ATD Research surveyed 227 sales enablement professionals from around the world in early 2016. Participants from both global and national companies were asked to complete a brief online questionnaire on how sales training is used in their organizations. They were asked a series of questions such as how much their organization spent on sales training each year, the frequency of training in their organization, the methods used to deliver training, and the barriers to effective sales training. Although ATD Research released a report on sales training in 2012, much has changed in the industry in four years. Additionally, the new report features benchmarking by sales model and insights on key challenges and delivery methods, such as mobile learning. 2016 State of Sales Training also details the average sales training expenditure per employee, in addition to the overall sales training expenditure.
ATD Research found that organizations spend an average of $954,070 on sales training every year. And they spend an average of $1,459 per salesperson annually—which is $230 more than the average organization’s training expenditure per employee for workers in all functions ($1,229) as reported in the 2015 State of the Industry.
Interestingly, slightly less than half of respondents indicated that sales training helps their organization meet sales goals to a high or very high extent. Moreover, 43 percent of sales enablement professionals believed that their organization’s senior leaders found value in sales training to a high or very high extent; 16 percent felt that their senior leaders did not see any value or saw value only to a small extent. This last finding is particularly problematic when one considers the sizable investment organizations have made in sales training, as well as the importance of buy-in from senior leaders.
Recommendations for Sales Training
Because organizations are spending so much money on sales training, it’s important for sales training programs to deliver the best results possible, helping employees achieve sales goals. The following are several recommendations for improving sales training; for more detailed guidance from subject matter experts, be sure to check out the full report.
- Deliver content that’s tailored to employee needs. Consider what content is necessary for your sales force to master if they want to hit their goals. If salespeople don’t need the content, they are unlikely to use it.
- Make content short and easily accessible. Create content sales professionals can easily access between client meetings or during downtime.
- Measure the results. After a sales training program has taken place, follow up with sales professionals to find out how effective it was.
The full report will be available for purchase in August 2016 for a member price of $199 ($499 for non-members) at www.td.org/sales2016. There will also be a whitepaper, which is complimentary for ATD members and $19.99 for nonmembers. ATD will also be hosting a free webcast on September 8 at 2 p.m. ET; you can register online now.