Jan 10, 2023
Sales leaders are increasingly seeing the importance of investing more in their sales training programs. In Mindtickle’s 2022 Sales Enablement Outlook Report, 87% of responding sales leaders said they plan to dedicate more resources to their sales training and enablement programs in the future.
However, you should constantly evaluate your sales training program so you can make the most of your investments. Evaluating your sales training allows you to see what areas of training need more or less resource allocation, so you can improve performance and reach your goals.
Why do you need to measure your sales training impact?
The core question at the heart of sales training evaluation is: Did your results benefit the organization in some way? If your training is going to be impactful, it has to provide measurable ROI. Evaluating the impact can be done by measuring how much time was saved, how much money was made, and/or how many clients were gained as a result of your program.
Evaluating your sales training program enables you to:
- Identify what the organization gained.
- Determine the costs versus benefits of the gain.
- Determine justification for continuing training.
If you’re not measuring and evaluating the results of your efforts, you won’t be able to see how well your sales training program is working. By creating a clear evaluation process — and a timeline for studying results — you can help everyone stay focused on the end goal.
Step 1. Set a goal & define metrics
Every sales training program should have a goal or desired outcome. Then you can use that goal to define the metrics that will measure progress toward that goal. For example, if your goal is to increase the number of new accounts opened by 20% over the next six months, then you’ll need to define what that looks like and how you’ll measure it.
First, define your goal. Most goals fall under one of three categories: time-related, quota-related, or revenue-related. Here are a few examples:
- Time goals are goals that deal with getting your sales team trained during a certain time frame. These include decreasing time to productivity or time to the first milestone.
- Quota goals are goals that focus on making sure your sales team meets their quota. For example, your goal might be to increase quota attainment by X% in the next year.
- Revenue goals are goals that focus specifically on increasing revenue over time. For example, your goal could be to increase sales revenue by X% in the next year.
Once you define your goal, you’ll have a better idea of which metrics you need to calculate, record, and report on. Some common metrics you’ll likely need to calculate are total sales revenue, average revenue per account, quota attainment, win rate, and productivity ratios.
Step 2. Establish sales training costs
To know if you’re getting a return on your training investments, keep a record of the costs associated with the program. The costs associated with your sales training program will be both indirect and direct. You have to consider not just the cost of what you spend directly on the training program but also the cost of time spent on training and time spent away from work.
The standard formula for calculating your training ROI is: ROI (percentage) = [(Monetary benefits – Training Costs)/Training Costs] x 100. ROI can also be measured in terms of decreased product cost or time.
Evaluating training costs can be challenging without having a system in place. Here are some areas to consider when building an all-inclusive training cost analysis framework:
- Development costs: salaries, benefits of personnel, technology, tools, and other equipment
- Direct implementation costs: sales onboarding costs, training material, technology costs, facilities, travel, communication and marketing of the program, instructor’s salary, and benefits
- Compensation for participants: the salaries and benefits costs that will be dedicated to the time spent on training
- Lost productivity during training: cost of time spent away from work
- Learning curve cost: cost of time needed for your employees to adapt to new practices and ways of working after the training program
- Change management costs: cost of incentives (tangible and intangible) put into place to foster wanted behavior after training
Once you’ve established the full costs associated with the program, you can figure out the monetary benefits — the revenue your sales training has generated for your company — and calculate the ROI. For example, have there been significant sales increases after employees have gone through training or a noticeable boost in productivity? These are tangible areas that can be measured by looking at the before and after stats.
Step 3. Gather feedback from sales representatives
Feedback from your sales reps will be crucial to understand what is and isn’t working with the program. It’s important to make sure that the program you’ve put together for them is effective in helping them meet their individual goals and, therefore, helping the company meet its commercial goals.
Use quarterly surveys, anonymous feedback forms they can submit anytime, and one-on-one meetings with managers to find out how employees feel about the sales training program. Here are some example questions to ask to get the answers you need:
- Are you able to easily apply what you’ve learned from the training program to your job?
- Did you learn a new skill or enhance an existing one?
- Do you believe the training program helps you bridge any gaps in your knowledge or skills?
- Has the training program been effective in helping you meet your goals?
Use these open-ended questions to build a dialogue between sales reps and sales leadership.
It’s important to understand that not all feedback will be feedback that you implement. Your sales leaders will have to evaluate all feedback to decide whether or not to implement it. For example, some feedback may not improve the sales training program or won’t be feasible to implement.
Step 4. Continually assess results & implement feedback
Establish a cycle of assessing results using these steps and then implementing team feedback so that you can identify and improve areas of weakness in the sales training program.
Evaluating the program can help you identify problems in the sales training program that need to be fixed or components of the program that need more resources allocated. If the results show that your training program has weak areas, you can make a plan to identify specific bottlenecks or issues within the program.
For example, if you see that your training program isn’t helping your sales reps improve their win rate, that’s something that needs to be assessed. Maybe they need more sales coaching or skills training to increase their confidence. These are weak areas that an evaluation of your training program can uncover.
Make an ongoing plan to set aside time (e.g., every quarter or twice a year) to go over the training program and compare it to the goals you set for the program and the sales outcomes from that time period. Go through any feedback you’ve received from sales reps to identify areas where specific improvements could be made. For example, if several sales reps leave feedback about needing more resources for cold calling, you can easily add more resources to the program. This small change could have a big impact on your sales reps and their confidence in making calls and talking to customers, leading to more deals closed.
Effective sales training yields stronger sales enablement and readiness
By taking some time to evaluate your current sales training program, your team will be better prepared to meet their goals and achieve success. Regularly evaluated training is crucial if you want to create a winning sales team for the long term. It’s not enough to just hope that your staff will improve on their own. In order to prepare your sales reps to be ready to confidently sell your product, they need resources, knowledge, the right content, and coaching. Your sales training program has to provide that for them.
Mindtickle has a comprehensive suite of sales enablement and readiness tools to provide your sales team with a positive learning environment that engages them and sets them up to succeed. With Mindtickle, you can easily create sales training programs that reinforce knowledge quickly to improve your overall sales process. Learn more about how Mindtickle can help you strengthen your sales training program.
This post was originally published in April 2016 and was updated in January 2023.