Sales Managers and Sales Directors waste thousands of pounds on ineffectual and expensive sales training courses for their teams that have little or no long lasting results, outcomes or change. This is because often, clear outcomes and a strategy are not decided upon before commencement of the training. Then what looks like an ‘entertaining’ or even ‘motivational’ session when attended, makes very little impact on the team and the contents are soon forgotten. Thus rendering the training a waste of money.
When choosing the sales training it is important to meet, like and feel a connection with the trainer who will be delivering the course. Many large faceless training organisations will book a training associate for the session that will often just be because they are available that day.
Before any training is even thought about or booked an analysis of the challenges the sales people are facing is essential. This could be through informal meetings with members of the sales team; it could be by observation or by online surveys.
Next a clear and defined required outcome needs to be established. What does success look like? How will you know when the training has been value for money?
At DoRemarkable we use the 4 stages of The Kirkpatrick Model™ to evaluate the effectiveness of all our training.
Stage 1 Reaction
This is the measure of how well the training was received. Get this bit wrong and the learning will never stick. A skilled trainer who not only knows the topic but also can deliver in an enthusiastic and engaging manner influences this part greatly. This is, in some cases, the end of most evaluations when the results of the ‘happy sheets’ are collected.
- Did the delegates feel the training was worthwhile?
- Was the training delivered in their preferred learning style?
- Did they think it was successful?
Stage 2 Learning
This is a measure of what the delegates have learnt. Measurement of this is crucial as our memories are very poor when we have received an avalanche of information in a day or several daylong sessions. Some of the remedies to this could be pre training session homework to introduce delegates to the key themes within the training. During the session leaning in chunks using NLP techniques to enhance memory, quizzes, Kahoots™, games and delegates presenting back their new learning. These are all ways to embed the key points within the learning. In a sales environment the learning could be focused around knowledge, skills or attitudes. It is therefore useful to measure these before any training has commenced.
Stage 3 Behaviour
This is the ongoing behaviour change that great sales training programs create. However it is not just an indication of the training if the results are less than impressive. It could also be the environment that the sales people work in. It could be a boss who won’t let them apply their new skills and knowledge. We are measuring ‘how’ delegates apply the new skills or knowledge. This is why most one or two day training session fail, as delegates can quickly go back to old behaviours. A truly valuable program is spread over a series of sessions with interventions between each session to encourage the changes in behaviour that the program set out to achieve.
- Getting delegates to report back with behavioural changes they have made is a useful tool. Just the act of requesting the report will encourage the delegates to implement change.
Stage 4 Results
This, in the sales arena is a simple metric. It could be increase in revenue, leads, appointments, close ratio, average order value, referrals, or demos or presentations given. These metrics can be found in any good CRM system. This is where the best sales training programs start. What does success look like? This is the most important metric and it is made up of each stage being monitored and measured correctly.
- This should be determined from the outset and this is a measure of the success of the entire program.
So next time you want to enlist the services of a sales trainer and put a training program in place to improve your team, make sure they can achieve all four stages.