Organisations depend on their sales professionals to sustain profit levels and drive revenue growth. To prepare them for this responsibility, businesses invest substantially in their training and development.
In a recent Training Industry, Inc. study of 193 companies those responsible for sales training programmes revealed that these training programmes are generally considered effective, with approximately 81% of respondents indicating that their organisation’s sales training programmes are somewhat or very effective.
However, they may be less effective at sustaining the impact of such training and development programmes over time. With estimates of the global sales training market exceeding $2Bn annually, the importance of sustaining the impact of that investment cannot be overstated. The current study addresses this important goal by investigating approaches that organisations use to sustain sales training and highlighting recommended strategies for maximising the impact of sales training over time.
The purposes of this research were to:
- Identify organisational strategies used to sustain the impact of sales training,
- Establish pre-, during, and post-training best practices for maximising the duration of sales training impact,
- Estimate the length of time that the impact of sales training is typically maintained, and Review the allocation of organisations’ sales training budgets across various sales training programme strategies throughout the training cycle.
Throughout this report, differences in the approaches used by organisations considered effective and organisations considered ineffective at sustaining sales training are emphasised. Results of these comparisons provide information that organisations can use to improve their own sales training programmes and increase the duration of programme impact on sales professionals’ performance.
The study's key findings reveal:
- Only 32% of respondents rate their organisation effective or very effective at sustaining the impact of their sales training programme.
- Over half of respondents report that their organizations sustain the impact of sales training for greater than three months following training.
- Organisations rated as effective invest less in the delivery of sales training and more in the planning, evaluation, and sustainment of that training.
- In our study, effective companies sustained the impact of training 63% longer
- The most frequently used pre-training strategies for sustainment involve communicating the importance of and expectations for training.
- Effective organisations utilise more pre- training strategies for sustaining training, including establishing post-training development plans and optimising the sales management process before training begins.
- In-person and virtual instructor-led training are the most frequently used modalities for delivering training.
- Effective organisations are more likely to utilise gamification and competition both during and following training.
- While tracking performance metrics was the most frequently used evaluation technique across all learning leaders, effective organisations consistently use more evaluation techniques to assess the impact of training.
- Providing refresher training and using curated learning portals were the most frequently used post-training techniques for sustaining sales training.
- Effective organisations use mobile/tablet reinforcement solutions post-training more frequently than ineffective organisations.
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