Setting a new standard in field sales and marketing
“We wanted to create programmes that give people knowledge and skills that they can walk out of the door with and use straight away. University of Derby heard us, and they helped us deliver just that. But in addition, they’ve added an academic rigour that brings credibility and makes the programmes more valuable for the individual’s future professional development.”
Steve Radford, Managing Director, FieldStar
Working with FieldStar, the UK’s only membership body for field sales and field marketing professionals, we identified an opportunity to introduce the sector’s first accredited qualification.
FieldStar had developed some online training in industry essentials for their members, but no comprehensive, accredited learning existed for people working in field sales, field marketing and face-to-face promotions that target businesses and consumers. This was surprising since 80,000 people are employed in this area. Like FieldStar, we felt this was a missed opportunity.
We worked with FieldStar to develop a clear skills and knowledge map for all field sales and marketing professionals, and from that we created a broad level 4 university qualification in face-to-face marketing.
Since FieldStar’s members are based all over the country and work different hours, we developed a course that consisted of a 1-day introductory workshop followed by work based, independent learning using an online learning portal.
Learners used the portal to work through reading material, video clips and other information and after each section, they answered questions and reflected upon what they had learned.
Each learner had an allocated tutor who was available by phone or email throughout the course, to provide guidance and support.
We ran the Certificate in Face-to-Face Marketing successfully for a cohort of over 250 people and received positive feedback from FieldStar and learners.
Following a review, it was decided that a suite of more career-specific qualifications, instead of this broad qualification, would better meet the needs of the industry. Therefore, using the original programme as our foundations, we created three new level 4 qualifications targeted at specific job roles:
- University Certificate in In-Store Merchandising
- University Certificate in Professional Field Sales
- University Certificate in Demonstrating and Training.
This has enabled us to make the qualifications more relevant. These programmes only started running recently so we will need to wait to assess their impact.
Working with FieldStar, we have also developed a series of short, non-accredited online training courses at levels 1, 2 and 3, which prepare for, and lead on to, the level 4 qualifications. Members can access this training from FieldStar’s website.
We’ve maintained a positive long-term relationship with FieldStar and are supporting them with the administration, marketing, and ongoing development of their suite of programmes.
“This was far better than any other training I have received. It gave me a much clearer understanding of marketing and actually helped me learn about myself. It will in turn help my agency because I am a better sales person for doing the course - I have since been promoted!”
Annette Robson, Field Sales Executive, ODM