Skip to main content

Get Post-sales Training Visibility with Learning Analytics

analytics impact thm

richardsonsalestraining7 April 2015Blog

Share on LinkedInShare on TwitterShare on Facebook

Your salespeople are effusive in their praise of the new sales training.  Sales Managers are feeling confident that the new sales training will help their teams achieve (or exceed!) their numbers. The Senior Vice President (SVP) of Sales, the sales training initiative’s executive sponsor, is publicly calling the programme a “game changer” for the sales organisation.

Your learning and development staff is feeling great — all of their hard work has paid off with an amazing three-day event.

As a seasoned Learning and Development Leader, you are glad that the training was so well received within the sales organisation. However, you know that the initiative has now entered its riskiest phase. One question haunts you:  What will salespeople actually do differently in their day-to-day interactions with customers as a result of the training? The sales organisation’s whole investment in behaviour change will be made or broken in the next three to six months — either behaviour change takes off, or it does not. In nine months, when your CFO begins to ask the SVP of Sales, “What did we get as a result of all that sales training?” you need to ensure that you and your executive sponsor have a fantastic story of success to tell. That story began as soon as the salespeople left the new sales training.

Sales Training is Not a One Time Event

At Richardson Sales Performance, we see the scenario described above play out over and over again with sales organisations. We regularly counsel our clients that sales training cannot be an event; it has to be bigger than three days of relevant learning and great facilitation in order to get behaviour change back on the job. One of the first steps to getting behaviour change is to invest in knowledge retention immediately after training (see this blog post about the pernicious effects of the “forgetting curve”). Post-training knowledge retention is only the first step on the journey to get sustained behaviour change in your sales organisation. However, like most first steps, it has an outsized influence on later results. Retaining key skills and knowledge in long-term memory is foundational to applying those new skills and knowledge. Strong knowledge retention is a prerequisite for strong sales performance with customers.  And yet, knowledge retention is nearly invisible! How can you be held responsible for something that is invisible?

Even more importantly for a progressive Learning and Development Leader, there has to be a way of proving that knowledge retention has taken place across multiple sales teams and topic areas. Anecdotal information is not going to be enough (or should not be enough) to satisfy your executive sponsor. This is where learning analytics becomes vital to the early success of your organisation’s sales training investment. Measuring knowledge retention and visualising that data enables you to do three things:

  1. Demonstrate how well salespeople have retained key knowledge and concepts three months after training
  2. Determine where to focus limited sustainment resources to close the remaining, post-training skill gaps
  3. Identify lack of engagement and reinforcement early so that critical conversations with front-line sales managers and sales leaders are fact-based
In order to get these three benefits from your learning analytics, they need to be (1) easy to collect via technology and (2) extremely granular — down to the individual salesperson, sales team and topic area. Without this level of visibility into the invisible process of knowledge retention, you are very unlikely to know what is actually going on in the first 30-90 days after training. It is in this period that the battle for behaviour change is either starting to be won or your investment in training is rapidly being lost.  Learning analytics ensures that you know how the battle for behaviour change is going. As a result, you and your executive sponsor can make smart decisions that set the sales organisation up for consistent behaviour change and outstanding business outcomes nine to twelve months in the future. That is a data-driven story worth telling any sceptical CFO.
Share on LinkedInShare on TwitterShare on Facebook
measuring sales training effectiveness

Sales Training Measurement Strategy Brochure

Learn more about our research-based measurement methodology.


Resources You Might Be Interested In

agile selling skills

Brief: How Agile Sales Professionals Use Sprints to Target, Message, and Engage Prospects

Download this brief to learn how Sprint Prospecting™ enables agility that quickly gets to the core of the customer’s needs.


evidence-based solution selling training for healthcare

Brief: Engaging Healthcare Professionals with Agile Messaging

Discover three ways sellers can deliver meaningful messaging to HCPs to gain access while staying in compliance.


richardson sales performance and training company

White Paper: Accessing Growth with Sprint Prospecting

Download the White Paper, Accessing Growth with Sprint Prospecting, we offer a new set of skills designed to earn the customer’s attention.

White Paper

Solutions You Might Be Interested In