Category Archives: Sales Training Measurement
Competition in sales continues to escalate. In response, more businesses are renewing their focus on sales performance initiatives. However, these directives leave little time for the most critical step: measurement. Even the best sales performance intentions will fall flat without measurement.
After decades of working with sales organizations across industries, we’ve determined a core group of eight sales metrics. These measurements are critical for getting an actionable read on how they’re performing as an organization, which is driven, in part, by sales performance initiatives. Some organizations will only need to use a few of these. Others may need them all. Here, we take a closer look at how each one works and why they matter.
Multitasking. Mobile meetings. Doing more with less. Slimmer windows of opportunity. Today’s sales environment is faster, more demanding, and infinitely more challenging than ever before. Sellers need 21st-century skills, but time is too precious a commodity to spend much of it in training classrooms. When sales organizations do invest in their people, they demand results and ways to measure progress.
At Richardson, we constructed our new blended-learning, cloud-based platform, Accelerate™, with numerous measurement benchmarks. These both track and motivate each learner’s performance while giving leaders desired insights into individual and team progress.
Sales organizations have long used the Richardson SkillGauge™ diagnostic tool to assess and validate skills. Now, we are taking a similar approach in Accelerate in the form of Baseline Check, which occurs at the launch of the training program, and a Final Check several months after the program’s conclusion.
The Baseline Check is an assessment that benchmarks each seller’s starting point and prepares them to learn. The Final Check validates learning progress and shows exactly how far each learner has come.
Between these two points in time, as learners work through activities and exercises, Accelerate delivers formative quizzes that check progress and redirect effort. Through confidence scoring on each activity, learners self-identify where they feel strong and where things are a bit shaky. They can then go back and review concepts needing more attention.
The ability of Accelerate technology » Continue Reading.
According to Aberdeen Research, coached teams achieve 15% higher lead conversion rates and 14% shorter sales cycles than teams that are not coached (Aberdeen, 2014) … but we don’t really need research to justify coaching — it’s intuitive to anyone in sales. With almost universal acknowledgement and such obvious benefits, one would think that sales coaching would be a science by now. Unfortunately for our sellers, it is not. The typical sales organization struggles mightily to build a consistent and effective sales coaching program. When coaching fails, we tend to throw frontline sales managers under the bus, but in our experience, the problem is broader and so is the solution. There are three typical reasons for failed sales coaching programs:
Lack of visibility at the top Lack of practical processes and tools in the middle Lack of accountability on the frontlines.
The key to building a successful coaching program is to address all three levels simultaneously.
Signs of a Poor Sales Coaching Program
The tell-tale sign of a poor coaching program is a sales leader who has no idea when, where, or even if coaching is taking place in his/her organization. Visibility is essential to execution, not only because it fosters accountability, but because execution needs direction, and direction is only possible when leaders have insight into the behaviors of their teams. Ultimately, good coaching programs require » Continue Reading.
In my previous posts — How Effective are Your Sales Training Programs? and Order Matters: The Sequence of Sales Training Measurement — I made a business case for measuring the impact of sales training and explained the proper sequence to do so.
At this point, you should be ready to establish your own measurement strategy for sales training . But first, I’ll share five guiding principles to help you through the process.
Principle One: Start Where You Want to End When you start with the end in mind, your measurement plan will be more likely to address those things that matter most to your business. You will be aligned with the outcome that you are trying to achieve. If you identify best practices and then establish current performance as a baseline, you can see where opportunities for improvement exist and track changes along the way. Principle Two: Feedback Is a Gift Giving feedback to the individual going through training should be part of the learning journey. For everything that is measured, make sure the individual has the opportunity to see his/her results and be a part of an ongoing developmental dialogue. Put the individual in charge of his/her learning, and help him/her understand how to use that information to guide his/her continuous learning. When he/she expects and get feedback, there is more engagement and compliance. Principle Three: Methodology Matters It is best to measure performance in » Continue Reading.
Four tips for developing a sequence of sales training measurement
In my previous post — How effective are Your Sales Training Programs? — we made a business case for why companies should invest in sales training measurement. Now that the importance of measurement has been established, it’s vital to adopt the proper measurement sequence to have the greatest impact on performance.
Sales Training measurement is not a one-and-done prospect. The standard pre- and post-test approach isn’t sufficient to achieve lasting change.
The Kirkpatrick Four-level Training Evaluation model has become a cornerstone in the learning industry, looking at reaction, learning, behavior, and results. These traditional measures are familiar and necessary, but they’re not sufficient. At Richardson, we build on the Kirkpatrick model by identifying additional factors that come into play.
Before training individuals, we want to know their natural talents and skills. There’s an important difference between the two. Talent refers to an individual’s aptitude and motivation. Talent is a part of their DNA because people can be great at jobs that are a good fit. The other side of that coin is that while a poor fit can be workable, it’s not optimal. It’s hard to be passionate about a job that doesn’t play to a person’s talents.
The other element involves skills. This is the “how” of doing something. Skills can be observed. If there was a video camera taping a client meeting, what would the camera » Continue Reading.