The United States economy made strides in the past year, as consumer spending, household confidence, small business lending and a variety of other financial segments showed significant signs of improvement. Many analysts are forecasting a very busy and successful year in 2014, and companies that refine their strategies to foster growth will have plenty of opportunities to take advantage of in the coming months.
A resurgent economy generally translates to increased competition and more saturated markets, and businesses should focus on customer service and sales training programs to prepare for the challenges that will surface in the new year. As customer loyalty, strong brand recognition and exceptional performance in the sales department will translate to more preferable profit margins, training is a perfect investment for many firms.
Why invest in training?
Because there is such optimism surrounding the U.S. economy going into 2014, companies should become more aggressive in their strategies to bolster operational performances and expand into new markets. Here are three reasons why every business should focus on sales training programs at the beginning of 2014:
- Increased revenue potential: Kiplinger's most recently released economic outlook report forecast corporate spending to increase between 4.5 percent and 5 percent in 2014. As such, business-to-business firms have a lot of potential to increase revenues. Additionally, Kiplinger predicted that gross domestic product will expand by 2.6 percent next year.
- More newcomers: As businesses earn more money, their staff volumes will also likely begin to increase to ensure comfortable expansion. Kiplinger projects the unemployment rate to fall to 6.5 percent in the new year, which would represent much more new jobs than in 2013. Enterprises will need to ensure their new staff members, including customer service and sales employees, are properly trained and prepared.
- Retention equals continuity: Many companies have learned the substantial cost of employee churn the hard way. The Center for American Progress puts the price of replacing an employee at 20 percent of an employee's annual salary for those who earn $50,000 or less, which represents three-quarters of the workforce. Professional development opportunities such as sales training programs can help companies avoid high turnover rates and retain talented employees.
Regardless of which industry a company competes within or what its size classification might be, sales training investments can have profoundly positive impacts on the corporate bottom line. Going into the new year, a commitment to professional development will likely improve organizations' prospects substantially.