After he got off the phone with the CEO, the CFO now had to re-write his notes from the phone call. The CEO did the same thing; he jumped on the Internet and did his own research. He found another study that discusses the return on investment (ROI) for sales training. Here is what he found out … The research uncovered four different groups of people referring to sales training.

They are:

Random — The company provides no training. Every sales professional does his or her own thing;

Informal — A company provides skills training and encourages sales professionals to apply what they’ve learned, but they don’t monitor or measure the training;

Formal — The company provides skills training and reinforces the use of those skills. It regularly reviews its training processes and adjusts them accordingly; and

Dynamic — The company monitors sales professionals’ application of skills and provides continuous feedback, and it proactively modifies the training process when market conditions change.

As he collected his thoughts on this, he admitted that his team fell into the first group, as do most in corporate America. He picked up his pen and continued to write the results of these groups and the ROI they talked about.

The differences in results for these four levels is significant. For example, 60 percent of the salespeople in Random companies met quota. The numbers go up slightly for Informal and Formal, but jump to 72 percent for Dynamic—a 20-percet increase!

The calculator again heated up. He wondered what would happen if an additional 20 percent of his team actually met their sales quota. The numbers stared back at him again. He was now leaning more towards the possibility that sales training would be beneficial to not only the sales team, but also to the company as a whole.

His thoughts turned to the sales management team. “How will they react to this additional work required to see the increase in sales?” he asked himself. He wrote down “20 percent” on a piece of paper and thought about dropping this on each of the sales managers desks, with a “see me” under it, on his personalized stationary.

He envisioned sitting with each of them separately and watching their reaction. If they were open and excited about the idea of seeing their sales increase by 20 percent, then he knew that they were long-term parts of the team. If, however, they were not open and made excuses about how this would not work and how the team is already maxed out, then he knew that they might not be on the same page as the company and additional investigation would have to be done for them to see whether they were long-term players on this team.

As he sipped his coffee and realized how late it was, he sat back and had a new appreciation for the CEO. He was more committed than ever to listen to those around him and not be so close-minded. Already he felt better as he turned off the light in his office …

There are five key characteristics that those in the Dynamic Category exhibit the study found. If you want a list of those five, please email me at and I can send those to you.

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