The Real Return on Sales Training
Establishing returns against sales training investment can be challenging. First, there is the fact that the return can take some time to appear because it takes time for behaviors to change. The second challenge is being able to measure the return. The investment is primarily financial, so how do you measure the return?
Don’t view sales training as a standalone activity – embed it within your ORGANIzATION
Here are five ways to get more from your sales training.
- Real Life Sales Training:
Be confident that what you are training sales people to do actually works in your own organization. If the training doesn’t teach people what to do when they get back to their desks, it is unlikely that they will apply what they have learned. Knowledge without application has no value on the job. For example, if you are a logistics organization who sells supply chain solutions, training people on the behaviours needed to build long-term sales relationships will be far more effective than talking about them conceptually in a classroom.
- Practice Makes Perfect:
Set up ‘safe’ environments where your sales tams can practice and experiment with the skills they have learnt. These are best constructed using three people: a sales person, a buyer and an observer. The observer plays a vital role in giving feedback because they are able to see the scenario from both people’s point of view and can act as a neutral referee. Ensure the feedback that is shared is constructive rather than destructive. The emphasis should be on building people’s confidence rather than destroying it.
- Videoing and Recording:
Recording sales training is a great way for people to learn and provides evidence of how they have developed and grown over time.
It can feel intimidating at first but once people have taken part a few times they start to relax and realise the value.
Recording phone calls or videoing face-to-face interactions helps people study more closely not only what they said but how they behaved – and it’s changing behaviours that will really drive improvements in the performance of your sales people.
- Know the Value:
Before you invest any money in sales training, you need to know the expected value of applying the new skills. For example, if the training costs £100 but the value of applying the new skill is only an additional £50 in sales it doesn’t make sense to invest £100 in training.
- Management and Leadership and Commitment
Your management and leadership team need to fully back any training you invest in. Acting as coaches they should: provide opportunities for people to discuss what they’ve leaned, apply it and explore what challenges they still face.
Plus 3 ways to Measure your Return on Sales Training:
- Organization results e.g revenue, market share
- Sales objectives e.g new customer acquisitions, close rates
- Sales activities e.g making sales calls, completing personal development and account plans
The Smart way to Increase Revenue:
Whilst organization results can be a way of measuring your return on sales training, combining them with sales objectives or sales activities can be a smarter move.
For example, closing more deals is a measureable way to track a sales objective. Training sales people to adapt their behaviour in such a way that close rates on new opportunities increases gives the training something challenging but realistic to accomplish. This could be done through training people to cross-sell products or growing existing accounts.
Increased close rates equals more revenue and it all comes down to better training.