Sales Training Impact

When it comes to sales training, many sales leaders find themselves asking:

“How will we know if it was worth it?”

The answer to this question can sometimes be dependent on the eye of the beholder. But it reveals the need to quantify the impact of sales training ROI.

Studies have found that 87% of new skills are lost within a month of training. Even more trouling for sales leaders, ATD found that 80% of training is lost within a week without reinforcement.

How Can You Measure Sales Training Success?

Sales executives can use key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine where the sales team is improving and where they still have opportunities for improvement. However, setting a goal focused on improving one metric may come at the cost of overall employee improvement. Many of the intangible benefits of training aren’t able to be tracked against a metric.

To help executives decide whether or not it’s time to change the way they train sellers, here are four methods they can use to evaluate training’s overall impact.

1. Sales Revenue and Win/Loss Percentage

The ultimate goal of sales training is to increase your revenue. This is why sales outcomes are typically where leadership looks when determining whether sales training did the job.

However, the impact of traditional training is often seen weeks or months after a program is complete. Additionally, as mentioned above, training can wear off quickly without reinforcement. Firm sales and revenue metrics should nonetheless be tracked long-term in order to measure how training can affect sales quota attainment and other crucial milestones.

2. Training Recall

Sales team should  demonstrate what they’ve learned through role-playing to help with reinforcement. As  a bonus, a sales rep’s ability to recall the things they learned can measure how effective the training was. In some scenarios, written tests can be used to verify retention, but in-the-moment verbal recall is most critical to actual sales results.

3. Application of Training

Observing behavior is not as foolproof as looking at sales numbers, but to achieve the end-goal of higher revenue, you need to inspire a change in behavior. If you don’t, you’ll just end up with more of the same.

If your sales team adopts the new methodology, techniques or messaging, that can be tracked back to the impact of your sales training.

Have sales managers track sales teams for the desired behavior changes. You can also have your sales team self-report to help them better understand how they integrate new behaviors learned from sales training.

4. Sales Team Turnover

Your sales team should feel empowered following sales kickoff. While open bars are fun, they shouldn’t be the only reason your sales team is excited to get back to selling.

Research shows that employers who make investments in employee education often end up with happier, more productive employees. Turnover reduces, top earners stay on payroll and profitability eventually goes up. Considering that the average cost of turnover for a sales rep is $115k, lowering turnover is a significant benefit to good sales training. 

For these reasons, employee satisfaction can be a possible indicator of training effectiveness. Positive responses in surveys regarding the program itself are even more promising since data shows that students who find their instructors skilled at teaching and structuring lesson plans often perform better.

Sales training is nothing new, but we have more resources than ever to make sure it leads to ROI. How are you measuring the impact of your sales training?

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