Professional sales training doesn’t come cheap. A 2017 industry report put the cost of training at around $1,800 per person, which can be a hard figure to stomach if you have hundreds of sales reps.
You want your employees to be effective in their new roles as sales reps, but high training costs can leave you between a rock and a hard place.
When it comes to professional sales training, you know that sales reps who know their stuff are bound to be more effective at selling your product. Why gamble on the success of your business, especially given the rising average sales training cost. Investing in your sales team gives you higher levels of sales and loyal employees. The trick is to train your sales team in a way that doesn’t break the bank but does deliver results.
Read on to learn more about the ROI on professional training and how you can maximize the potential of your sales reps.
Do you know your average sales training cost?
What’s the value of your professional sales training?
While it may seem like the cost of training is more than it’s worth, consider your ROI.
Let's start with average sales training cost
Let’s say you have 100 reps, and you want to train them all. Let’s say you’re spending the average $1,800 per rep. And now, let’s say you have a stock-standard midmarket sales funnel: 90-day cycle, $30K deal size.
Now, you’ve spent $18,000 on the training. This is, by the way, not far off the average sales training cost. That means you need to close an additional two deals to have the training more than pay for itself.
That one way to think about your professional sales training.
Of course, it may not be that simple. How can you be sure that any increase in revenue can be attributed to your sales training? An increase in revenue may be the result of a variety of practices that your team puts into place.
Fortunately, there’s another approach to measuring the ROI of your professional sales training – you measure your sales objectives.
Remember that professional sales training is simply introducing new skills and best practices to your employees.
So the approach is that, instead of measuring raw revenue at the end, design professional sales training to move one specific thing and then measure that specific thing.
For instance, let’s go back to our example from before. You might get sales training specifically to shrink the sales cycle. You could work out how much you need to shrink the sales cycle to pay for the cost of the training, and then measure against that metric to calculate a (hopefully positive) ROI.
Make your professional sales training authentic
Professional sales training will only be effective if can easily be applied by your sales reps.
If your professional sales training doesn’t translate well into the real world, then it’s a lot less valuable.
While a certain skill may seem like a logical tool for your sales rep, it may not lead to real-world results.
To make sure that your training will be useful to your sales reps, it’s helpful to have an idea of the success rate of your training modules before putting your employees through the paces.
If possible, pick a training solution that is tried and true or envision the practicality of any new training initiative. Let researchers do the experimentation so you can pick out training that you can use with confidence.
Find a pre-professional sales training baseline
Any impact is meaningless unless you have a specific benchmark you’re trying to move. If you think back to our sales cycle example from before, the benchmark was 90 days. That’s the standard without any training on your part, based on what the metric has been for the past. Any ROI is based on the improvement over that number.
Even with the rising average sales training costs, professional sales development has among the highest ROI. And yet, professional sales training remains a challenge for lots of organizations.
And yet, we’re all a little skeptical of it. That’s why it’s so important to define success from the outset, so that sales training moves from an exercise that “has to be done” to a strategic project that drives the business forward understanding the expected value, making your training reflect the reality of your reps, and setting a baseline value.
By clarifying these three things, you can invest in professional sales training that will help your team and ultimately, deliver an ROI your executive team is happy with.