Archive for the ‘Sales Training’ category

Achieving Positive ROI on Training Investments

July 13th, 2013

Group training has been used extensively by leading organizations for decades. However, justifying the use of training by empirically proving that it results in operational improvements is quite arduous, and directly measuring the financial performance resulting from improved “soft” skills is at best an educated guess. The truth is that training can be profoundly effective, and return dramatic return on investment, as long as certain guidelines are followed.

For organizations that are primarily driven by metrics, 360-degree feedback inventories, performance learning satisfaction evaluation systems and Balanced Scorecard techniques will each provide some telling evidence, either for, or against, the effectiveness of training in an organization. The results of these evaluations should be focused on team productivity and reaching financial targets. Complicating the matter, however, is that it may take 12 months or more to accurately measure the results of “soft” skills training; the acquisition of which cultivates team morale, engagement and retention.

With or without a formal ROI measurement system, it is essential for an organization to identify its skill gaps, and the appropriate audience in order to maximize the investment in training. Beginning with key performance indicators, such as customer retention, it is then possible to reduce these indicators to individual activities and competency requirements for each indicator2. For example, reducing customer loss and dealing with angry customers would be relevant activities and competency requirements for customer retention.

All training initiatives should start with a needs analysis and specific goals regarding what is going to change in the organization as a result of training. The training can then be aligned with an ongoing skills audit. This audit acts as a measure of the success of the training. It is then possible to translate these skills into tangible metrics, which can be measured financially.

Next, participants need to know what the purpose of the training is and buy into the expectations for their performance. They, further, need to be held accountable for measurable changes and supported in implementing the changes in their teams. According to a 2007 study of the transfer of training skills, » Read more: Achieving Positive ROI on Training Investments

Unlock Sales Training and Development With These 8 Dynamic Learning & Sales Coaching Keys

July 13th, 2013

Sales training will be one of the few training and development areas that will experience an increase in expenditures according to a recent report. With the global market place becoming ever increasingly crowded, learning how to increase sales and building customer loyalty simultaneously is now more important than ever before.

If you, your business or organization is seeking to expand its sales training and development, here are some key suggestions to ensure that you are doing this education the right way meaning you are getting “more bang for the buck.”

First, begin with the end in mind. What results do you want from the sales training specific to your sales force? By taking this approach, you can quickly determine the return on investment for your efforts.

Second, construct the learning experience to not only focus on skills and knowledge, but on attitudes and habits. Most performance failure is as much if not more do to bad attitudes and habits than a lack of knowledge and skills. Sales research suggests that almost half of all leads are not followed up on. Sales people know that following up on leads is critical to the goal to increase sales. Therefore, the issue is one of attitudes (beliefs) and habits than deficiency in sales skills training.

Third, construct the learning experience with opportunities for practice both in the classroom (safe environment) and outside the classroom. Remember, you learned 10×10 equals 100 through practice and repetition. Coach Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers fame only had 5 offensive running plays, but his team learned how to execute these plays flawlessly due to practice, practice and more practice.

Fourth, buy in must come from everyone up and down stream. When sales managers believe that they do not need the sales training or when support staff resent the time being devoted to learning are examples of how you are setting your investment up to deliver a negative return. » Read more: Unlock Sales Training and Development With These 8 Dynamic Learning & Sales Coaching Keys