Powell, OH (PressExposure) June 02, 2006 -- Ask any CFO what their first impression is when they hear the words 'Sales Training' and they might communicate back their own world vocabulary of 'un-accountable' and 'un-measurable'. Simply put, they know they're wasting at least half their sales training dollars; the problem is they don't know which half. And from a sales management perspective, if you don't use your training budget, you'll lose it.
"Sales management can now easily take a subjective approach to diagnosing where to put their annual training dollars," says Jeff Hardesty, President of JDH Group, Inc., a sales performance training company. "A better way to determine where to put your training dollars is to take a tactical approach by identifying your Key Performance Indicators and finding out where you're the weakest in line with your established revenue goals. That takes the guesswork out of it and will report back the quickest way to a measurable training return."
Hardesty says the most successful businesses -- and certainly, sales departments -- have identified their Key Performance Indicators (KPI); individual gateways that directly effect the outcome of a process. Then they measure the competency ratios in line with them. And if an individual sales KPI is below a satisfactory level, applying timely sales training to it alone, first and foremost will provide the quickest path to a measurable training result.
"A KPI example in the sales process might be how many times you advance the first sales appointment to the next phase, whether that's a demonstration, a site visit, a survey or a proposal", continues Hardesty. "Another KPI is how many times you gain a new customer once the first gateway is passed. And when you do gain a new customer, what's the average revenue you achieve? That's certainly an important KPI. Because if your average revenue per sale is 40% less than the average peer KPI, you might want to find out why and take focused action to improve it, as you're leaving money on the table. Sales cycle in days and 1st appointment generation are 2 more critical KPIs to measure."
JDH Group developed the Sales Performance Training Calculators as a plug-and-play method to help sales trainers and management understand objectively where their weakest KPI link is and seek pin-point training for a measurable ROI.
"The complimentary system calculates ROI within (3) sales performance silos; total sales force percent-to-quota, New-hire Ramp-to-quota and Sales employee Turnover costs", said Hardesty. "All three of these performance silos can be linked to hard-dollar ROI. It's very interesting. The numbers don't lie." A fourth calculator defines sales performance indicators parallel to Marketing objectives. Hardesty says that there is typically a gap between a Marketing department's initiatives and a sales department's processes and this diagnostic tool can help narrow that gap for greater ROI in less time.
JDH Group recommends as a Golden rule for training initiatives to only train to one sales competency at a time, with a defined training goal in 'measurable' terms. That will lead to the best overall result and the quickest training ROI.