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Tracking the Success of Modern Sales Enablement

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Over the past few years, the sales training and enablement market has exploded with new solutions and techniques for improving sales learning and empowering sales reps. While the majority, if not all, of sales organizations recognize the importance of modernizing their sales training programs with these new platforms, the value of these practices can be hard to quantify. Anecdotally, the value is there; but how can these investments be justified before, during, and after implementing new training tools and programs?

While quantifying ROI is a highly specific task that will vary depending on unique business goals, at Tableau, a leading data visualization and analysis company, we’ve developed a few standard metrics that help us to more clearly measure and track the ROI of the new sales training programs we’ve implemented. At the ATD 2018 International Conference & Exposition, I’ll be giving a step-by-step presentation on the reinforcement learning, mobile video, and microlearning tactics we’ve employed—as well as how we track the ROI of our new programs. Read on for an overview of how we measured just one of our ROIs—employee knowledge retention—and join us at the conference in May to explore our training program in greater depth!

Implementing Modern Sales Training Tools—and Tracking Their Success

With 16 global offices and a continuously growing sales force, we were facing a challenge many sales organizations confront today: How could we create a training program for our remote workforce that not only enabled real-time coaching and enablement, but also allowed us to gather data on the effectiveness of our training offerings?

At Tableau, our sales training strategy is divided into three categories—what we refer to as the “three Cs” of sales enablement: content, curriculum, and coaching. We also conduct in-person trainings, which include a two-week boot camp for all sales employees, as well as meetings with our field Sales Readiness reps who do just-in-time trainings and coaching.

As we looked to augment our current sales training program, we knew we wanted to include key training techniques such as reinforcement and microlearning to improve material retention from our in-person trainings. Additionally, we wanted to be able to track how these techniques were benefiting our reps: Was knowledge retention higher? What about three months after an in-person training? Six months after?


After exploring many tools, we decided to deploy the Allego sales training platform due to its mobile-video offering and suite of capabilities, which include video content courses, a reinforcement/microlearning program, and the ability for reps to record and upload their sales pitches and receive point-in-time feedback from managers.

To track knowledge retention and sales rep improvement, we used Allego’s built-in sales certification tools to monitor and track employee knowledge over three- and six-month periods. Specifically, we did this by measuring “lift”—the practice of identifying a specific metric and then tracking improvements to that metric over time. To gather this data, we deployed a sales certification program where managers used a built-in scorecard to track employee performance. This program was rolled out to a few different groups of employees—those who had undergone our in-person trainings, but received no additional learning reinforcement through Allego, as well as those who had. We then examined these metrics over time, looking at both immediate knowledge retention after a training and knowledge retention after three and six months, and compared the results between both groups.

What we found was that knowledge retention was drastically improved for the group that had access to an additional microlearning and reinforcement learning program. Overall, reps receiving additional training retained far more knowledge than those who didn’t.

Looking Further

We’ve been impressed not only with the improvements we’ve seen in our reps’ knowledge, engagement, and performance, but also with our ability to track and quantify this information.

Be sure to stop by our session at the ATD 2018 International Conference & EXPO for insights on how to employ these training strategies and the ROIs we’ve seen, including how our reps are now able to connect on a more personal level outside of official training sessions and foster collaboration and personal connections!

About the Author
As the manager of sales readiness information and technology for Tableau Software, Michael Carpenter oversees information services and sales programming for the company’s sales organization. One of his responsibilities is the procurement, implementation and management of all sales readiness technology platforms. He is also the global technical product trainer for Tableau Sales Bootcamp and Tableau Conference. He has a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Washington.
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