Maximizing Returns from Sales Training Investment

10 Feb
by Sam,

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. I need to add if you think training is expensive try bad training. Therefor you need to think carefully about how to maximize returns form your sales training investment.

It has been observed that over 90% of all lessons learnt in training are lost within three months. It is called burning your training money in three months. Many people use this as an excuse to cut on training and development budgets. Unfortunately companies that struggle most train least, consequently they struggle more. A vicious cycle.

However, as an organization you can drastically  improve  results from your training efforts in a big way if you focus on doing training the right way.

Before the Course

A lot of training initiatives fail -before the training. Many firms believe, rightly,that the most important preparartion they can do is a training needs analysis (TNA). While TNA is an important step in preparing for training, many firms conduct it on their own without the involvement of the  trainers who will deliver the training course.

It is important to evaluate the factors that necessitate the need for training. Not all competency gaps can be addressed through training. It is important to pick them from the ones that require training. When you involve a professional trainer who have expertise in his area he could give advice on the best way to approach to address the problem.

Many firms that come to us seeking sales training do so because their sales performance is unsatisfactory. On carrying out the evaluation of their situation we find out that most of their issues cannot be addressed through training. There performance could be an issue of wrong people in the right jobs, insufficient management systems, lack of adequate sales strategies, non-existent sales processes among others. The sales skills are just one of the many issues that require sorting out.

Course Design

Many trainers have one course that they deliver to every other organization. Customization of content is a key element in course development. The content must be tailored to the training objectives, the skill level of the team and the general context of the organization.

One the biggest challenges in the world of training is when trainers develop a great training programme and get organizations to take as it is in form and content. It is agreeable that there are many great courses out there. But, however good a program is,  it requires customization for it to have maximum impact on specific organization especially at the point application.

Trainers who desire to give the best value to their clients will go out of their way to understand the internal and external context of the organization in order to develop the most effective course content as well as a delivery plan to achieve the training objectives.

The Morning After

What happens after the training is more important than what happens during the training. A well designed course must have strategies, activities and tools that will ensure that the lesson learnt are reinforced post the training as well as applied as they were learnt.

The ‘feel evaluation’ at the end of training can only measure how much the participants were entertained but very inadequate as a tool to measure the effectiveness of a training programme. The best measure is the behaviour change after the training.

When preparing for a  training you would want to be sure that the trainer a plan on how you are going to get maximum application of skills learnt post the training. He may not be responsible for what happens after the training but he needs to give what you require so that you can maximize your returns on training investments.

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