Does your sales training program handle your sales performance problems? Part 1
Sales training programs include a variety of necessary components; things like operational policies, sales documents, CRM / sales staff automation, sales processes, company services, sales skills training and product features and benefits.
But when I ask sales managers and sales trainers how their current sales training program aligns with their sales performance problems, I look No Speak English.
First, let’s categorize issues with sales performance. There are (4) distinctive sales performance silos that influence the overall outcome of any sales team year after year. That is:
% of Sales to Quota
Average New Hire Disaster-to-Quota in Months
Sales Employee Turnover Rate
Spent Time vs. Result Achieved
This is a good place to start in determining what skills training to implement to measure measurable returns to achieve investment. But here’s what will distinguish you when you make the request to the front office. Start with the NUMBERS.
That’s right. Take a diagnostic overview of your current sales performance silos one by one.
Let’s take a look at a real-life example of average rental car-to-quota sales performance. I recently did a Web Performance Improvement Blueprint for this sales organization.
The company has hired 155 sales prices a year. The ultimate goal of any new rental sales training program is to lift the new sales representative to Quota. Simply give them everything they need to effectively reach their monthly sales goal.
How did this business go? They reached the ultimate goal of sales training programs within 7 months. How can one determine if the training outcome is a problem with sales performance? Let’s see.
Step 1: Use the numbers for any realistic ROI opportunity.
Each new rental representative has a final quota of $ 3500
sales cycle was 17 days.
36 month average customer term agreement.
Average ‘sub-quota’ revenue per month during a $ 1300 ramp (this number reflects the average monthly income a new hire receives before reaching a quota)
Step 2: Use the numbers hypothetically for a specific improvement .
In this case, I showed the sales management team what profits they would get from the investment by helping just 1 salesman reach full sales quota at 6 months versus 7 months. Based on their numbers, my diagnostic X2 reviewer system showed them a ROI of $ 79,200 just by cutting off 30 days. If they do this for all 155 of their annual new employees, they could earn $ 12,276,000.
And it got their attention. Is it now a worthy issue of sales performance to attach a point-of-sale training? Not quite yet.
Step 3: Study the numbers for a reality check
The most successful businesses and sales departments have definitely identified their key performance indicators (KPIs); individual gateways that directly affect the outcome of a particular process. Then they measure the skill ratios accordingly.
A good example of the CPI in the sales process is perhaps how many times you proceed with the first sales appointment to the next stage, whether it is a demonstration, a visit to the premises, a survey or a proposal. Another KPI is how many times you get a new customer once the first port is over. And if you get a new customer, what is the average revenue you earn? And how long does it take to get a new customer on average; ie the sales cycle?
How about how long does it take to get 1 new sales appointment, defined by a sales call? And as a by-product of it all, how many new appointments are needed each week?
We used these numbers in the X2 Evaluator system to see if and where there were some leaks in the KPI ship. And here’s what we discovered; not a leak, but a big ole fire hose.
Two KPI issues were clear. First, why does the ramp-up to quota for a new lease take 7 months when the average sales cycle is 17 days? Second, they only set up 3 new appointments per week when they had to set 6 based on their other KPIs. So their sales barometer was only 50%. And that will determine a longer ramp-to-quota.
Dig a little deeper into the X2 Evaluator system and show a 6% ratio between conversations and appointments; they had to conduct 15 prospect interviews to get 1 new appointment.
OK, back to the Reality Check. Is it realistic to focus on reducing the new-rent-on-the-quota from 7 months to 6 months for a sales training ROI of $ 12,276,000 or $ 79,200 per rep?
You bet it is. These people need to address the forefront of their sales process; set targeted sales appointments. To do this, they had to (1) set an activity standard to reach the quota by month six and (2) develop a sales methodology and support the X2 Evaluator system to spend less time on it.
Then they had to plug their sales selection system into their current sales training program and work on a weekly goal of the sales appointment to ensure a monthly income result.
Step 4: Setting the Goal and Setting it to
a Sales Training ROI Goal $ 12,276,000 or $ 79,200 per rep is for sure a worthy one. And the diagnostic system showed us that they would meet this goal just by having 3 extra sales appointments per week per rep; 6 appointments versus 3.
I actually lied. The X2 Evaluator system has an even clearer picture if the standard for sales appointments of 6 new appointments per week is met. If they were able to support their new staff with a sales prospect that could help them reach 6 new sales appointments per week, they would have reduced their new Ramp-to-Quota rental by 4 months; from the current 7 months to 3 months.
And that sales training ROI would be $ 316,800 per rep or a total of $ 49,104,000.
One of the reasons why sales training fails is the failure to define a useful goal. In this case, our diagnostic method defined a single useful goal to train. And the same diagnostic method can be used if you have a sales performance problem with an unacceptable percentage of sellers who reach quota each month.
In Part 2, we will look at (2) other sales performance issues, sales staff turnover, and time spent toward results with the same sales management team and see what our diagnostic method for improving sales performance and ROI comes up with.