The RequirementsTo meet the basic qualification for this role you must be legally authorized to work permanently in the United States for any employer without requiring a visa transfer or visa sponsorship.
To be a strong fit for the Technology Productivity Consultant / Trainer role, you will have:
- A bachelor's degree, preferably in Business or a related field, or an equivalent combination of education and/or progressively responsible work experience.
- At least 3 years of experience, including (concurrent or in addition to):
- 3+ years of program support working with professionals in financial services or a similar industry; financial services industry experience preferred.
- 3+ years of experience in coaching / training individuals on how to optimize their business through the use of technology is highly desirable.
- Demonstrated ability to understand software technology focused on sales practices, and the ability to articulate the benefits and uses of that technology to select audiences.
- Skill and demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with a variety of levels and titles.
- The ability to use a consultative model when coaching / training and developing professional relationships.
- Proven ability to drive measurable improvements in an outcome-based model (i.e. prior demonstrated ability to drive percentage increase in technology adoption for sales and other positions).
- Experience and demonstrated skill leading and facilitating groups of people.
- An aptitude for learning technology at a deep level to teach and assist others.
- Bilingual English / Spanish is a plus.
- Answer basic troubleshooting questions for computers, laptops, phones, and other related office equipment.
- Support and maintain a LAN/Server.
- Install system changes.
- Provide sign-on maintenance / assistance.
- Set-up and maintain networked computers.
- Order network office computers and track maintenance agreements.
The RoleYour Role
As Technology Productivity Consultant / Trainer, you will serve as a member of the Northwestern Mutual technology training staff and work out of our Network Office in Seattle. You will interact both with our Corporate Technology team and the onsite Leadership team, supporting the needs of leadership and their staff. In addition, you'll work alongside our Technology Coordinator who will support our hardware needs by troubleshooting, setting up new workstations, fixing printers and other technology and more. You will support approximately 120 Financial Representatives (FRs) and 150 staff and interns. We are in growth mode and are actively adding FRs, staff and interns whom you'll train, in addition to meeting the training needs of tenured Financial Representatives and staff. You'll need high energy and a strong understanding of the challenges and demands on the FRs and staff in order to deliver the training that will support business growth and development.
The Seattle Network Office
The Seattle Network is highly professional but our team is also friendly and approachable. While you will travel to the District Network and some smaller offices regularly, FRs and staff from those offices also come to Seattle for scheduled group training. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to participate in the yearly Pacific Northwest Conference, attended by Seattle, Spokane and Portland Network personnel. The conference usually includes a technology offering which will provide you the opportunity to spotlight your talent and gain wide exposure.
We have a nice mix of newer, mid-career and legacy employees (FRs and staff). Many embrace technology and its benefits, but there are others who need a strong and supportive trainer to help them see the value of adopting technology. To gain optimal results and long range adoption, you will take into account your audience and deliver targeted training that provides employees with the arsenal of tools they need for success, expands/enhances the tools they may already use, and across the board helps the team better support clients. We'll look to you to move the needle in the area of training. To do so, you will need to earn credibility and consistently demonstrate the benefits of the technology training program. Pictured right: Managing Partner Seattle Network Office, Eric D. Aslakson.
You will be responsible for supporting the FRs and staff by training them on a variety of key software programs and modules and providing basic technology support. Your goal is to provide outstanding learning opportunities and ongoing support so that FRs and office staff can leverage all available tools to manage their business, sell products and provide support to policy owners. You will do your best to provide an outstanding experience, allowing each learner to see the advantage of leveraging the tools and helping them feel comfortable in doing so. Your specific responsibilities will include:
- Providing in-office group training.
- Following-up with individuals who attended group training, providing one-on-one instruction for 60 minutes.
- Delivering Sales School training.
- New reps attend a two-week training seminar which includes 6 to 8 hours of core technology training, which you will deliver.
- Providing Sales School training follow up.
- Post sales training, you will meet with individual reps once per week for the first six months to consult and refine/deepen initial training.
- Providing ongoing consulting to those who need it (i.e. spending time with someone who is having difficulty with the Customer Relationship Management software or Personal Planning tool, etc.).
- You will enjoy a good deal of leeway in the design and delivery of the consulting portion of your role.
- You will partner and build relationships with the onsite leadership team in order to help drive the success of the location. Projects/needs could include:
- Planning with FRs and prospects (attending sales calls).
- Helping to identify prospects.
- Helping FRs prepare for sales calls.
- Identifying ways you can help drive success.
- Partnering with the technology training team seated throughout the U.S.
- Meeting monthly and quarterly.
- Serving as a resource; talking about local activities and outcomes.
- Sharing wins and challenges.
- Brainstorming to discover best practices.
To ensure that you're qualified to perform your role and make a strong impact, you will participate in an in-depth training program with benchmarks set over a six week period. You will:
- Spend your first week in Milwaukee, where you’ll participate in onboarding and begin learning the software, most of which is proprietary. You will learn:
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM and how it is used within Northwestern Mutual
- Our PPA (Personal Planning Analysis)
- E-filing system
- Document sharing tool
- Week two will be spent in the office in Seattle, building relationships and working with a group of approximately 20 to 25 people. You’ll begin providing initial training and discover what your client group needs and where there are gaps in your knowledge.
- Week three you will return to Milwaukee and continue to learn the various technologies in relation to the needs of your office and your own knowledge base.
- The remainder of your training will take place in Seattle. Week four you will re-engage your initial group of trainees and continue to build your skills. A member of the corporate training team will be onsite during week five, observing and continuing to help advance your knowledge. Week six will be spent testing your skills and identifying and filling any gaps.
Why Join UsGround-Floor, High-Impact Opportunity
This is a new program for Northwestern Mutual and a ground-floor opportunity for you. Though many team members are technologically astute, this is a chance to super-charge the impact of technology across multiple areas in addition to the direct value you’ll provide to the various users. Your efforts will impact compliance, quality, customer service, service and sales goals and more.
Influence Success Early On
You will have the opportunity to work with many team members as they first join us. You will have the ability to influence their success as well as their early impressions of Northwestern Mutual. You can feel good knowing that you are helping others reach their career goals and feel comfortable and welcome in a new setting.
Autonomy to Manage Your Responsibilities
Your goals will center on outcomes such as getting the Financial Representatives and other stakeholders in your assigned offices to increasingly leverage technology to sell and get results; to build trust-based relationships and prove yourself as the go-to expert; to align technology goals with the goals of leadership, etc. While there's a lot of enthusiasm for this technology support program, you'll need to earn credibility and demonstrate the value of the program, gaining buy-in from the team members you'll support. As long as you are meeting your goals, you will enjoy a good deal of autonomy in how you manage your responsibilities. You can shape your role to suit your style and positively impact learning.
Though you could be happy and challenged in this role for years to come, success could open additional doors of opportunity within Northwestern Mutual, both locally and at Corporate. For example, you could step up to a field marketing role, representing the program and building relationships with stakeholders throughout a designated region, pursue a variety of corporate roles, or train for an FR or another local role. Some opportunities would require relocation.
Naturally, you'll come in with strong coaching and training skills, but we'll ensure you have the technology training and tools you need to succeed. (Please see the Role tab for detailed training information).
You’ll travel to our Corporate Offices for training initially and in the future. With 5,000 employees at our home office in Milwaukee and a second campus in Franklin, WI, Northwestern Mutual is truly a community within a community. You’ll learn in a vibrant and innovative atmosphere where employees are challenged, camaraderie and a sense of team are strong, and you can build your skills and knowledge as you stimulate your mind and make important internal connections.
A Company that Cares
We create meaningful employment opportunities and invest in our people. We strengthen local businesses and economies. We give back, help out, and make a difference for families and children -- thousands of whom have benefited from our national philanthropic program to fight childhood cancer through Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. And each year, our employees and local offices donate time, talent and financial support to causes they’re passionate about. Consider some of our recent corporate commitments:
- The Northwestern Mutual Foundation has given nearly $170 million to communities across the nation during the past decade.
- Northwestern Mutual has given more than $9 million to support urban education in Milwaukee during the past five years.
- Our employees volunteer more than 30,000 hours each year to community organizations.
The Power of Diversity
We believe that a diverse and inclusive work environment attracts and engages the best talent—people with unique ideas, points of view, and passions. We foster a culture of inclusion where everyone can be their best, and are committed to hiring a talented and diverse workforce. At Northwestern Mutual we take a holistic approach to both raise our brand awareness and recruit new talent for corporate and national sales opportunities at diversity events across the country. We reach tens of thousands of professionals and students through our affiliations with:
- National Association of Black Accountants (NABA)
- National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA)
- National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA)
- National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA)
In addition to a competitive salary and bonus incentive opportunity, we offer a comprehensive slate of benefits including insurances, paid-time-off and more.
Keys to SuccessNaturally, you’ll need to dedicate yourself to knowledge gain and become expert in all of the available technology, but to be successful in the role of Technology Productivity Consultant / Trainer, you’ll also need outstanding interpersonal skills and the ability to build strong relationships. Because you will serve in a position that is a dual resource (corporate and local), you’ll build relationships on both fronts. You will perform your daily tasks in the network and district offices, and your goals will be centered on those offices, but you’ll also build partnerships and create resources with the wider technology team and within the corporate office. To fit the local culture, in addition to your communication skills, you will bring an upbeat, helpful attitude and outstanding organization skills.
When performing your role, setting the right tone will be important. You should be able to sit down and listen in order to understand the concerns or your trainees and what they’re up against. You’ll remember that they are professionals in their field, not computer scientists, and while you’ll project empathy and understanding of the challenges of building a financial planning business, you will also keep things upbeat and the atmosphere ripe for learning. For those who are resistant to technology, you will sometimes need a bit of a thick skin as you demonstrate the value of the program and win them over. Ultimately, you will be proactive, work autonomously, have the desire to help, and serve as a business partner enabling individual success.
Additionally, to be successful, you will:
- Tailor your approach so that the Financial Representatives and office staff understand and can demonstrate the specific benefits technology offers to each unique user audience.
- Partner with, and independently develop and deliver sound recommendations to the local leadership team in order to assist them in establishing goals.
- Lead planning to ensure goals are attained and benefits realized (e.g. increased field and recruitment productivity, capitalization on expense/revenue benefits based on efficiencies gained, etc.).
- Maintain an informed engagement plan to drive improved use of technology and better enable goal attainment. You will be responsible for 4 to 5 performance goals. Note: performance against plan will be measured with the aid of technology adoption metrics. Metrics are a key indicator of your success and can guide you in modifying your approach.
- Take quarterly satisfaction survey (required at every level) with the goal of receiving a 4 out of 5 by the end of your first year.
About UsAs achieving financial security becomes more complex for more people, a few simple truths are becoming even more powerful: Relationships are built on trust. Our lives and businesses matter. And we're much stronger together than we are apart. These beliefs launched our company nearly 160 years ago. Today they're hardwired into our DNA and are just some of the reasons why people turn to Northwestern Mutual to help secure their futures.
At Northwestern Mutual, financial security is built on the lasting relationships our financial advisors establish with their clients. Our advisors get to know their clients' hopes and dreams so they can help them make life's financial decisions with confidence. Working with some of the best-trained financial professionals in the business*, clients benefit from a distinctive planning approach that includes protecting what they already have and high-quality products that perform for the long term.
Doing what's right, taking a long-term view and sharing our success with clients sets up apart. In the past 10 years -- including the Great Recession -- we've paid clients more than $47 billion in dividends. In 2016, we expect to pay a record $5.6 billion in total dividends, including industry-leading dividends on life and disability insurance.**
*Training Magazine's annual "Training Top 125" list, January/February 2015 issue.
**Northwestern Mutual analysis of dividends based on historical data. The dividend scale and the underlying interest rates are reviewed annually and are subject to change. Future dividends are not guaranteed, although Northwestern Mutual has paid a dividend every year since 1872.
Pictured: The Seattle, WA skyline.