Training Top 125 Best Practice: Enterprise Holdings’ Account Executive First-Year Road Map
In August 2015, Enterprise Holdings’ Car Sales division rolled out a new hiring process and training curriculum for new account executives (AEs).
Rather than new account executives selling immediately upon hire as they previously did, they are immersed in training for the first two weeks. These two weeks of training include readings, assignments, observations, and skill practices in topics such as:
- The Goal-Setting Process
- Positive Customer Service Through Needs-Based Selling
- Product Features and Benefits
- Prospect Generation
- Lot Visit Production
- The Seven-Step Sales Process
- Handling Objections
- Finance & Insurance
- Fleet Inventory
- Certification, Reporting, and Putting It All Together
New hires also learn the customer relationship management system and read the book, “Integrity Selling for the 21st Century.” At the end of each of these two weeks, a comprehensive test is required. Managers receive their own weekly checklists that explain, in detail, the time and effort required to help the new employees strengthen their knowledge of the business and their role in it.
AEs attend a sales boot camp at corporate headquarters in their third week. The facilitated classroom sessions focus on the steps of the sales process and include demonstrations by experienced area or group Car Sales managers from across the country; certain classroom sections are followed by a skill practice session in which the AEs practice the skills they have just learned and are individually coached by successful sales managers.
On the last day of boot camp, the AEs practice key steps of the sales process and receive additional individual coaching. These skill practices lead to increased confidence, which leads to stronger sales success within the first six months of tenure.
Once they return to their locations, the AEs start selling in their fourth week and continue their first-year training roadmap until the 12th month in their role. Management is heavily involved with the learning and development of the AEs throughout the entire road map. Enterprise Holdings provides skill practice checklists for managers to capture feedback while practicing various steps of the sales process with their developing AEs. The managers are expected to meet with the AEs monthly to discuss their goals and coach them accordingly. The AEs are held accountable for completing the road map in My Success Center, Enteprise Holdings’ learning management system (LMS). For weeks 1-12 and months 4-12, an AE marks his or her road map tasks as complete. The completion triggers an e-mail message to the manager, who must verify the successful completion before the AE can move forward in the training.
From fiscal year 2015 to fiscal year 2016 (since implementing the new training), the number of AEs selling 10 or more vehicles in their first six months has tripled. AE retention also has increased year over year by almost 1 percent.