Sales training can be a significant expense for any business, and it’s essential to know whether it’s worth the investment. Measuring the effectiveness of sales training can be challenging, but in this blog we discuss five ways to help you determine whether your training is having the desired impact.
Before you start
Evaluate how much your reps remember
Use sales performance metrics
Measure changes in behavior
Look at customer success metrics
Survey sales team satisfaction
Designing a sales training program
Before you start
Establish a baseline
Before you can start measuring the success of a training program, you need to know how your sales team is performing by collecting some data. Look at performance metrics for both the team and individual sales reps. Understanding how the team is performing prior to the will help to determine whether your team has made any progress.
Decide on what results you would like to see after the sales training has been completed. We recommend setting objectives and measuring them at regular intervals and determining what the desired results are for year end. Goals could be metrics like a revenue target or a close rate. It can also be behavioral changes like sending more emails or making more phone calls.
Ensure individual contributors and the leadership team are involved in setting, or at least signing off, on goals. It will help get agreement on what kind of training to opt for and get sign off for training budgets.
Measuring sales training effectiveness
1. Evaluate how much your reps remember
It is not unusual for people to forget at least some of the information they learned—particularly if they’re not applying the information they learned right away. By measuring your reps’ comprehension after they have completed training you can quickly determine how much of the learning they are likely to retain. There are several ways to determine how much people have learned after taking training including:
- Assessment tests like multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, or other types of questions that measure the learning outcomes of the training.
- Assignments such as case studies, simulations, or projects, can help learners apply their knowledge in real-world situations that are applicable to them.
- Feedback surveys help to identify areas of the training that were most effective and where participants might need additional support or guidance.
- Observing participants as they perform tasks can help evaluate their skills and knowledge and identify areas where they may need additional support or training.
- Peer feedback where participants share feedback on each other’s performance and knowledge.
2. Use sales performance metrics
Use your pre-training baseline numbers to gauge improvements after sales training. Common metrics used by sales to measure team and individual performance include:
- Total Revenue
- Net Revenue Retention (NRR)
- Repeat Customer Rate
- Average Customer Lifetime Value (ACLV)
Sales function performance metrics
- Lead to Opportunity Conversion Rate
- Market Penetration Rate
- Sales Cycle Length
- Sales Win Rate
- Average Annual Contract Value (ACV)
- Year-Over-Year (YOY) Growth
Individual and team performance metrics for sales
3. Measure changes in behavior
Sales activity is another measure to track sales training effectiveness. These metrics track daily actions that your sellers are engaged in to produce more leads and boost conversions. Key performance metrics (KPIs) to measure behavior change include:
- Quantity of potential accounts in the seller’s pipeline
- Daily outgoing or cold calls made
- Emails sent out as part of an outreach campaign
- Amount of scheduled demos
- Number of booked meetings
- Rates for return calls
- Open rates for emails
- Setting up a warm sales appointment
- Trial demos given vis-a-vis sign-ups
- How far leads get into a seller’s funnel
4. Look at customer success metrics
New business is not the only benefit of effective corporate sales training. Increased customer satisfaction, customer retention rate and customer lifetime values are examples of metrics that can be used to demonstrate that sales training is delivering value. Customer satisfaction or customer success metrics that can be used include:
- Customer lifetime value
- Trial conversion rate
- Monthly recurring revenue
- Product adoption rate
- Net promoter score
- Customer satisfaction score
- Customer growth
5. Survey sales team satisfaction
Finally, sales training can improve morale by providing salespeople with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Specific ways that sales training can improve sales morale include:
- Builds confidence by giving knowledge and skills they need to identify opportunities, effectively engage with prospects and customers, and close more deals.
- Motivates and engages by providing a clear roadmap of the skills and knowledge that is expected from them to excel and achieve their goals.
- Promotes teamwork by engaging in group activities and collaboration, which builds a sense of teamwork and camaraderie among salespeople.
Survey your sales team before and after sales training to see if they are more satisfied.
Benefits of sales training
Still not sure whether it is worth investing in sales training? Organizations that have invested in sales training say found that upgrading the skills and knowledge of their sellers delivered:
- Increased productivity
- Provided higher resilience during downturns
- Enabled deeper relationships with clients
- Improved customer buying experience
- Encouraged more customer loyalty
- Improved ability to attract top talent
- Emphasized best practices.
Designing a sales training program
Often sales training can deliver large amounts of information. To increase retention and effectiveness, companies should design their sales programs to offer a good mixture of instructor led training, eLearning, microlearning, coaching and mentoring that increase both skills and product knowledge. Using assessments and training reminders will also reinforce what has already been learnt and provide opportunities to practice skills and test knowledge.
When designing a sales training program
- Set clear goals and objectives that align with the organization’s sales strategy
- Identify the target audience to meet specific needs. Consider experience level, knowledge, and skills of the salespeople who will be participating in the program.
- Use a variety of teaching methods to account for the fact that people learn in different ways. Consider including role-playing, case studies, simulations, and online learning.
- Make it interactive and engaging to keep participants interested and motivated. Try group activities, discussions, and competitions.
- Provide ongoing support such as refresher training, self-paced training, coaching and follow-up sessions.
- Design to measure effectiveness to ensure the program is achieving its objectives. This can be done through assessments, surveys, and other metrics discussed in this blog.
- Add new courses and topics to your corporate sales training program to address emerging topics.
- Continuously update objectives and curriculum of sales training program to ensure that it is meeting business objectives, team requirements and individual needs.
Creating content for an effective sales training program
When it comes to developing course content we know that it can take a lot of time and attention of subject matter experts to get their input for developing learning content. For these reasons, we developed LEAi, which creates content for any type of training; instructor led training (ILT), eLearning, knowledge base articles, virtual class content, presentations, webinars and videos using content your subject matter experts have already created.
You don’t have to be a training expert to use LEAi. Simply import your documents, presentations, or videos and LEAi will convert it into learning content that follow best practices – in minutes.
If you are considering creating or updating your sales training program and you need expertise to help you get going fast, drop us a note!