SALES TRAINING RETURN ON INVESTMENT
A Million Dollar Investment
The biggest cost of sales training is revenues lost while salespeople are sitting in training! For example, a salesperson with a $2 million quota may give up $10,000 in sales for each day spent in training. Thus, if 20 salespeople spend 5 days in training, the employer can lose up to $1 million in sales.
So, with possible revenue losses, how can sales training provide a good ROI? We believe the answer is to do significant work in advance of the training. This work includes: interviewing the sales team, customers and prospects, identifying the sales best practices in use at your firm, incorporating those best practices into a sales process optimized for your company, and customizing the sales training to focus on your top challenges. As more than 300 of our clients have seen, this approach results in a superior return on investment (ROI). Moreover, it allows us to shorten the length of the training and leave out irrelevant or low-impact topics. By boiling down a 5-day workshop to just 3 days, the employer gains two extra days of “selling” time per rep, which often amounts to a six or seven-figure revenue number!
Training Effectiveness Monitored
We utilize a number of means to monitor training effectiveness and make any mid-course corrections needed. These methods include:
- Frequent daily and cumulative sales training class evaluations
- Optional pre and post training skills tests
- On-the-phone and in-the-field sales exercises
- Evaluated role-plays in each sales training class
- Management-initiated sales process measurements and conversion rate tracking
- Optional development and use of a sales call behavioral monitoring checklist
Benefits of Sales Process and Behavioral Measurements
- Rapid identification and correction of skills deficiencies that inhibit sales
- Improved pipeline management
- Quicker ramp up time for new hires
- Enhanced ability to pre-empt competition
- Improved sales forecasting
- Better sales training class return on investment
- Improved alignment between sales and marketing efforts
- Ability to pinpoint sales “leverage” factors
Results Vary: Sales Decline or 2900% Payback
A landmark study, conducted by the Xerox Corporation, of sales training results concluded that many sales training classes actually result in sales going down rather than up right after training occurred! Thus, the return on investment was actually negative!
However, a number of industry leaders have piloted customized sales training classes to achieve documented results. A major advocate of sales training is Motorola. Their internal studies, which have been published by the American Society for Training and Development, indicate they receive $29 in profit for each $1 invested in sales training!
Key to this high return on investment is utilizing customized sales training classes that incorporate company and industry-specific best practices, involve management in training program design and use ongoing post-training coaching.
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