Sales training is a highly effective way to improve team performance and boost overall results. However, when it comes to quantifying its impact it’s far less simple to do than with more numbers based and easier to attribute investments. Measuring the ROI on sales training is challenging, mostly because calculating the return is quite a difficult job. There are a number of reasons for this:
- Return on sales training is not instant. It may take some time to appear and, depending on the length of the sales cycle, the actual return could only materialise several months in the future.
- The impact of sales training is often felt right across the business. Pinpointing the direct return of sales training is not that easy as the return could be disparate. You’ll often find that the results of sales training are broad and everyone, from the CEO down will want to take the credit for it.
- We frequently simply use the wrong metrics. When you’re looking to measure ROI on anything the first instinct is often to look at increased sales revenue as the right metric to work with. At first glance this does seem to make sense – the initial investment was financial and so the return should be identifiable in that way too. However, the issue there is that an increase in revenue could be the result of many factors – not just training – and so any measurements you try to make relating to sales training may not be accurate.
Metrics: the options
So, if sales revenue isn’t an option when it comes to measuring ROI on sales training what else can you use? There are two other potential metrics that could provide accurate and actionable insights into the impact that sales training is having. The first of these is sales activities. This could be anything from making sales calls and attending training, to accounts plans that are completed. Unfortunately, in the same way as measuring a business result like revenue, attempting to use sales activities to calculate ROI can be a bit of a stretch.
The second metric that is likely to have a much greater impact is sales objectives. This would cover any goal that you’re setting for a sales team, whether that’s close rates, customer retention or the acquisition of new customers. It’s here that you will often be able to see the most obvious correlation between investment made in sales training and results.
Why does the sales objective make more sense?
There is a far more direct correlation between training and the sales objective – and it can be better quantified. For example, you might look into investing in training to generate more new customer acquisitions. Although acquiring new customers may also contribute to other metrics such as business results like revenue, there is a direct and measurable link between a training programme designed to increase new acquisitions and the number of acquisitions that you make. So, if you invest in training for the purpose of a sales objective such as this, by looking at whether that objective was achieved (and how) you will find it much easier to measure the ROI.
Training is increasingly a crucial way for businesses to evolve and drive up returns of all types – if you’d like more information on the training options we offer please get in touch with a member of the PTP team today.