May 4, 2015

From the billions of dollars invested in B2B sales training annually, it would seem obvious that it is beneficial.  How can you definitely prove that it is paying off in your own firm?

When it comes to choosing a training program, ROI is on everyone’s minds. Here are four ways to help improve the accuracy of your ROI measurements and prove the value of training of your operation.

Start Measuring at the Planning Stage

To obtain the true picture of sales training ROI, start thinking about it in the planning stages instead of waiting until everyone is back from their sessions. Before your salespeople attend training:

  • Identify weaknesses in your sales team
  • Define key performance indicators and metrics that will show obvious improvement
  • Get your baseline data recorded and ready for comparison

Each of these steps will ensure that you have greater success as you move forward with your sales training plan.

Tap into Your Team to Bolster Validity

One of the most overlooked methods for measuring ROI is simply talking about it with your sales team. Find out what they feel they have learned and gather real world examples of how training has improved their performance to reinforce the data you already collect.

You can then use this data to plan for your next training session as well, adding to the ROI of future efforts.

Follow Up for Long Term Results

Much like the failure to measure prior to the initiation of sales training, failure to continue to collect data and analyze  afterwards will make assessing ROI difficult.

Survey your people after a while to see which new skills they have adopted and how much they have retained. In other words, are they still using their training? By tabulating the results, you can determine whether or not the training has “stuck” or whether the ROI is poor — in which case the training regimen should be altered or more strongly reinforced.

Measure the Proper Metrics for a True Look at Sales Training ROI

This leads to our final tip—don’t focus solely on the bottom line. While it is important that you’re not investing without any form of monetary return, there are other sales training metrics to measure ROI than a simple cost versus return analysis.

  • Assess individual employee behaviors before and after training — are they more aligned with your sales culture?
  • Keep track of the evolution of your sales process — are things smoother?
  • Track team morale. Sales training should result in team member cohesion.

As you can see, the benefits of sales training are not always immediate or obvious. What you perceive as a lack of return could actually be your team solidifying and growing to peak just around the corner. Skills learned today could also place your team in the perfect position to take advantage of market shifts or employ new strategies in the future, so be patient.

Measuring ROI for sales training might look like a daunting task. However, with a little planning you’ll find it is easy to see the benefits gained.