When investing in sales training or any training for that matter, one of the chief concerns is how to maximize the investment. The return on investment when you train sales people is a little easier to quantify versus training in soft skills such as communication, leadership, etc. To calculate the return, you can simply look at the sales numbers before the training and after the training to see the return. However, there are some things to consider to maximize the return on investment. Let’s look at a few steps you can take to ensure you get the most out of your investment.
One way to maximize your investment is to select the right type of firm for the training. A couple of things to look for in a sales training firm are experience in sales and experience in training. There are a lot of consultants that were formerly great sales people, but that does not necessarily make them great sales trainers. Just as selling requires skills unique to selling, training also requires skills unique to training. When selecting a consultant ask about their sales and training background.
To get the most out of the training, the training has to meet certain training standards. Training is not a lecture. In any training program, you want to have a show, model, do process. First you show the salesperson what to do; then you model what to do; then you have them practice what to do. This is really the only way to train sales people. Ideally this is done in a classroom environment on or off the company site.
Another thing to keep in mind is the amount of material that will be covered during the session(s). If you are training on the entire sales process, it is better to cover the material over a period of time. Bringing sales people in for three to five days of “intense” training does not work very well. The reason it doesn’t work is the mind cannot absorbed too much at one time. At the end of three days, what was covered on day one is completely lost. It is better to train over a period of time.
Training over a period of time allows for the development of skills. You may have heard that training and development go together. They do! Training is teaching someone a new skill. Development is helping someone use a skill more effectively. When you invest in sales training consulting you want to make sure the consultant has a process to help your sales people implement what they have learned in the classroom. This does not have to be a complex process. It could range from a checklist to follow-up coaching sessions.
Getting the most out of your training will require a few simple actions. If you follow the suggestions outlined here, you will be successful in getting a good return on your investment.