3-Steps to Get an ROI on Sales Training
3-Steps to Get an ROI on Sales Training
You want to know the money you put into a sales training course will pay you back in better performance and that your team will show up, pay attention, and learn.
Here are three (3) steps to ensure you get the highest possible ROI for your next sales training investment.
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Get an ROI on Sales Training: Step #1
Select the right platform. Traditional sales training has always been live instructor-led training (LILT), and decision-makers like to choose what they know and what they are familiar with. So this makes sense when a recent LinkedIn poll asked:
“Which type of training gets better results?”
The answer was a 60/40 split in favor of LILT even though e-learning increases retention rates by 25% to 60% over traditional training, according to TechJury.com’s eLearning Statistics Report.
Live Instructor-Led Training has the highest cost rate per student. Why? Because you are paying someone for their time – and time is everyone’s most valuable asset.
eLearning (online training) eliminates the “time for money” factor. Instead of the instructor trading time for money over and over again, they only have to do it once to record the lesson plan.
One eLearning study found that
“For every dollar spent on eLearning, companies make back $30 in productivity.”
Let that sink in for a second.
Here is the formula on how to calculate training ROI, according to iSpringSolutions:
Traditional sales training ROI often looks like this:
Company A spent $25,000 on live instructor-led sales training. The trained employees brought the company an additional $7,500.
ROI = (7,500 – 25,000)/25,000*100 = –70%
Online sales training ROI often looks like this:
Company B spent $2,500 for online sales training. The trained employees brought the company an additional $7,500.
ROI = (7,500 – 2,500)/2,500*100 = +200%
Taking the “time for money” factor out of the equation is one way to drastically improve your chances of a higher ROI.
Get an ROI on Sales Training: Step #2
Length of each class. Most salespeople (myself included) have the attention span of a squirrel. Anything longer than an hour, mental lapses start to happen.
According to this University study,
“45-minute classes would allow for a smaller number of mental lapses, allowing students to absorb the material better.”
Absorbing the material and having time to put it into practice is critical to getting an ROI. There is a reason traditional sales training fires up a team on Monday, but everyone is back in their old bad habits by Thursday.
Blitz training, where a live instructor-led trainer teaches the material, then has the team hit the phones with the new technique for a few minutes, and then jump right back into the next lesson and rinse and repeat all day, may create a lot of energy in the room – for one day.
Using what’s called the “Single Concept Focus Learning” Method – learning specific techniques in small, bite-sized chunks and then implementing what is learned over the next week before moving on to the next lesson allows new techniques to be reinforced. You can do this with live training, but the costs go up as the instructor repeatedly travels back to the client unless they do the live training online via webinars.
Live webinar training is a great option to spread out the training and allow students time to learn and practice their new techniques – but the cost of training rises as you add the “time for money” factor back in.
If live webinar training is a highly effective option, can the case be made that on-demand classes may be an even better option? On-demand courses remove the “time for money” aspect of training costs because the training is on the student’s time frame, not the instructors.
Get an ROI on Sales Training: Step #3
Curriculum. The sales training curriculum has to match the skills gap that requires improvement. You can have the best sales training program, but it will be near impossible to get an ROI if it doesn’t improve or focus on your team’s skills gap.
When it comes to getting an ROI on sales training, you will need your team setting more qualified appointments and closing at a higher %. And for that to happen, specific skills and techniques need to be taught to use on the phones.
Identify areas that are preventing your sales team from hitting their numbers.
• Do they know what to say after “Hello, my name is…” with confidence?
• Are they leaving voicemails and sending emails that get returned?
• Are they skipping qualifying steps and not sure what questions to ask – and when?
• Are they sending out proposals and then hearing “crickets” from their prospects?
These are all symptoms that an inside sales team’s phone skills and sales process need to improve. Therefore, making sure to see a detailed sales course outline that each lesson covers and confirming that it does – or does not – align with the skills gap you are looking to fill is a mandatory step in increasing your ROI on the sales training investment.
“But I want my team to be able to ask questions during the training.”
Ok, a couple of things.
One, the last time you had an outside live instructor train your team sales, how many hand-raisers did you have at the event? In my experience, in a live training event, it’s around 5, and that’s being generous. Most salespeople are hesitant to ask a question in front of their peers for fear of being judged. So you have to decide for yourself if “5 questions” is worth higher costs. Besides, most sales managers are equipped with the knowledge to answer their team’s questions during training.
Two, when it comes to learning how to sell, this isn’t a physics class. There’s a science to selling by phone, but it isn’t rocket science. The simple, straightforward universal sales process of the call flow and adaptable techniques to any industry are often the best approach to gaining higher sales volume.
Your best bet would be to take the savings the on-demand sales training provides, and afterward, if a follow-up / live Q and A is needed, only pay for a private one-on-one meeting—best of both worlds.
“I need to make sure my sales team is paying attention.”
With live training, you can take roll-call, but you can’t measure if they are paying attention.
Online sales training programs that come with progress reports offer supervisors immediate access 24/7 to their student’s status. Plus, with on-demand sales training, you can enable features that only allow a salesperson to access the following chapter only after passing the previous chapter’s exams.
The global corporate e-learning market size will be worth $50 billion by 2026 and 72% of organizations “believe that eLearning helps them increase their competitive edge.”
– Michael Pedone