“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see
and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” — John C. Maxwell
Back in 52 B.C. Julio Cesar wrote that Experience is the best teacher of all things and over 2000 years later not much have changed. In the professional arena, there are uncountable learnings that will only be presented through the daily practice of an occupation. If we can add to our own learnings the knowledge from a more experienced professional, the benefits will magnify! Therein lies the power of mentorship.
Mentorship programmes expose employees to best practices through the guidance of a senior co-worker with the knowledge and capabilities to facilitate the professional journey of their peers. Mentors have the role of helping their mentees through advising and coaching, which help them to perform more effectively and gives the employee more satisfaction, while helping them to grow both personal and professionally.
In sales, mentors are often used to grow the capabilities of the sales force. The use of a mentor can be more informal and for a short period of time, or it can be more formal with a long-term program put in place. It all depends on the results that want to be achieved and the seniority of the mentee. Often junior employees will feel more comfortable speaking about a particular issue or clarifying a doubt with a peer instead of their supervisors.
Mentors provide valuable insight into the profession of the mentee as well as into their personal sales practices. There are many tricks and tips that can only be passed from hand to hand. Sales mentors can also be dedicated to coach a particular skill or can teach how to deal with a specific issue/situation. Or else they can focus on the mentees overall development.
Mentors can facilitate the mentee’s growth by providing them with networking opportunities and sharing resources. One of the greatest things about mentor programs is that they create a safe learning environment for taking risk and they promote a culture of challenge and creativity, helping individuals to step outside their comfort zone.
The benefits of mentorship programs are not only restricted to the individuals involved in the program, the company also reaps the rewards of this approach. The most obvious outcome is a better-trained and more compliant workforce with an increased productivity, but the benefits go beyond the mere improvements in the sales practice.
Mentorship programs help with employee retention and well-being. Both mentors and mentees feel more engaged with their work and have higher job satisfaction, which leads to higher productivity and less turnover. Especially in sales where the turnover of the staff is so high, mentorship initiatives have a strong impact in employee and knowledge retention. Employees that participate in these types of programmes have a higher career prospect and are able to see a clearer path for career progression.
At CPM we are knowledgeable about the key tools, such as mentorship, that can be beneficial when creating a high-performing sales team. We also understand the varying resourcing requirements, sales techniques and performance models to drive successful and compliant sales campaigns in highly competitive and regulated markets. With over 30 years’ experience in Ireland and 80 years in the industry, we are proud to have worked with different blue-chip clients and have set up successful sales teams on their behalf.