Two priorities of the entire WEX organization are investing in our people and becoming a consistent employer of choice. A prime example of how we implement this vision is our Sales Manager Training program, which is part of the WEX Sales University curriculum. This best-in-class training for our global sales teams supports strategic objectives while giving the teams tools to build professional skills and foster success.
“Our goal is to elevate sales leadership training and build our ability to develop, attract, motivate, and grow tomorrow’s talent,” says Jason Hanley, VP of our global sales operations. “We’re committed to the success of our sales managers and other sales professionals, and our Sales Manager Training is a comprehensive program that positively impacts the success of an entire team.”
As soon as someone is promoted or hired as a sales manager in our U.S. fleet, virtual, or OTR lines of business, their training experience begins. New sales managers first go through HR leadership courses that cover the fundamentals of being a WEX manager. With that foundation, Sales Manager Training takes over to cover everything from mastering tools like Salesforce to building people-management skills such as coaching and mentoring.
The Training Journey
“The Sales Manager Training program spans the first year in that role,” says Kathryn Connolly, manager of sales and training development for global sales operations. She notes that the majority of new sales managers are promoted from within, part of the company’s commitment to grow and develop talent internally.
Connolly recently hosted 17 sales managers from our fleet, virtual, and OTR lines of business for four days of training in Maine. This annual workshop covers a range of topics to help WEXers develop their sales management careers, including:
- Personal leadership and communication skills
- Motivating and coaching your sales team for success
- Creating a vision and plan for your team
- Strategic thinking and achieving group goals
Another piece of the curriculum is pipeline coaching for sales managers, a course offered by an outside expert at our Maine offices. This program teaches managers how to coach at each stage of a sales opportunity, helping their team get past different barriers in the sales process. The focus is on three types of coaching relevant to effective pipeline management: pipeline health coaching, opportunity coaching, and call coaching.
“The pipeline coaching training was very insightful and impactful, and I was able to come back from that and immediately put some things in place that made positive changes for my sales team,” says Barry Nelson, who was promoted last year to SE Division sales manager for our ExxonMobil Fleet Card Program. “In addition to teaching new management skills and techniques, all of the sales manager trainings offer an ability to collaborate and build relationships with your sales counterparts that is absolutely priceless.”
More Tools for Success
In addition to pipeline coaching, sales managers participate in Integrity Coaching®, a developmental process that equips all WEX managers with practical concepts and tools to coach people for increased productivity and job satisfaction. The coaching is grounded in the belief that a manager's primary role is to develop people, and includes a simple five-step coaching system and an eight-week online follow-up course.
An intensive 2-day training on Salesforce is offered quarterly at our Maine headquarters, as well as our EFS office in Nashville. With a focus on pipeline management and forecasting, the sessions also teach managers how to conduct effective pipeline coaching sessions with their teams. Other aspects of the Salesforce training include creating reports and dashboards and using metrics to drive sales performance.
“The sales manager training has been part of Sales University for almost three years, and we’ve got solid coverage for our U.S. sales managers,” notes Connolly. “We’ve taken Integrity Coaching to the sales management teams in WEX Australia and Europe as well, and look forward to expanding access globally to more of the curriculum.”