How to Guide: Evaluating a Sales Training Partner

February 12, 2019 | Becca Sundal

Evaluating Sales TrainingWith a plethora of sales training programs and partners available on the market, deciding which one is best for your sales team can be a difficult and arduous task to undertake. When it comes to evaluating a potential training partner, it’s more than just about the raw costs. What you’re looking for is a partner that has a quality reputation, an understanding of your training goals, and the knowledge and skill sets to execute a successful sales training program that makes a permanent impact with your team.

If you’re looking to evaluate a new sales training partner, our definitive “how-to” guide can help you find your perfect sales training program and partner match.

 

Common Sales Training Problems

Before you begin evaluating a potential sales training partner, it’s important to identify the common issues that can derail even the most reputable trainers. When assessing your sales training partner, be sure to keep these common issues top of mind:

  • Not setting aside enough time to conduct the training session properly
  • Training team is not properly trained themselves on how to conduct training sessions
  • Inconsistent training methodologies
  • Inability to provide testimonials or third-party credible recommendations

With these issues in mind, here are our six key steps for evaluating and selecting the ideal training partner or program.

 

Step 1: Evaluate Their Sales Training Program Curriculum

A reputable sales training partner should be able to provide you with a detailed training curriculum. The curriculum should provide both timing and subject-matter breakdowns. It’s also an opportunity for your potential partner to clearly articulate how their program aligns with your stated training goals.

If they fail to provide you with a detailed curriculum, this should raise a red flag for you. After all, if they’re unable to clearly articulate to you the merits and benefits of their training program, how are they expected to engage and train your larger staff?

When reviewing the curriculum, be sure to note whether or not a potential partner is also providing pre- or post-training and coaching. As any good training lead knows, training doesn’t end when the session stops. To get the most out of a training session, there needs to be a plan to continuously reinforce the training long after the session is completed.

 

Step 2: Make Note of Their Capabilities to Customize

Everyone in your organization learns in different ways. Which means that you need to find a sales training partner that understands the limitations of “one-size-fits-all” training. A good training partner knows that a certain level of customization is necessary to match the needs of each individual on your sales team.

Arrange a call with your potential sales partner to determine the customization capabilities they’re able to offer your team. Modifications with terminology, sales processes, or changes to the content may be necessary depending on your industry, organizational structure, or goals.

Additionally, your training partner should provide a breakdown of how their training methodologies and approach align with the various learning styles of the team being trained.

 

Step 3: Review Their Reputation

Before committing to a training partner, take the time to review their reputation and historical performance. Ask your potential partner for case studies and success stories. You can also explore their online content. Look for white papers, webinar recordings, blog posts, and reports to determine their level of thought leadership. This type of content will also help you decide if they have anything worthwhile and innovative or if they’re merely regurgitating common training tropes.

You should also seek word-of-mouth references to evaluate their reputation. You can either ask the sales training program directly for references or search online for reviews from others. Some questions to consider references include:

  • What was it like working with this sales training partner?
  • What were your objectives, and did you feel that the sales training program met them?
  • In what ways has the training impacted your team’s sales performance?
  • How did the training partner support the team post-training? 

 

Step 4: Identify the Sales Training Program’s Sustainability

A properly conducted sales training program is designed to have a permanent impact on the team’s selling skill set and the associated behaviors that coincide with those skills. Between the investment of both capital and time, training can be an expensive undergoing for any organization. The only way to maximize your training ROI is to ensure that your team adopts and integrates the training into their daily routine over the long-haul.

You can ask your sales training partner if they provide any additional materials for you to use post-program. This is so that you can lead any extra training in the future or when necessary.

 

Step 5: Evaluate the Sales Training Program Delivery Options

Strong material is only half of a quality sales training program. The delivery, and the person delivering the content play a major role in whether or not the training sticks.

4 Key Considerations for Evaluating a Partner’s Training Delivery

Who Will Deliver the Training?
Will a representative from the sales training company come out and give an in-person training? If so, how many days should your team expect to be in training? Even more important, is someone on your team expected to deliver the training? It’s not abnormal for some companies to sell only the material to conduct a sales training program and not the actual delivery. This is completely fine. However, you need to make sure you have someone on your team who is capable of delivering training sessions.

Is the Training Geared Toward Smaller Groups or Larger Audiences of Mixed Roles?
Consider if you’re training the whole team or only focusing on a specific subset of employees. To ensure effective delivery, your team should have an understanding of which roles will be most engaged by which section of the sales training program curriculum and duration.

Are All Training Participants Centrally Located?
Some of your team may be on the road during training, and some may not live in the area. With that being said, how will the disbursement of your sales team impact the training delivery?

What Technology is Needed to Conduct the Training?
As a best practice, you want to be sure you have a clear understanding of the technology that will be used to deliver the training session. Does your training partner need video or audio? Is there video conferencing required? Are they providing the tools or are you expected to provide the equipment? Nothing derails a training session faster than broken technology. Getting a clear list of equipment needs up front can help ensure your team is prepared to support your chosen training partner. Also, it can help in narrowing the decision-making process by identifying training partners that align with the technologies your team has available.

 

Step 6: Determine the Expected ROI of the Training Program

Not all training is equal. Some training is more expensive, some less expensive. Some training is designed to show an immediate lift in the bottom line, while other training may focus on improving performance over the year. This is why you shouldn’t solely rely on training costs as your metric of evaluation.

Your evaluation needs to focus on the expected outcome and return on the training cost. If a more expensive training program promises to produce an immediate and noticeable impact on your company’s revenue, then it might be worth the high cost.

 

Find the Right Sales Training Programs for Your Team

Finding the right sales training partner or program doesn’t have to come down to guesswork. By pushing your potential partners for a clear breakdown of their delivery methodology, training curriculum, and expected ROI, you can better ensure that you pick the partner or program that best aligns with your training needs.

 

Ready to learn more about how to boost your sales team’s abilities all while improving conversions and sales?

Check out how Finlistics’ customizable training solutions provide your team with the educational support they need to achieve their sales goals.

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