Continuity Has a Great Impact on Skills

You can never stress the importance of continuity in business enough. This is especially the case with customer relationships, where long-term customerships are preferred. 

The other hand, customers appreciate that they are treated with respect and this is reached when you know the needs and wants of your customer and the reasons behind their behaviour.  The customers need to be treated correctly regardless of the point of interaction, respect and professionalism is equally important when dealing with them either directly over the counter, or on-line.  Well qualified sales or service professionals are always in demand to treat customers in the best way.   Keeping up the skills of your frontline personnel requires first objective measurement of the skills and correct forecasting about the acceptability of the time value of the skills. 

The training of the personnel has to be continuous, because the employees need to be always qualified.  The results of the training have to be objectively measured.  You need these elements for the improvement of the results.  This way you can let your employees shine.  Those, who struggle and need help, will be thankful for the assistance and remain loyal to the company.  The old truth, that you can´t improve anything, unless you can measure it. 

The training requirements for the employees vary from business to business. In some industries, the educational background of the personnel can be rather modest and the need for work related training can be relatively high.  Here, on job learning by doing is never good enough.  When you want your personnel to be proud of what they are doing and they do not feel, that they are just filling job vacancies, you have to provide systematic training and skills transfer for them.  Additionally, these companies operate in the service businesses, where you have to provide services with a constantly good quality and the conformance of services has to be continuously according to the service agreements.  This sets high requirements for the HR department and the smooth operation of the training processes. 

The Skills Map service is designed to help in this kind of situations. With the help of the Boudin Skills Pool concept, skills targets for qualified employees can be set and easily kept.  You can easily include unique customer specific service promises into your contracts.  With the monitoring software, it is easy to keep your promises and to keep the agreed service levels.  

Additionally, individuals with designated, measured skills can be included as reserves into skills pools as back up personnel to be used in cases of emergency.The Skills Map makes a beautiful visualisation of available current skills and you can get estimates about how much of the demanded skills can be pulled from the skills pools in the future and how much additional training is needed for keeping the service promises.  The skills pools and the individual insights and views can be easily tailored into the visuals of the software to meet your customer specific demands.

Written by Kari Hartikainen, Sales, Boudin Oy

Responsibility for Training and Budget

Product managers, who have the budget responsibility for their products at the same time often have to carry the burden of keeping their own personnel, as well as the personnel of the resellers and all members of the distribution chain trained for achieving constantly better sales results.  They have to be aware of the training needs for the personnel new to the products.   At the same time, they have to keep track, that all individuals’ product skills are valid.  They have to keep track on the expiration dates on person level and at the same time they have to watch for the decay of the time values of all accomplishments up to 18 months in advance.  When substantial churn numbers have to be bridged, we all know, that they are more than happy to get assisted by intelligent software.

Managers, who have product responsibility often want to ask questions about the relationship between product skills and sales, or how some other Key Performance Indicators benefit from different product skills.  Training Insights service gives a strait forward answer to this question. You get realistic estimates about the relationships of skills correlated with different sales results.

 By extending these thoughts, you can consider what is the possibility to get for example extra sales by improving training results.  Crunched numbers might show areas, where this is feasible. You know from experience how much personnel you need for budgeted sales performance.  Wouldn’t it help to know how to pair sales volumes with skills, so that your operations are not limited by skills.  When you know, that you have enough personnel with sufficient skills and your numbers are not there, you can start searching for corrective solutions elsewhere.

Written by Antti Kurki, Sales, Boudin Oy

Sharpen The Skills

Boudin Analytics Services are designed to enables intuitive monitoring of the skills in your workforce for your Human Resources- and specially for your training professionals. The solution has parameter driven index values for easy setting and adjusting of learning targets for maintaining, developing and keeping track of the skills of your employees. 

The beautifully visualised analytics results give you tailored insights about the current status and possible development scenarios of the skills of your workforce.  You can easily drill down to get all relevant skills related information for your personnel accurate to the different levels of your monthly reporting.  You have also liberal possibilities to make comparisons of your wish of skills related data.

The system also provides you on daily basis with predictions about future training needs for the personnel broken down by different products, product groups, locations, courses, languages, dates etc. on person-based levels.  The automated monitoring system is very helpful for keeping all positions stuffed with qualified professionals all the time. This is very important when we deal with a huge number of sales- and customer service professionals.  These positions are exposed to relatively high churn numbers and it is important to keep these vacancies filled with properly trained employees.  Because you need qualified people with adequate training on continuous basis, you have to be well prepared in advance.

Data visualisation is the graphical representation of information and data. By using intuitive chairs and graphs along with heat maps always showing the data with the granularity of the subtotals of the monthly reporting. The visualisation tools provide an easy and accessible way to see and understand trends, outliers, and patterns in data.  The stochastic analysis gives mainly answers to what – type of questions and the HR – marketing – and sales professionals need to act according to the messages of the gained results.

Today, visualization of data is a key property of analytics to make sense of the millions of data points generated on monthly basis about the product skills development in a company. It helps personnel to see insights on skills by curating data into a form easier to understand, highlighting current scores, seeing the trends and spotting outliers. You can’t stress enough the importance of proper visualisation when planning how to bring the status and the all the different key components of skills development to the forefront of your daily reporting.

Tailored visualisations meeting the needs of individual customers telling those stories that they need to listen to.  This is achieved by removing the noise from the otherwise cluttered data and highlighting the information which is useful for all the involved parties.  However, it’s not simply as easy as just dressing up a graph to make it look better or creating flashy infographics. Effective data visualization is a delicate balancing act between form and function.  

The graphs should be clear and fresh for encouraging the readers of the reports to catch notice of the important issues and act when this is needed.  Graphs have to make powerful points alive for conveying the right messages to the right persons for correct actions.  These persons need to focus for uncovering all the difficult why questions.  The data and the visuals need to work together, and only in close cooperation with the users of the analytics we can create the right analytics visuals to tell the stories intended just for them.

Training Insights service is designed in a way that with a few glances you can understand standing with skills. The visuals are business driven which means that they are product specific ones, and follow the same reporting structures that product financials. The products of your company define which skills your personnel needs for selling their products optimally. The level of product specific skills can be illustrated in many ways. With the help of heat maps and traffic lights it is easy to drill down to the importance of individual skills parameters for sales results on sales outlet, country-, territory-, or sales channel levels on continuous basis. 

It is necessary to be able to forecast the suitability and quality of training materials, and of the training. The quality of the used training content is often not an objective issue.  Many different individuals with their own agendas make daily decisions, what training courses should be used for providing wanted skills for the personnel.  For some functions in the company, like in sales or customer service, the quality of training content can be measured by linking the measured training results with relevant Key Performance Indicators.

Finding a solution for the effect of training and training materials on their functional causality has been quite challenging for a long time.  We use stochastic analytics for analysing the relationships between wanted outcomes and the used training materials. The suitability of the content for its use is tested with a small number of test persons and usable results are at hand immediately after the test population has concluded their tests.  The results are reliable regardless of the distribution of the test scores and there is no need for adding more test objects for reception of a significant result.  Normally, when you look at sales training, you have to wait for some time for the preliminary sales results to appear into the reports.  Now, when analysing the test results with the Content Master service, you can have as immediate report for the test scores for example that the use of the tested learning material for the training of your sales force will increase the sales of a certain product by for example 5% with 85% probability. This makes a   comparison of the quality of different training contents unequivocal and fast. These analytics tools can be effectively used in the content design process to find a compelling training content very fast. 

Written by Kari Hartikainen, Sales, Boudin Oy