Research confirms financial benefits of sales training and coaching

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03 februari 2022

Research confirms financial benefits of sales training and coaching

Sales and kpi's have not been the happiest couple over the years. Whilst successful salespeople thrive on results and ranking tables, it has always been difficult to sensibly measure the performance of individuals without debate.

After all, there are lots of factors influencing the conversion ratios of sales, and many of them are difficult to influence or even provide good excuses for failure.

As a consultancy and training boutique for B2B companies, we have always promised improved conversion ratios as a result of our services.

It would be strange if we didn't, wouldn't it? After implementation of each program we ask our customers for feedback and results, as tangible as they can be. Almost all of them report significant improvements, but in all honesty, very rarely documented with an undisputed set of kpi's. When aggregated sales results improve after training and coaching of their teams, many sales directors are willing to believe that it is a consequence of our joint efforts. Especially when the results are supported by vocal evidence and success stories from the teams.

Although we enjoy such feedback, we believe that the business case for investments in our services needs to be stronger. It is time to back it up with real data. For more than 10 years we have gathered feedback reports from our participants and during the last years we have also asked them to indicate their conversion ratios from sales opportunity to deal. In our world, this is the ultimate kpi. The complete set of sales processes and techniques that we deliver, aims to improve the likelihood of success from the moment a salesrep starts communicating with a potential customer that has expressed interest in a conversation. Wouldn't it be interesting to ask the same group of participants again to report their conversion ratios a year after they have been trained?

At the end of 2021 we conducted such research, going back to all the participants we trained a year ago. We measured the conversion ratio from lead to deal in 7 successive steps: <10%, 1 won to 9 lost, etcetera, up to 2 to 1 and above. In this article we would like to share the results.

Now stay with me, I am going to throw a lot of numbers at you. Hopefully the graphs will help you digesting it.

Research shows that the vast majority of salespeople benefits from sales training and coaching

On average all participants improved their conversion ratio by 1 step; for example from 1 won to 2 lost (33%) to 1 to 1 (50%). One out of three salespeople made more progress than just 1 step and one out of six even doubled their conversion ratio. Only 15% of the respondents reported a reduction. You need to do the math for your own business and see whether such improvement provides payback for the investment.

3 out of 4 people within each sales team will be capable of converting at least half of their leads after training and coaching

75% of all respondents converted 30% of their hot leads before training. The majority of this subgroup had scored 1 deal out of 4 opportunities. After training we see an increase from 30% to 50% conversion ratio and a majority within this group scoring 1 out of 2. Apart from the financial effect of such an improvement, think about the motivational effect of it? Losing more than winning is just so demotivating for most of us and winning more than losing impacts self-confidence significantly. And after all, self-confidence in sales is probably the most powerful flywheel for continuous success.

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