Sales training is more important now, more so than any time I can think back to. I’ve written again and again about the right approach to training. So long as you are following those guidelines, here are some tips to reduce the typical cost of sales training:
1. Take Advantage Of Remote Training
Not every situation requires classroom training. In fact, the trend among leading training companies is to move away from the standard instructor-led classroom-training model. Webinars, podcasts, and conference calls, if included as part of a training strategy, can help lower costs. Some of the leading companies have very innovative and proven non-classroom sales training solutions.
2. Schedule Weekend Sessions
If classroom training is called for, weekend training can help reduce airfare, the cost of conference rooms in hotels, and the “lost opportunity” cost of salespeople being out of their territories.
3. Use Training Programs
Programs such as Train-the-Trainer provides practical, proven techniques and strategies in their workshops and courses. This approach works well for some companies but may end up horribly for others. If you have a trustworthy training partner, ask them to share the strengths and weaknesses of this approach for your situation.
4. You Get What You Pay For
Don’t only aim for the lowest cost company. And don’t negotiate a deal to the point the training company doesn’t make a fair profit. You’ll both lose in the end.
5. Look For Flexibilities In Financing
If you’re serious about a strategic approach to training, vendors will appreciate that. Some may be willing to work with you on fees for a long-term commitment. Keep in mind, a number of vendors are having financial problems right now. A number have scaled way back and we expect several others to follow suit. Make sure you understand the vendor’s financial viability to the extent that they will share it with you.
6. Avoid Investing In Unnecessary Training
Every training intervention should be preceded by a needs analysis. What are your precise requirements? Work with the vendor in designing a curriculum to meet those and only those needs.
7. Don't Overlook Learning Reinforcements
Learning reinforcement is a critical component of your training investment, as is requirements definition. Make sure you understand how your salespeople will be supported and coached so that real, measurable, and sustainable behavioral change will take place. You won’t save money here, but you will increase your return on your investment if you take reinforcement seriously.
8. Bigger Doesn't Necessarily Mean Better
Each of the big training companies is a perfect fit for some situations. None of them are perfect for all situations. Sometimes they are just too big to handle smaller, focused training interventions. Or, if you run sales in a smaller company, a large vendor may not be appropriate. ESR has found many smaller firms that deliver real value to their clients. And they often come at a lower investment level.
About the Author:
Dave Stein is a successful sales coach, and consultant. He focuses his attention on hiring of top sales professionals, development of corporate and selling strategies to overcome tough competitors, and more. Dave Stein is also a successful writer and recently co‐authored of Beyond the Sales Process: 12 Proven Strategies for a Customer‐Driven World.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.