5 Ways to Evaluate the Success of a Sales Training Program

Our sales training programs are a roaring success.” How do you know? Do you have irrefutable proof that you’ve struck gold?

Continuous learning is a great way to bolster your team’s performance. According to Task Drive, companies that invest in training are 57% more effective at sales than their competitors. However, those programs, no matter how well intended, are not guaranteed to succeed. 

So, it’s important to evaluate if your training program is achieving its goals. As the brilliant management theorist Peter Drucker reportedly said, “What gets measured gets improved.”  So, here are five ways to tackle the process.

Monitor performance metrics 

When well-structured, performance metrics can be invaluable for tracking progress. The results can paint a clear picture of whether your efforts are hitting or missing the mark. Some metrics you can monitor include sales numbers, average order value, or customer loyalty.

To get an accurate read, first create a baseline. Monitor the sales metric before training programs kick off. Try to pinpoint why you’re not achieving the desired results. Focus on these weaknesses during your skill development programs.

After your reps have had time to put their new knowledge to work, compare results to the baseline. Be sure to check results at the group and individual levels. This allows you to determine if there’s a challenge with the instruction as a whole or if only certain members are struggling.

Analyze customer surveys 

Customer feedback is helpful when you’re trying to gauge success. So, if you’re working to improve a consumer-centric skill, such as customer service, involve them in the process. This activity can be done through surveys, interviews, or focus groups.

To encourage participation, consider offering an incentive. For example, you can promise a discount or a free product sample if they take the survey. Or you can give participants a chance to enter a draw to win a prize.

Be sure to ask questions that are related to the training objectives. Targeted questions allow for a richer evaluation and deeper understanding.

Observe role-plays 

Role-playing is an effective way to practice real-world scenarios. It’s an especially valuable tool for sales reps. For one, it allows them to practice and refine their techniques in a safe environment. It also allows you to assess the rep’s ability to interpret and apply the concepts. 

To get an accurate assessment, pay attention to how they interact with each other. Do they appear to be having a conversation or is it a one-way monologue? Are the reps utilizing specific skills from the training programs?

Observing a few scenarios isn’t enough to make an informed decision. So, try to observe a variety of interactions to get as much data as you can. This gives you a better understanding of the group’s overall performance. 

Assess employee satisfaction 

There is a strong link between professional development and employee satisfaction. The Society for Human Resource Management reports that 76% of employees see training as crucial to their work. 

Also, according to LinkedIn, 94% of employees would stay with a company longer if it invested in their learning. So, assessing sales employee satisfaction can be a powerful evaluation tool. 

Here are a few ways to assess employee satisfaction.

  • Use surveys to understand employee thoughts and feelings. 
  • Hold focus groups within your team. Use them to get qualitative feedback on the changes they’ve seen.
  • Host one-on-one interviews to get a better understanding of employee reactions.

Review feedback from managers 

Managers have a bird’s eye view of their team’s activities. By getting a read on how they perceive the impact of a sales training program, you can get a solid sense of its effectiveness. So, it’s important to solicit their insight and opinions. 

Asking managers well-thought-out questions is a good starting point. Some examples of questions to get you started include:

  • “What changes have you noticed since this program was put in place?” 
  • “How do you think this has impacted employee morale?” 
  • “What feedback have you received from customers?” 

A well-planned learning program is the first step toward success. Unfortunately, the cost can be steep. Data from Highspot shows companies spend an average of $2,020 per sales rep on training programs. So, it’s important to measure their impact to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your investment.

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