Every small business owner dreams about having the kind of sales team that runs like a well-oiled machine and converts prospects like it's a walk in the park.
But few business owners are prepared to make the investment that's required to get there because they fail to recognize the value of an ongoing sales training program.
The best sales training programs aren't cheap. You can quickly drop thousands of dollars once you decide to send your team to a third-party training provider. Although you could conduct sales training in-house, third-party training providers are often a smarter investment because they bring a level of objectivity and expertise that you can't provide using your own staff resources.
But unless you have money to burn, you'll need to be careful to get the highest return on your investment. Some training outfits may sound like a great deal, but when push comes to shove they aren't capable of delivering the type of training your team requires. Evaluating the cost of sales training is a big job and here are just some of the factors you will need to consider.
The financial impact of sales training is heavily dependent on training program format. Average costs and training formats are half-day sessions ($50), off-site 3-day programs ($1,500), onsite 5-day programs ($2,000) and ten weekly 3-hour sessions ($2,000). But keep in mind that the financial cost of training may not be your primary consideration. Each training format has its own benefits and drawbacks, and some aren't equipped to deliver the results you need your sales training strategy to achieve.
Cash outlay is only part of your training costs. You'll also need to factor in the amount of time your sales team will invest in the program. A full-week of offsite training may fit your budget and staff development goals, but it also represents an entire week of lost opportunities. To minimize the impact, consider staggering the training schedule and leaving some sales division personnel back at the office.
Common sense dictates that as your training investment goes up, so do the results you can expect to receive from your sales team. Longer training programs generally produce a higher ROI than shorter ones – but only if you've taken the time to properly match the program to your sales strategy and your team's critical weaknesses.