Proving the ROI of Sales Training

At a recent Learning and Development (L&D) conference, Steve – an L&D leader – stood up and told a story:

He had just attended one of his company’s events and was placed at the same dinner table as his CEO. For the benefit of the CEO, introductions were made and each person described their role within the company. Steve introduced himself as the Vice President of L&D. After introductions were done and conversation resumed at the table, the CEO turned to Steve and asked, “Can you please describe the value that your team has brought to our organization? And, I’d prefer you not discuss hours of training provided, number of workshops provided, or number of courses completed per person.”

At this point in the story, every L&D professional in the room had their eyes squarely fixed on Steve, anticipating that the next words out of his mouth would help all of them answer that same, age-old question for their organizations. Steve was about to share the secrets of the Universe. Steve was about to provide them with the Holy Grail.

The anticipation was building to a crescendo. You could have heard a pin drop. After moments of perplexed silence, someone in the audience just couldn’t take it anymore and blurted out, “SO, WHAT WAS YOUR ANSWER?” Steve scanned the faces in the room and answered, “I didn’t have one.”

The CEO in this story is like most others. According to the ROI Institute, a research and consulting organization, 92 out of 96 Fortune 500 CEOs said that they are most interested in learning the business impact of their L&D programs. However, only 8% currently see that happening at their companies. With companies spending an average of $3,000-$6,000 per person on sales training, it’s no wonder that CEO’s want to quantify the ROI.

Here’s the good news. There are proven approaches that leverage Sales Talent Analytics, and they absolutely help organizations prove the business impact/ROI of sales training.

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