Is your sales training program delivering the results that you want and more importantly need? Learn how to create a sales training program that actually delivers a positive return on your investment (ROI).
Simply speaking, the reason most sales training programs fail to deliver a positive return on investment and achieve the desired goal of improved performance, is that these programs are modeled on the K-16 educational experiences. If you look at the lack of progress in the public education arena, why should the corporate education and training experiences be any different?
How much is 10 times 10? You probably had the answer in your head before you finished reading the question. Now how much is 25 times 24? This time the answer is not coming as quickly and you may even say I do not know. The reason for this is simple. You practiced 10 time 10 many, many times, however you may have only computed 25 times 24 once or twice in your lifetime.
To bridge the gap between knowing how to do something as multiplying something to actual doing it requires numerous opportunities to apply new knowledge. Learning is the acquisition of knowledge. Performance is the application of knowledge.
Simply speaking, you cannot change years of behaviors and the supporting beliefs by a one to three day learning engagement. To achieve a positive return on the investment for those education and training dollars invested in sales training demands practice. Yet, most training and development sessions are very short in duration with no to limited opportunities for ongoing feedback and practice.
The focus as in the K-16 experience is about learning, getting more knowledge and skills. Yet, to realize performance improvement is really about developing the necessary attitudes and habits.
The other unstated obstacle to achieving a positive return on your sales training program is the belief that that an external force can create sustainable behavior change. Ongoing positive behavioral change must come from within each and every individual. Again, this demonstrates the importance of attitudes, those habits of thoughts.
Years ago, Dr. Don Kirkpatrick constructed a model of evaluating training for the business and corporate worlds. This model now known as the Kirkpatrick 4 Levels of Evaluation suggested that to achieve a positive return on investment requires actual performance and to see the impact of that performance within the organization (Levels 3 and 4). Yet, he realized that the majority of training focused on levels 1 and 2. Again, this focus is because of the conditioning from the k-16 experiences where content is king.
Simply speaking if you wish to achieve a positive return on your sales training investment then you may wish to take these actions:
- Schedule your training in shorter sessions with a week in between to allow for practice
- Incorporate attitudes and habits along with the necessary Self Leadership Skills and Knowledge
- Infuse opportunities for practice
- Measure the impact of your sales training program
By taking these proactive actions, you will achieve not only measurable results, but much happier sales people in the process.