Just as a traditional apprenticeship program for a machinist would not begin by putting a new hire in front of a CNC control and expect them to know G-code and be able to program a part, your new salespeople, regardless of whether they are fresh out of school or coming from another industry, should first be educated on the fundamentals of how to sell to companies in the advanced manufacturing market.
Starting with the fundamentals
The MT Sales Fundamentals workshop and the new e-learning version of the workshop have been proven for more than a decade to set sales professionals on a pathway to success when completed as they are being onboarded, providing them training on the specific products they’ll be selling. They’ll learn foundational relationship-building skills along with the 6 Step Process, a methodology that places an understanding of the exact needs of each customer at the beginning of the sales process.
For those new hires who are unfamiliar with the fundamental technologies that are widely used throughout our industry, there are the MT Shop Basics e-learning classes available on MTUniversity on milling, turning, grinding, cutting tools, and workholding, as well as shop math and print reading, that provide a good starting point even before a new salesperson begins product training.
If your product line mix includes 3D printing or additive manufacturing, or even if you simply want to provide your new sales hire with an understanding of additive as a competitive fundamental, we have the MT Additive e-learning classes available on MTUniversity.
CMTSE: Stand above the rest
To provide your company and your salespeople with an even greater competitive advantage after they’ve mastered the fundamentals, the Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineer (CMTSE) program is your best tool in the toolbox.
Founded in 1993, the CMTSE program is our industry’s only nationally certified, nationally recognized certification program for sales professionals in manufacturing technology.
The CMTSE program includes study guide material on sales professionalism, including business ethics, as well as content on the key manufacturing technologies and equipment in use today, including new, emerging, transformative technologies.
Like most national certification and credential programs, the CMTSE program is rigorous. There is a proctored online exam with a three-hour time limit. The question bank for the CMTSE includes more than 700 multiple choice questions that are delivered during the exam on a weighted basis according to a gauge of importance that is determined by the CMTSE committee. As a result, slightly less than 70% of CMTSE candidates pass the exam the first time they take it.
The results, however, are meaningful. Earning the CMTSE allows MT sales professionals to set themselves above their competition during the entire sales and ongoing customer relationship process. CMTSEs are recognized for their achievement at IMTS, and like most national certification programs, CMTSEs must recertify once every three years through an ongoing professional development process.
For sales leaders, the CMTSE program provides a ready solution to management by objectives (MBOs) and a useful key performance indicator (KPI) for each of your salespeople.
In all of AMT’s Smartforce Development efforts to solve the skills gap in manufacturing generally, we advocate for industry-recognized credentials across all job functions, and this is why it’s so vitally important for salespeople in our industry to earn the CMTSE credential as well as build a strong MT fundamentals foundation.