Sales Training is an Investment, Not an Expense
One of the most common things we hear from business owners is that they have a lot of expenses. This is especially true when talking to those about their sales team. Hiring new salespeople is expensive, but it’s also one of the most important investments you’ll make for your business. We recently spoke to Pete Ladd at NewPro and Mark Richardson, where we brought up this idea of sales training being an investment, and they completely agreed. The most successful organizations are viewing sales training as an investment, and this is why.
All Investments Have a Return
Does all training have a return on investment? Or, more importantly, are you able to actually track your ROI when you train your employees? While most businesses may find it difficult to track the ROI of training, sales training is a bit different. There are many analytics you can use to see whether your sales training has an effective return on investment.
What are you Investing in as a Company?
When it comes to investing in your sales team, it’s not just about investing in the training. It’s also about investing in the trainer themselves. A successful training will be spending a good chunk of time training an individual to be successful. You should look at your overall training, all of the individual parts of it, as well as who is teaching it. If your team isn’t successful, a lot of that falls back on you as a company. With the right training and the right people, you will be able to see the ROI in your training.
How to Tell if Your Sales Team is a Good Investment
When looking at your analytics to see if your sales team is on the right track, there are a few different measures you can look at according to Pete Ladd.
The first way you can tell if your sales team is a good investment is looking at the retention of your team. Retention for Pete Ladd’s team is about 70-75% for the outside sales staff. If you’re seeing a high turnover rate for your sales team, that means there is something wrong with your retention strategy, and a lot of that is due to training.
How much is your team selling? Looking at sales volume over a specified amount of time can show whether or not the training is working. If your volume of sales has gone down post-training, chances are, the training needs to be tweaked. If your sales volume has increased after training, this is a good indicator that you’re seeing a positive ROI.
A lot of people think that if you’ve already trained someone, that’s the end of the situation. But, that’s simply not true. You can always retrain your employees after doing an overhaul of your training for better results. Track your sales volume quarterly and yearly, and keep an eye on whether it’s going up or down.
Dollars Per Lead Issued
According to Pete Ladd, the most important metric for determining whether or not your sales training is successful is looking at the dollars per lead issued, or the DPLI. What this means is that for every appointment you have with someone, how much does each customer return to you? That’s what you want to look at for the DPLI. When Pete Ladd started, his company had an $1800 DPLI. But now, they’re between $2700-$2800, which is a great increase in DPLI.
This is the metric you want to look at when determining just how successful your sales training is. If your sales training is successful, not only should your team be closing more accounts than normal, but they should also be getting a higher return for each sale that your company is receiving.
How to Revamp Your Sales Training
If you don’t have ample sales training, you’re not the only one. This is something we see that is really common among small and mid-sized businesses. Pete Ladd’s sales training has been effective, and there are a few key things he recommends to bring some life back into your training.
Have Fun With It
When it comes to training, it can get pretty boring. You’re dealing with the same thing over and over again, and salespeople are people too. Pete Ladd’s favorite sales training tactic is to add in some humor. Whether you’re critiquing their role play or teaching a new concept, adding in some wisecracks, as long as you keep them professional, will benefit your teaching and training methods.
Create a Plan
Too often, business owners don’t have a plan. They throw the information to the sales team and tell them to go out and sell them. But business owners need plans. Not just a plan of where you’re going, but a 90-day plan that encompasses everything to do with onboarding and training in those first 90 days. For Pete Ladd, he takes every employee and spends three weeks with them before they go out with another sales rep for an additional week.
Train Them to Ask the Right Questions
We often get the question of whether business owners should focus more on the product or the actual sales techniques. Every business is different, but you should always teach your sales reps to ask the right questions about the product.
Way back when, you could have your sales reps sell with flipbooks. Then, you could have them sell with PowerPoint. But, that’s no longer cutting it. That’s why Pete Ladd has transitioned over to using Ingage. Here at Ingage, our beautiful sales presentations stand out amongst the crowd, really setting your business apart from the competition.
Ingage’s technology not only helps you to train your employees, but it presents beautifully to customers. You’ll be able to see just how well your training is working due to Ingage’s backend analytics, which allow your company to see how much time is being spent on each slide with the customer, where the presentation is lacking, and how your team is performing overall. When it comes to training your employees, it is truly an investment, and Ingage will help you see a return on your investment.