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Norman Behar

By: Norman Behar on February 13th, 2023

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5 Factors for Evaluating & Buying the Best Sales Training Programs

Sales Training

Are you looking to improve how your sales team sells?

Sales training can provide your team with the skills they need to succeed. But with so many training programs and providers out there, it can be hard to figure out which one is best for your team.

We've come up with 5 factors to consider when evaluating a sales training program.


#1: Training Goals and Objectives 

As a starting point, it’s crucial to identify the sales challenges you are looking to address. Whether it's building the pipeline, accessing higher-level decision-makers, or selling on value rather than price, it’s important to know the desired sales outcomes.

Once these goals are established, the next step is to determine the skills that need to be developed to achieve those outcomes and where the sales team has the greatest performance gaps. These skills could include prospecting to build a sales pipeline, discovery to uncover needs, qualification to assess solution fit, or negotiation techniques to achieve win/win outcomes.

Knowing which problem(s) you want to solve and the specific skills your team needs is fundamental to identifying the right type of sales training.

#2: Program Curriculum & Relevancy

The training curriculum must address the goals and objectives you identified. Take a close look at the materials to determine if the curriculum gets down to the appropriate level of detail your sales team needs to improve, including skill models, application exercises, and implementation tools.

Another key aspect is understanding how the program will be customized so that it is highly relevant to your sales team. Is there a consultation phase to understand your industry, target customer, competitive landscape, and key points of differentiation? Based on this information, ask how the program be customized to ensure real-world application as opposed to “off the shelf” exercises.

It is also important to get out of the training event mentality and think of sales training as a journey that includes the following phases: (1) pre-training consultation and customization, (2) program delivery (ideally leveraging multiple modalities to align with varied learning preferences), and (3) post-training reinforcement and coaching. The depth and breadth of the three phases are crucial to driving sustained behavior change.

#3: Program Delivery that Aligns with Varied Learning Styles

How the training is delivered is another consideration. Traditional delivery methods include traditional classroom-based Instructor-Led Training, Virtual Instructor -Led Training on platforms like Zoom and Teams, and self-paced eLearning.

Ideally, some or all of these methodologies can be combined r to create a collaborative learning experience that allows instructor-led and peer-to-peer learning. Keep in mind that higher levels of engagement typically result in higher levels of ongoing skill adoption.

Finally, consider the background and experience of the facilitator who will lead the sessions. This includes inquiring how the facilitator engages participants in the learning and incorporates real-world application (i.e., how the facilitator makes the training sessions interesting and relevant as opposed to boring and conceptual).

#4: Overall Training Experience

It is important to understand what the overall experience will look like and that you have confidence in the training partner you select to meet and exceed your expectations.

As a starting point, think about the salesperson you’ve engaged with and whether the skills they use are highly professional. If the salesperson you work with isn’t highly skilled and professional, that is an immediate red flag (i.e., don’t buy sales training from a salesperson who doesn’t demonstrate good selling skills).

Another key aspect is understanding the account management process and the full set of services your training partner will provide. Ideally, this can be captured in a timeline with a detailed list of the services that will be provided before, during, and after the training.

Finally, ask for references and reach out to past clients to learn about their experiences. Keep in mind that almost all providers have pre-selected testimonials on their website, so that may not be enough to validate your selection. As a final checkpoint, it may be valuable to speak with a past client who can share their actual experience and the impact it had on their sales team.

#5: Impact of Your Investment

When evaluating the cost of a sales training program, think in terms of investment rather as opposed to a line item expense. Start by identifying the behaviors you want to change, the skills necessary to affect behavior change, and how behavior change will improve sales results. These results could include:

  • Ramp-up time of new hires
  • Pipeline growth
  • Increased margins
  • Improved win rates

Your sales training partner should be able to provide guidance and help establish reasonable expectations on business impact and the sustainable value of the program.

In Conclusion 

Sales training success starts with understanding your specific goals and identifying a training curriculum that aligns with your objectives.

Think of the training as a journey that includes (i) before (consultation and customization), (ii) during (training delivery that addresses multiple learning styles), and (iii) after (ongoing reinforcement and coaching to promote sustainable behavior change) phases. Finally, take time to understand the overall training experience and how your investment will impact sales results.

These five factors will help you identify the best sales training program for your team.


At SRG, we know how important it's to find the ideal training partner for your organization.  If you're ready to take your sales team on a transformative training journey, schedule a complimentary consultation today to learn how we can help.

Sales Training Research Report by Sales Readiness Group

About Norman Behar

Norman Behar is a Managing Director at the Sales Readiness Group, A Part of SBI. He has over 25 years of senior sales management experience and is recognized as a thought leader in the sales training industry. His blog posts and whitepapers are frequently featured in leading sales enablement publications, including ATD,, and Selling Power.