Getting Started with an ROI Based Approach to Sales Training Blog Feature
Steve Bookbinder

By: Steve Bookbinder on January 20th, 2015

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Getting Started with an ROI Based Approach to Sales Training

sales | Sales Training | ROI

Does sales training really work?

An ROI based approach must start with the end in mind. What does success look like 12 months from now? How will we know that we've actually accomplished anything significant from embracing a robust sales training program? An ROI approach demands a monetary value to be achieved by the end of the target revenue cycle.

Doing the math really matters! There's a formula for success here that must be determined by management to get the process started. While it's relatively easy to assess the current or historical output of each salesperson, it's more of a challenge to project what each person's output will be after rigorous sales training. But that process simply must be undertaken. What's the "plus" on each and every salesperson on the team? While using the same arbitrary "bump" for everyone is convenient, it's simply not realistic. The payoff in terms of improved performance will vary dramatically from salesperson to salesperson. Spend some time figuring out what the number should be for each person respectively.

Effective sales training will help salespeople with both existing and potential clientele. If that's true, then calculating each person's upside potential should be reflected in both the expansion of current accounts as well as the development of new accounts. Far too often, sales managers assume that sales training focuses solely on new business development. That assumption ignores the opportunity to empower salespeople to perform better with their existing clientele. As additional products and/or platforms are added to the sales portfolio, it's crucial that salespeople know how to sell those through where they already have solid relationships!

Effective sales training should automatically raise accountability. An ROI based approach will take a lot of the "mystery" out of the sales process. "How?" and "How many?" are equally important questions in any analysis of enhanced sales performance. Benchmarking current activity should include number of calls, number of existing and new accounts, average spend per account and any other relevant metric that will give a clear picture of the starting point. Those will become the key performance indicators (KPIs) that define the quantified goal for each salesperson as well as the team.

retro-car-dashboardTruly relevant KPIs also guide day-to-day progress. More than likely, we've all been exposed to "dashboards" that monitor the sales process. But how many sales managers really use them? Too often, it's an "out of the box" application that may or may not be a good fit for a given operation. The right answer here is to build your own dashboard of KPIs that supplies the critical data for success with your particular team. It's not a complicated thing to do, but it simply must be done. Embarking upon a critical journey without a reliable compass is unrealistic!

Selling new and additional platforms requires both effective sales training as well as specific revenue goals for them. Corporate finance can and will generate a "hard" expense number for those new platforms. The ROI for those platforms will be significantly enhanced if resources are allotted for effective sales training as well. The "fringe benefit" of that training is the upside performance on pre-existing platforms and the traditional "core business." Effective sales training takes even the best sales people to a higher level of performance and accelerates the growth of those with less experience. In other words, all boats rise when salespeople are better equipped for success!

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About the Author

buff_parham-1Buff Parham is a widely recognized thought leader and outstanding coach in the media sales and sales management field. With 35 years of sales experience, Buff has worked at Univision, FOX, Belo, ABC and CBS. He started in the mailroom at CBS, but quickly moved on to selling locally at KABC/Los Angeles and nationally for ABC Spot Sales in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. Buff then continued on to spend almost 12 years with Univision, first as General Sales Manager at KUVN/KSTR in Dallas, and then 5 years in New York as SVP/Sales.

Buff believes that hard work matters and that raising the bar and having greater expectations tend to generate greater results. In his spare time, Buff finds cooking and playing golf to be two of the best therapies for a somewhat hectic existence!

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About Steve Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is the CEO and sales expert at DMTraining. He has delivered more than 5,000 workshops and speeches to clients all over the world and has trained, coached, and managed more than 50,000 salespeople and managers. Steve continuously refreshes his training content to reflect his latest first-hand observations of salespeople across industries and regions. Through him, participants in his workshops and coaching sessions learn the best practices of today’s most successful sellers and managers across industries. Steve understands that sales is a competitive game. To outperform competitors and our own personal best results, we need to out-prospect, out-qualify, out-present and out-negotiate everyone else, not merely know how to sell. Through his specialty programs in Pipeline Management, Personal Marketing, Great First Meetings, 2nd-level Questioning, Sales Negotiating, and Sales Coaching, Steve trains sales teams to master the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face in today’s world… and keep improving results year over year.

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