Steven Rosen, MBA
Despite the economic downturn progressive sales organizations are continuing to invest 2-5% of their annual sales budgets in sales training and development. These organizations undoubtedly will outperform their competitors who don’t invest. Training and development is one of the key factors that lead to improved sales performance.
The problem is that 90% of sales training is a waste of time and money. Most sales training is an event. It may increase sales force engagement but has little lasting impact. Without effective reinforcement the impact of your training will be lost within 30 days. The basis of reinforcement comes from sales managers coaching reps, post-training.
Post-training sales coaching and reinforcement is the key to sustaining your sales training investment. We know that coaching is the No. 1 sales management activity that drives sales performance. Studies reinforce this by showing that above-average coaches deliver 20% more sales. The challenge is that sales coaching is the weakest-performing activity among managers.
Before you invest $1 in training you need to find out how effective your sales managers are at coaching in order to maximise your sales training investment. In fact if you only had $1 to invest I would suggest that you would get the biggest ROI on training your sales managers to be great coaches. Not only will you get better sales results, you will also better leverage additional training investment.
The 4-step process outlined below will give you insight in how to maximise any training investment. The example I use is based on Best Practices For Training Sales Managers to be great coaches. This model is applicable for all training.
Four Step Training Model:
Step 1: Assessing Skills and Behaviors
Assuming you already know what you want to achieve with your training investment (i.e., develop “great sales coaches”) you need to find out where you are...