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How to Measure Sales Training Effectiveness

Sales Training

 

On this episode, SRG's CEO and Managing Director Norman Behar talks about what's the best approach to measuring the effectiveness of a sales training program.

 

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Video Transcript

That's a great question. How you measure sales training effectiveness is important. You need to start by thinking about what you want to change in the business? What are the results that are going to change as a result of this sales training program?
 
It could be increased new customer acquisition. I recently saw a poll where that was the number one driver for many sales organizations. It could be selling at higher, more profitable sales margins.
 
Then you want to focus on what are the specific behaviors that are going to change and drive that result. Going to our example of increased customer acquisition, a lot of that has to do with prospecting activity levels, the quality of the prospecting that's taking place or leveraging referrals.
 
If you're looking at selling at higher, more profitable margins, then what you want to think about is the whole notion of value and how you map and present your value based on the specific needs you've identified with those customers. Think about the selling skills—that could be selling skills related to prospecting, or selling skills related to selling on value.
 
Then think about a model where you focus first on the skills. The skills are used from an application standpoint to change behaviors, and then based on those improved behaviors you see improved business results. So, in the short-term I would measure the effectiveness of the program based on behavior change.
 
Can you listen in and hear improved prospecting going on—in terms of the quality of prospecting? Or measure increased prospecting levels or increase in the number of appointments based on referrals? You could also look for an example of higher margins or go out on a sales call and listen and observe whether they're doing a great job of identifying the customer's needs.
 
That's the first, most important way to map your value to the customer's specific needs, and then present the unique value you bring, or your solutions bring, probably both, in terms of addressing those specific needs.
 
So, in the short-term, focus on behavior change. Longer term, that behavior change should be driving business results. That's why you invested in the program. And the time frame for business result changes depends a lot on your sales cycle.
 
If you have a short sales cycle, that could be as quickly as six months. If you have a longer sales cycle, that could be a year. Keep in mind there are a number of factors like the economy, competition, product release dates, that do affect business results.
 
But ultimately a model where you focus on training up skills, you see the behavior change, and then that behavior change ties to your results, is the best way to measure the effectiveness of sales training.

SRG Insights is a new Q&A video series where we answer your questions on the topics of sales, sales management, sales coaching, and sales training. Featuring sales experts with over 25 years of sales and sales management experience. 

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About Norman Behar

Norman Behar is Chairman and Managing Director of the Sales Readiness Group (SRG). 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, TrainingIndustry.com, and Selling Power.