Tracking the effectiveness of your sales training investments.

It's generally getting tougher to sell things - particularly as products and services become more complex. As complexity grows, vendors look to combine products and services to create larger and longer term relationships with their customers. As these potential and actual relationships change, so too does the challenge for sales people.

Skills, methods and tools need to move ahead of the changing sales challenge if sales teams are to succeed in delivering the new vendor business strategies.

As vendors move to focus more on selling complex deals, or more generally to up-skill their sales teams, it quite often becomes apparent that only a small number of their sales team are actually equipped for the new challenges.

Many are good at selling one or two products at a time - what we call 'simple' deals - and some can string several products together in a single sale - what we call 'multiple' deals. But usually only two or three people can sell the big strategic 'complex' deals.

So, a training programme is usually set in motion to move salespeople up the sales capability ladder from, say, selling Simple deals, through selling Multiple deals to being able to sell Complex deals.

Improving team performance - That's training isn't it?

Search Google for Sales Team Performance and you'll get well over 39 million results. Page after page of companies offering to improve your sales team performance if you'll only spend your training budget with them.

I'm sure they're probably right; training the sales team will improve their performance, won't it?

Well, in their book How to Hire and Develop Your Next Top Performer, Herb Greenberg, Harold Weinstein and Patrick Sweeney explored this subject. They compared the results of hundreds of thousands of sales assessment tests with actual sales performance measurements. Their view?

"55% of the people earning their living in sales should be doing something else"

"Another 20% to 25% have what it takes to sell, but they should be selling something else"

So, is throwing your training budget at training companies really the right way to improve your team? Perhaps not. What's needed is a more focused view of your training requirements. And to get that, you need to

  1. Clearly understand the capabilities of your existing staff
  2. Target the training you undertake to move your business forward
  3. Track the effectiveness of your training

And in this setting, the purpose of TrakSkill - Sales is essentially three fold.

  • to help you establish the future skills and capabilities that are going to be needed by your business.
  • having established the future requirement, TrakSkill - Sales will help you assess the current capabilities of the sales teams.
  • having helped you to create the optimal training programme, TrakSkill - Sales then allows you to pre-emptively track the effectiveness of sales training against a range of specific targets.

To make your training effective, you need to follow these three simple steps. To help with that, we have a product which we call TrakSkill - Sales.