We couldn’t provide the level of service our shippers and carriers have come to expect from us without our great people. This is why our comprehensive training program plays a key role in providing our new hires with the confidence they need in order to successfully execute their job duties as they progress throughout their careers at Spot. One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from prospective candidates is “What does the training program look like?”. Well, we’re here to tell you! We sat down with John Forehand, our Training & Development Manager, and Logan Davis, our Trainer, for some insight into what a typical first week of training entails, how our program differs from others, and more!
What does a typical first week of training look like?
- Day 1 = Intro to Spot as a company (what we do, our top customers, our culture, etc.)
- Day 2 = Intro to the logistics industry
- Day 3 = Computer set-up and lifecycle of an order (how a shipment progresses through Red Technologies, our internal proprietary software platform)
- Days 4 & 5 = How to perform “check calls” (ensuring that truck drivers are running on time with our loads) and a deeper dive into Red Technologies
How long does the initial training period last?
This is dependent upon the role, however, every new hire goes through at least the first week of training before they start individualized “lessons” within their department. If you’re in a sales role, the initial training period lasts 6-8 weeks, and you’ll participate in half classroom and half “on the sales floor” training. Here’s a few examples of what you’d focus on:
Account Manager – Carrier
- Booking loads with a carrier
- Negotiating rates with a carrier
- Sourcing lanes (finding the right carrier to match up with a shipment)
- Building a carrier base
- Setting up carriers on automated tracking (to ensure we always know where their load is)
- Working with a sales team to better understand their day-to-day tasks
- Ramp structure (what does it take to get to commission?)
- Finding a good prospect
- Practicing an elevator pitch
- Handling typical sales objections
- Using the marketing department to reach prospects
- Learning how to quote a lane (what does it cost to move a shipment from Point A to Point B?)
How does our training program help set new hires up for success?
The first week of training is imperative because this is when you first start learning about the industry and what it is that we’re selling (transportation solutions). Then comes real world application because learning by doing is key! We cannot stress our “on the sales floor” training more because this is when you truly learn the ropes of working with shippers and carriers.
What are the different methods of training Spot utilizes?
We realize that constantly being presented to can become overwhelming, so we use a plethora of training methods from gamification to videos and quizzes. For example, when Account Managers practice sales calls as a group, points are attributed for various actions (i.e. – 10 points if a rep gets a prospect to laugh). We also understand that some people prefer self-learning, so we utilize a tool, Litmos, for web-based courses and quizzes. Litmos allows us track where new hires might need more training based on their quiz scores.
What programs do we have in place for ongoing performance development?
We’re all about the metrics here at Spot! If you’re in a sales role, you will have weekly one-on-one meetings with your Manager for feedback and to discuss growth and performance opportunities. Account Manager – Carriers are measured against margin and repeat carrier usage to show how well they’re building relationships with their carrier base while Account Managers are measured against revenue and margin to show how well they’re quoting. As a new hire, getting to commission is the ultimate goal, and our training program provides you with the tools and resources to get you there!
What do you think separates our training program from others?
The phrase “we’re experts in logistics” can be seen on our office walls and on various Spot-branded t-shirts, but this is really how our program is different. We have to train our new hires to apply industry information before they can use it within their roles, especially in sales. Providing personalized, individualized attention is also crucial. Many programs offer the same training to everyone, no matter if they’re digesting the content or not. If we have someone who needs more help, we’re always willing to schedule one-on-one sessions if needed so they can truly grasp all the required information. This couldn’t be more important as we continue to grow. We can’t grow without our people, and our training program is a vital step in our growth trajectory.
Not to mention, we have a pretty cool training room at our headquarter office in Indy that features just a few of our company values across the walls!