standard and able to be accredited within 9 months of joining the company. At the same time we continue to progress our Market Research Interviewers through the MRS AITS (Accredited Interviewing Training Scheme) framework.
Its sounds like there have been some interesting initiatives, what has been the most rewarding aspect of the role so far?
As a growing company there is a steady stream of new recruits to the business, and it is always great to meet new people from a variety of backgrounds, possessing different strengths and skills. I have also really enjoyed the wide variety of campaign types – from project based work for smaller clients to large scale ongoing projects targeting C-level executives for corporate clients. We support a broad range of sectors too, so I could be coaching callers for a financial compliance piece of work one day, and then a multilingual lead generation campaign into technology companies the next. Ensuring the callers are the right fit and have the right skills to deliver the campaign is really satisfying.
What are the priorities for 2016?
The overarching priority for 2016 is to consolidate the work we have done around the Learning and Development infrastructure. Aside from the ISMM framework, this will include a suite of courses to support career development plans and new mechanisms to measure and evaluate training and learning interventions and improve quality and effectiveness throughout the company.