The Importance of Training When Developing High Performance Teams

When it comes to training, I have often found that the main objection I’m met with is cost and the potential loss of investment – “what happens if we train our staff and they leave?” My response… what happens if we don’t and they stay?”

Yes, training can be expensive and in businesses, people come and go. However, if the training is right, the relevant benefits far outweigh the cost. Training is vital in the workplace as it aids both personal and company growth. Training also makes employees feel valued and invested in, resulting in a happy environment and increased productivity.

Training can benefit company growth in numerous ways:

  • Best practice: Training expands the knowledge base of all employees within a company. By sharing best practice within the company, all employees understanding of procedures and processes and how to deliver a high standard of quality, can then be replicated daily and maintained throughout the entire team.
  • Consistency: Best practice goes hand-in-hand with consistency. With constant and relevant training from day one, all employees should receive a solid foundation of knowledge, which can then be built upon. With this foundation, all employees will possess the tools and knowledge to carry out and deliver work of the same outstanding standard and quality. 
  • Motivation: It is important to keep employees motivated as it has a direct effect on productivity. An increase in motivation will directly increase the productivity of employees and their overall performance as well as that of a team. In turn, this will generate more return on investment (ROI) for the client and the company, representing the importance of investing time and resources into training.
  • Employee satisfaction: Morale is high when productivity and performance throughout the company are strong. This coupled with personal achievements brings employee satisfaction, whereby employees are happy and feel valued, in turn they perform well. It’s a full circle that all stems from and starts with training.
  • Weak areas: Identifying and addressing weaknesses in a company presents the opportunity to carry out refresher training or upskill sessions to educate and share knowledge. This ensures that everyone is comfortable in what is required from them and the level of performance is once again maintained.
  • Collaboration: We all know that ‘two heads are better than one’. It makes sense then to share knowledge and experience, both within specific teams as well as between them. Coming together to help one another, as well as bringing different perspectives and opinions can sometimes be beneficial for everyone involved and helps to present various aspects of the company in various ways. This can be a training lead collaboration, whereby everyone can learn and benefit while also feeling like they have a voice.
  • Reduced employee turnover: When employees receive the relevant and correct amount of training, they should feel more comfortable and confident in the workplace being able to carry out all aspects of their role with ease. Thus, reducing anxiety, unhappiness and a desire to leave the company.

Training doesn’t always need to be delivered in-house. At times it is necessary to seek out external guidance and assistance. External training really helps with:

  • Access to expertise: When specific training is required, it is always best to go directly to the source and get the experts in, as they will know all the relevant information and the current tips and techniques being utilised and will be able to share best practice.
  • Fresh look: External trainers may be able to provide valuable insight into inefficiencies within the company and help us to see opportunities for improvement that we could implement smoothly and efficiently. By bringing in an outside view, they can suggest changes that we may have otherwise not been aware of or thought of.
  • Stretching our comfort zone: External trainers who are new to the business get employees stepping outside of their comfort zones immediately, as someone new is around.

When our comfort zones are stretched, we find it fosters creativity making us more flexible and adaptable to unexpected change. It also motivates us and increases our overall productivity and performance.

So, if you’re considering implementing a training programme for your team, give it a go, you’ll only know once you try – ‘the proof is in the pudding’ so to speak.

Opinion Piece by Nicolette Karides, Learning and Development Coordinator at Air Marketing.

Digital Lead Generation: Are you using it?

We live in a digital world where browsing the internet, especially social media, on a daily basis undeniably shapes and influences our lives. As marketeers, we have the power to use social media to make a significant difference to business performance – not only in the soft, traditional sense of building brand awareness but by Digital Lead gen – generating valuable marketing qualified leads.

Leads are a form of data identifiable through unique information such as a name, email address or phone number. Generating these leads is a primary goal of sales-driven businesses, aiming to maximise the amount of people from their target audience in their sales funnel. Leads tend to enter the funnel fairly cold and, once sent information that is relevant and of interest to them, alongside conversations are nurtured through to encourage conversion.

In this blog we discover why so many businesses use digital lead generation and provide you with our top 10 tips for success.

Why so many businesses use digital lead generation:

A high number of quality leads: Intelligent audience targeting and geotargeting combined with a vast number of users means that with the right content and budget, this type of marketing activity is an effective way to generate a high number of quality leads. What more could you want?

Cost-effective: With most social media lead generation activity on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis, you only pay for activity. This is a great way to easily manage your budget and monitor spend against return-on-investment (ROI).

To track conversions: By integrating social media accounts with your CRM, you can track where your converted leads have come from and use this information to inform ROI. Real-time delivery of results also means that you can engage with leads immediately.

Optimisation: As changes to most social media channel algorithms now make it difficult to gain organic reach, businesses are always on the look out for other ways to optimise their social media accounts – paid activity is a fantastic way to do so. Additionally, being relatively easy to monitor and report, digital lead generation can be optimised through A/B testing to ensure budgets are efficiently spent on the best performing ads or LinkedIn InMail messages.

Top 10 tips for success:

  1. Implement persona marketing to refine your target market.
  2. Use visual content and copy that is relevant and interesting to your target audience.
  3. Produce gated content (e.g. whitepapers, case studies, vlogs, infographics, webinars) and email opt-ins to capture lead data.
  4. Include a call-to-action, directing leads to take actions that are going to be of value (e.g. form completion).
  5. Consider what activities you are going to do to directly remarket to your leads and nurture them through the sales funnel (e.g. email marketing, direct mail, telemarketing and appointment setting).
  6. Allow activity to run for 2 weeks, then set aside time in your schedule to regularly review and optimise.
  7. Mix-up your strategy – use paid activity to complement organic outbound and inbound social activities.
  8. Find and engage directly with leads on social media.
  9. Stay up to date with the latest social media trends and channel updates – implement them to stay ahead of the game.
  10. Outsource to the experts.

Is digital lead generation a part of your marketing strategy? Understanding your business aims, marketing goals and sales objectives, the Roots to Market team can help you shape your digital marketing to get the most out of your investment. We will advise you on the best strategy for your target market and your budget. Schedule a call with us to learn more: 01392 796 702 or email

Persona Marketing: Who are you talking to?

Defining a target audience is simply a must for business success. But to stand out and produce a pipeline that delivers, it is wise to further refine your audience using persona marketing.

By implementing persona marketing, you allow yourself the opportunity to refine your audience into key segments creating ‘characters’. The way that each ‘character’ or persona experiences your brand will be influenced by their business needs, industry and of course, their demographics.

Getting to know your target audience in this way is a powerful tool that helps shape your marketing strategy. If you’re consistently generating unqualified leads from outside of your target audience, or your leads aren’t being generated at the rate they’re forecast to, it is likely your messaging is too generic. Persona marketing is a well developed technique best placed to help you meet and exceed lead generation and conversion targets.

What can persona marketing help with?

  • Lead Generation: Identify with your audience and get to know them better – making them easier to target and tailor messaging.
  • Lead Nurturing: Produce specific strategic content that appeals to your target audience to warm them along your sales pipeline.
  • Client Satisfaction & Retention: Meet their goals and solve their challenges.
  • Strengthened Strategy: Enhance overall marketing and sales performance.

Getting started:
Begin with a small number of personas and branch out as your original personas become more refined and sophisticated. Between 3 and 5 personas usually provide an accurate representation of the majority of your core audience, although it’s not unusual for large, complex businesses with a diverse product or service portfolio to develop up to 20 personas.

Using a template will help you to structure your personas into clear and concise sections. We recommend using:

  • Name
    – Say hello to Justin, Gary, Francis and Elizabeth – the persona names of our sister brand, Air Marketing. Gone are the days of simply numbering your personas… be creative (but realistic) and bring your persona to life by referring to them in conversation, email and strategy planning as their name.
  • Job title
    – Setting a brief job title or business area alongside professional seniority informs interest, goals, frustrations and decision-making ability.
  • Company
    – It may be useful for your business to define a company or industry to inform interest, goals and frustrations.
  • Demographics
    – Use gender, age, income/salary, family, location and education to learn about what influences your target audience.
  • Background
    – Role, decision-making ability, motivations, loyalty and professional interests.
  • Previous experience
    – Educational experience and career path.
  • Personality
    – Openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.
  • Goals
    – Career goals, company goals, targets and responsibilities.
  • Expectations
    – Expectations, values and ability to influence.
  • Frustrations
    – Frustrations and restrictions.
  • Social
    – Interests in social media, digital content, events, education, professional development and purchase behaviour.
  • Spare time
    – Interests in music, sport, TV, travel and socialising.

A persona template can initially be optimised by considering core areas of your marketing activities. For example, if you use social media and/or print advertising, for each persona include what social media platforms they use and what publications they are likely to read.

Collecting data:
Team Meeting: Meet with team members who have regular interaction with clients. Knowing your clients best, your team can provide valuable insights, each with different perspectives. As a group, put yourselves in the shoes of clients so that you can fully immerse yourself in characterising them into personas.

Client Interviews & Surveys: Discuss with your team which clients may be open to participating in an interview or survey. If you prepare questions around your persona template, client interviews are a brilliant way to discover in-depth qualitative data.

Data Review: Reviewing analytics and lead scoring (if implemented), will provide quantitative data about the audience and leads currently being generated. This activity is useful if you are happy with the quality of leads but you are aiming to increase the number generated.

Market Research: If you’re working in a start-up, lacking raw able data or unable to reach out to existing clients, we recommend using reliable market research. Using market research alongside other data collection methods is an optimal mix for highly informed and accurate personas.

Consider personas throughout your marketing activity:

  • Demand generation
    – Target the right people in the right place at the right time. This will allow you to better meet client needs and generate marketing qualified leads (MQLs) with a clear website user journey including relevant landing pages, call-to-actions and forms.
  • Marketing strategy and planning
    – Help shape strategy by determining a focus point for all marketing activity and attract more of those types of clients.
  • Digital marketing
    – Easily analyse your campaigns – identify the best performing channels and platforms for your personas and use results to intelligently target prospects.
  • Direct marketing
    – Start conversations with valuable marketing qualified leads (MQLs) via telemarketing, direct mail or direct email campaigns.
  • Content creation
    – Blogs, articles, infographics, photos, videos, vlogs, podcasts and brochures are proven to increase lead generation and engagement if implemented effectively. Consider where content is broadcast, how it is used and change topics as new trends arise.

We are all striving to continuously improve our business activities and make the most out of our opportunities. Take your persona marketing to the next level by:

  • Testing and analysing to refine messaging and sharpen targeting.
  • Reviewing on an annual basis, or ad hoc, when your target audience focus shifts to accelerate results.
  • Using information to brief sales teams and outsourced telemarketers (see our sister company Air Marketing) for lead nurturing and conversion conversations.
  • Produce negative personas to segment out ‘undesirable’ clients and avoid resource waste.

Reflecting on your own business and target audience, think about the quality and quantity of leads that you are generating, as well as the individuals that you are talking to. Are you consistently talking to your ideal clients?

If you think that your marketing could be improved through the implementation of personas, we would love to hear from you! Here at Roots to Market, we are driven by building intelligent marketing capabilities that generate demand and marketing qualified leads. Call 01392 796 702 or email

What should you consider when outsourcing your sales and marketing activity?

For any business looking to raise brand awareness and encourage growth, a strong sales team will quickly become your best friend. But the world of sales is vastly different to what it was a couple of decades ago, the traditional hard sales tactic simply won’t work anymore. In order to reach and nurture your prospects through to close, you need to pair your sales with targeted marketing activity and offer a consultative, expert approach. So, what should you consider when outsourcing your sales and marketing activity?

For any company looking to drive ROI and gain traction, we know that there are 3 key things to consider when outsourcing your sales and marketing activity:


Whilst you may be tempted to jump in, buy data and begin calling, it is vital that you take the time to work out what specific data you want using market segmentation, i.e. industry, company size, geography, etc. In narrowing down your data, based on your target audience, your efforts are more likely to hit home and lead to conversions. With data, cleansing is key for a more personalised, targeted sales and marketing campaign – at the end of the day, no one likes, or should receive, spam.

Once your sales team have the data, we suggest that your marketing team run an introductory email pre-calling and use the report from this to further guide your sales calls, generating Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). For example, did people unsubscribe, open the email, or click on the content within it? In raising awareness pre and post dialling, you are more likely to see engagement with your initial and further calls – for one client, we saw a 20% increase in engagement by accompanying our dialling with an email campaign from Roots. This also works in reverse, it is vital that you use the data from your calls and feed it back to your marketing team, in doing so the data can be put to use in a nurture stream, further assisting the close of your sales.

Dialler and Pitch

Once you have quality data, and your sales team are ready to begin dialling, it is vital that they are prepared. As we’ve mentioned, the hard sales tactic simply doesn’t work anymore, especially if you’re selling high value products/services. Instead, people want to talk to an expert and be guided through the sales journey.

With this in mind, it is vital that you outsource your sales and marketing to a team/s that place an importance on training, everyone involved should have in-depth knowledge of your product/service, industry and target audience. At Air we place an importance on dialler training and encourage our clients to come to the office and assist in the training of our team, after all no one knows your business and it’s aims like you do.

From this training, our diallers will be well versed in the tone and insights needed to pitch your business in an optimal way. We don’t want our diallers to sound like robots, so we avoid implementing a strict script, however we know that our diallers need to pitch themselves as the expert in order to sell well.

We believe that through the perfect combination of data, dialler & pitch, even can make even the most difficult campaign successful.


At Air, we are lucky to have the services of an intelligent marketing team, our sister company Roots to Market, in house and fully at our disposal. If there’s one thing we’ve refined since Roots was established, it’s integration and we feel that we have now achieved that magic mix of sales and marketing.

In order to fully service our clients to the best of our abilities, we know that we all need to be working from the same page. Communication is key and both sales and marketing need to be involved at every stage, from strategy planning, to technology implementation and campaign start.

With any campaign, regular reporting and campaign catch ups should be in place to ensure that both teams are working to a common goal and completely understand how each team is working to meet your qualifying criteria. There should also be complete transparency with yourself, with sales and marketing both reporting back to you on campaign progression.

If you are considering working with a fully integrated, intelligent outsourced sales and marketing team, get in touch. Call: 0345 241 3038 or email:

Leading the way: how Air is kickstarting my leadership career

After moving back to my home town, I started my career at Air fresh out of university. I had completed a 6-month internship in business development at a PR and marketing agency, however it was fair to say that my experience in business development was still at novice level. Understandably, upon securing a job at Air, I was nervous. Although the team had been very welcoming and transparent, I couldn’t fully understand what my role as Business Development Executive would demand of me.

But I quickly found that I didn’t need to worry. During my first few weeks at Air, the team were so encouraging and open to helping with all aspects of my training. Their encouragement gave me confidence and I found that my capabilities in sales and business development were actually a lot stronger than I thought, even if I was a ‘beginner’. With the team continuously giving me constructive feedback and boosting my confidence, I couldn’t wait to get on the phone and start dialling. There was no pressure to be at a certain level – I simply needed to be professional, polite and enthusiastic. The in-depth training would take care of the rest.

I scored highly in my first few days of dialling and Air never treated me, or any other new employee, as if I couldn’t do something yet. They threw me in at the deep end and surrounded me with support, allowing me to dial on 3-4 campaigns within a matter of weeks. I quickly grew my knowledge and began speaking with decision makers in an array of industries, from fintech to HR and performance management.

When I joined, Air was only 2 years old with a team of around 30. They had grown quickly, and I realised that there was an opportunity here if I wanted it – and I did. Although I had joined the business development world, I didn’t want to just generate leads; I also wanted to share my growing knowledge and ideas for campaign improvement, eventually running one of my own.

My manager, Account Director Keryn Seal, recognised this ambition and after passing my 3-month probation, I was promoted to Senior Business Development Executive. The thing about Air is that no one is out for themselves, everyone is here to help you and drive the business forwards. Under Keryn’s guidance I was exposed to the basic operations of a campaign and our system, shown how to interact with clients and oversee a team of diallers. All I needed was an opportunity to put this into practise.

I got my opportunity when we moved to the new office in October 2019 and Air reworked its internal structure. Promoted to Account Executive, my new role sees me supporting my Account Director, Keryn, in the day-to-day operational tasks of a campaign, including set-up, strategy, reporting and being the link for feedback between diallers and the AD/client. This promotion has only encouraged me further and my aspirations are now to become an Account Director and Air are helping me to get there.

Since January, Air have supported me in my decision to pursue the leadership side of sales and business development. The step up is not one to be taken lightly and so they have enrolled me on a specialist training course, given me continuing support and exposed me to the commercial, client and growth aspects of the business. I’ve also been given my own accounts, recently working on a project that not only allows me to manage my own campaign but also a whole team of agents.

I can’t put into words how much I continue to develop and grow at Air. It’s been a fantastic opportunity in just over a year and I can only see further progression in the future.

Some parting advice for anyone unsure on which direction to go in next… Whether you are a graduate, unhappy in your current job, or looking for something new, give it a go. You’ll know when you find the right company to help you develop and flourish, just as I’ve done with Air.

Opinion Piece written by Yasmin McNeill, Account Executive at Air Marketing Group

Hiring Good Inside Sales People Vlog #2

What’s your perception of a good sales person?

In this, our next vlog, Owen discusses how to hire good inside sales people with Simon Murthwaite and Simon Scott-Nelson. They discover how it’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle commitment!

Phone appointments vs face to face: Which is better?

Sales appointments play a crucial part in the sales journey, giving your sales reps the opportunity to further develop relationships with prospects and encourage them further along the sales cycle, towards the point of closing the sale. But which is better, phone appointments or face-to-face?

We’ve booked thousands of appointments for clients, across an array of different industries, both over the phone and face-to-face. Based on their experience, our expert Sales Directors feel that you should always strive to organise a face-to-face appointment.

We’ve listed their top three reasons to schedule a face-to-face appointment:

  1. Higher uptake/contact rate

The world of business is a busy one, with schedules changing on a daily basis, even hourly, and unexpected tasks popping up. With this in mind, your prospects could find it tempting to ask their gatekeeper to hold their calls and deliver the all too familiar line;

“Sorry, they’re busy at the moment, could you send over some information?”

However, if you’re already sat in reception, or they’ve come to meet you, the meeting becomes harder to reschedule and ignore, so you’re therefore more likely to make immediate contact with your prospect.

  1. Body language

A good sales professional will be able to read people and assess whether or not they are truly interested in a product/service quickly, in order to avoid wasting time on unqualified leads. Whilst it is possible to gauge a prospect’s degree of interest over the phone, there is more value in getting in a room with someone and paying attention to their body language – do they seem open or guarded, do they look bored or alert? And this works both ways, whilst sales calls, for some, are the bread and butter of being a sales professional, they can take their toll throughout the day. Removing yourself from the phone and offering a face-to-face appointment can let your prospect gauge your body language too and determine your investment in what you are selling.

  1. Engagement

If the prospect is not directly in front of you, it’s impossible to know how well they are actually engaging with your conversation. Whilst they may say all of the right things or appear to be listening, they could also be answering emails, texting, or being distracted by their surroundings. If you want to truly engage your prospect and build a relationship based on rapport and trust, it is far better to organise a face-to-face appointment and talk directly to them.

Got a question about how to fill your diary with quality, face-to-face sales appointments? Give us a call on 0345 241 3038 or email

It is just a job, or it is a culture?

What is the best thing about your job?

A fairly common question, asked by relatives, friends, new employees during an interview process. The answer, well my answer, is not normally based on the actual delivery of the job but more around the culture.

When you break the concept of work down, no matter who you are or what you’re doing, I can almost guarantee nobody likes the concept. You spend the majority of your life, typically working at least 8 hours per day, 5 out of 7 days per week. Within this you commute, you work hard, you may interact with people who may not be the characters you’d typically choose to spend time with and then you cram the rest of your life into the time you aren’t working.

Crazy when you break it down isn’t it! But we live in a world where we have to work to earn money to enjoy the ‘rest of our life’ segment.

So, for me, essentially culture is the difference between making work bearable, enjoyable, giving some meaning to all those hours, or not!

For both me and for Roots as a business (and part of the wider Air Marketing) culture is key.

Culture is the feeling that you get when you walk into the office, the relationships you build within the team and the support offered from those relationships. We want people to enjoy coming into work, into a thriving, high-performance, motivated environment. Having experienced workplaces where culture was never considered, where environments were tense and going into work was anything but enjoyable – I don’t want Team Roots to experience that. Of course, that doesn’t mean we eat cake, finish early or slack off daily, but what it does mean is that we have established some core aspects of our culture which our team can rely on including:

  • Quarterly and yearly performance-based treat outings
  • Idea brewing sessions – allowing everyone to be heard and new ideas to be brought to the table
  • Friday end of day catch up meetings over a little tipple
  • Monthly one-to-ones, no matter how long someone has been part of the business
  • Monthly try something new Tuesdays as a team outside of work
  • And much more…

You see our service is delivered by our team, so to get the most out of our team culture is key which in turn delivers even better results for our clients. It’s win-win with a happy, motivated team and happy clients.

In my eyes, it should never be just a job – you are investing precious time into this job which you can never get back – make it mean something.

Opinion piece by Verity Wootton, Associate Director