Are the Sales Training Results (or Lack of Results) Worth Your Money?

Sales Training: Are the Sales Results Worth Your Money?

by: Rob Reed

Is it possible that a significant percentage of the $8 billion spent on sales training in the U.S. every year is wasted? Here are results from several studies you may find interesting:

  1. A study at Columbia University found that up to 95% of what is taught in training programs is wasted through a failure to transfer learning to the workplace.
  2. A Xerox study several years ago showed that 87% of the knowledge learned in sales training is lost within 12 weeks.
  3. In a recent Sales Performance International study, most sales professionals forget at least 50% of what they learned in training programs in less than five weeks. For over 44% of 6,000 sales professionals surveyed, they forget in less than one month. Further, salespeople only remember 16% of content from sales training workshops after only 90 days.

It’s important to clarify the types of sales training. These studies and others show that skills-based and motivational sales training do not provide lasting results. Any sales training designed to impact our natural, ingrained behaviors, for any length of time, will usually fail. This is especially true if the opportunity does not exist for regular and repeated reinforcement of the skills . If the targeted skill to be developed is not correctly used (reinforced) on a daily basis, it is unlikely your behaviors or skill levels will change.

Next time you think about making an “investment” in skills-based or motivational sales training, be sure to remember the results of these studies. Most likely, there are other investments that will have a greater chance of providing you with successful sales results.