Does Sales Training Really Work?

Does sales training really workDoes sales training really work? Can you figure out an ROI on the investment? Rapid Learning Institute CEO Stephen Meyer says in Forbes you might as well have asked "to prove unicorns don't exist."

Among other credentials, I have a technical diploma in Operations Management...the discipline that trains you on how to develop Key Performance Indicators, ROI calculations and performance measures of all kinds. And as Meyers shares in his Forbes article, even *I* can't tell you how to mathematically figure out whether the investment in sales training is worth it in dollars spent vs dollars earned terms. Sure, I could do some fancy statistics work and get an 'r' factor to separate correlation from causation...but we still wouldn't really know if sales improved or declined because the economy had a hiccup, or the sales training had a fast impact, or another element came into play.

Prove It! Does Sales Training Really Work?

The Forbes article points out some scary stats on how companies go about determining the effectiveness of sales training. Look at how the interest level declines in management's attempt to find out "Does sales training really work?":

1. Nearly every time, management asks how the sales employee feels about the training program.

2. Just over a third of the time, they try to find out whether the salesperson learned something.

3. Less than one time in six(!) do they check if the sales staff are doing the behaviors they learned in the program!

4. And a whopping 97% of the time they cannot map the training to a positive result.

You might react to these numbers by saying, "I'll never get sales training again!" But that would be a mistake. The error lies not in the training, but in management's inability to quantify something that may not be directly quantifiable.

Meyer's real killer question about sales training is: "Do you want a salesforce that consistently deploys selling best-practices that lead to strong results, or an untrained salesforce that lapses in to bad habits that lead to mediocre results?"

And with that, I agree in the strongest possible terms. An untrained salesforce lacks a consistent sales process. 'To manage we must measure'--this is an Operations Management maxim. Without consistency, we cannot measure...or improve. If each member of your sales team is doing their own thing...following their own set of steps or lack thereof...stressing different aspects or techniques and ignoring others...you don't have any consistency. And so you cannot manage. The net results are purely accidental.

Ways To Help Answer "Does Sales Training Really Work"

Australian trainer Sue Barrett says online video training is a great option. I agree: it's effective, cost-saving, frees the student up to learn on their own time, can be easily added to with new content, and makes ongoing reinforcement consistent.

Richard Ruff recently reiterated: "Stop viewing training as an episodic event and start viewing it as an ongoing process." Change is the only consistent factor in the new world of selling, and a one-time attempt at improvement is not going to do the trick. Ruff also supports the idea of video training as an expert way to train new hires.

While quantifying a distinct ROI for sales training may be tough, the fact is without a consistent sales process your team will be conducting scattered, confused and uneven behaviors...leading to scattered, confused and uneven results. The answer to "Does sales training really work?" is the investment in sales training does pay off, with a process you can measure and manage.

>>Jason Kanigan helps companies position themselves with the right Price to gain Power in the marketplace, with which to maximize their Profit. Questions about the value of investing in sales training? Comment below to let us know! And please Like or Share to get this content in front of someone who needs it!<<


Sales Expert Interviews at SalesTactics.org

Sales Expert InterviewsSales expert interviews are rare. Nobody thinks to interview them. And the reason why? They are usually busy working, and not connected with the online marketing sphere that likes to interview experts. Most people have heard of marketing consultants; few have heard of sales trainers.

Over the past 60 days or so, I have interviewed five sales experts. I have also been interviewed several times as a sales expert. So here we now have a library of sales expert interviews at SalesTactics.org. Do not take this lightly. Where else can you find such discussions? I arrange these interviews to show you the concepts I talk about are not the unproven theories of a lone thinker, but shared by many oft-unheard fellow experts in the sales training field.

Five Key Sales Expert Interviews at SalesTactics.org

Here are the five sales expert interviews completed over the past two months:

Richard Ruff on How the Fortune 1000 Train Their Sales Teams

Monika D'Agostino on Commitment in Sales Training

Eddy Ricci, Jr., on Training Gen Y Salespeople

Claude Whitacre on Local Online Marketing

David Brock on Change in Selling Organizations

and as a bonus from earlier this year,
Dave Kurlan on Effective Phone Selling.

It's said that if you read three (just three!) books on a subject, you will know more about it than 95% of the population. Consider how much farther ahead you will be about selling if you absorb these interviews.

Sales Expert Interviews with Jason Kanigan

I have also been fortunate enough to have been interviewed several times recently. Rather than "just" cold calling or typical sales ideas, I've been able to discuss the mindset of a successful salesperson. This is one of my most valuable interviews to date.

Business Unleashed did a written Q&A with me on getting started

Inner Success Radio had me delve into the mindset of a successful salesperson

Nicholas Loise, president of Glazer Kennedy Inner Circle, interviews me on high ticket selling (episode 24).

This is a virtual library of sales training methodology you could pay a considerable amount of money for. Think about it: what do you think the billable hourly rate of each of these experts is? And totaled together? At a bare minimum we have a $1000 program on this page. And it's provided here for free.

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer. If you know someone who will benefit from seeing this information, please Share it. Also, you can Like our Facebook page to be advised of new content like this. And if you have a question about any of these interviews or another topic in sales, please comment below to let us know! We want to hear from you. And if you'd like to get better customers, better projects and make more money, get The Small Business Sales Effectiveness Report available FREE at the top of this page! <<


How the Fortune 1000 Train Their Sales Teams: Richard Ruff Interview

Richard Ruff Interview

Richard Ruff Interview On Sales Process Development

I spoke with sales process developer Richard Ruff, who has three decades large scale sales training projects for Fortune 1000 companies. You might recognize his clients, some of which are: Microsoft, Kimberly-Clark, Xerox, Canon, Allstate.

Process development is different from technique taining. Ruff's focus is not on techniques, but rather how the sales teams of large companies can adapt to changes in buyer behavior. The necessary techniques stem from that. In this Richard Ruff interview we talk about a process small and medium-sized businesses are not yet using, because of their over-concentration on specific technique.

How large companies develop their sales forces and processes is different from smaller businesses--but that is changing. With the recent move to concentrating on economic inside sales roles, small and medium-sized firms have found their inside salespeople must complete complex sales. The days of an inside salesperson just answering the phone and taking the prospect through a script are coming to an end. Therefore this kind of training is required for them, too.

Main Takeaway from the Richard Ruff Interview

Unlike new business owners, consultants, and salespeople, the sales executives at larger companies already have some competence with technique. They know how to do the basic things necessary in a sales role. So the question is not "What do I do to get things started?", but rather, "How do I navigate the byzantine world of the complex sale?" With multiple stakeholders, some of whom do not get along (as we cover in our discussion), hidden problems on both the buyer and seller sides, and salespeople at different effectiveness levels, how is one program to handle all of these issues and more?

If you own or work at a small business or consultancy, you may be wondering how what this Richard Ruff interview has to say is relevant to you. Well I'll tell you:

This Is Where Sales Training Is Headed. For Everyone.

Click Here to listen to the full interview

Dick is a principle of Sales Momentum. You can follow his blog entries at The Sales Training Connection.

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer. Did this interview help you? Please Like or Share! Also, if you have a question about the training process discussed in the interview, or want to give your own opinion, Comment below. And did you miss the Small Business Sales Effectiveness Report? <<