Increase Sales Training Adoption


Salespeople loathe sales training.  It takes them out of the field and away from closing deals.


As a sales enablement leader, you know when training is adopted it’s a win-win.  Implemented training is directly related to real sales dollars.  In turn, it makes training a success.  Your value proposition is defined and justifies the need for future sales training.


Apply this 3-step process to demonstrate how maximizing sales training adoption gets the wins.


Download the Sales Training Adoption Estimator to protect your investment.  The tool employs three dimensions to compare certified to non-certified salespeople.  Use the estimator to assess the value of sales training adoption.


Step #1: Create a Sales Certification Program, not a Certification Program

certified sales trainingA Certification Program is awarded to attendees of a course for just showing up.  Knowledge and comprehension are not tested.  A Sales Certification Program assesses the skills and competencies achieved.  It’s a prestigious connection to your sales training.  It validates the training program.


Have your salespeople complete a final exam at the end of sales training.  Make sure the correct answers require them to adopt their learnings to be successful.  Certify those who score 90% or greater.  Then re-test them annually.


Does Sales Certification really have an impact on results?  Will it help with field adoption of sales training?  The answer to both questions is “YES”!  Here are a few benefits of a Sales Certification Program:


  • Point of difference.  Anything that separates you from the competition is powerful.
  • Commitment.  A Sales Certified salesperson demonstrates professional commitment.  They show they are creditable and knowledgeable about current trends and best practices.
  • Confidence.  Becoming an expert elevates your salespeople to a higher conversation level.  They are poised in their sales delivery and overall demeanor.
  • Visibility.  Incorporate your Sales Certification acronym into all external correspondence to stimulate a conversation.  This includes email, business cards and social networking sites.
  • Higher compensation. Confident and expert salespeople sell more.  They communicate more effectively and produce greater results. 


So if you don’t already have a Sales Certification Program, establish one.


Step #2: Create an Enhanced Variable Commission Program

Nothing gets a salespersons attention more than money.  They are a competitive group.  Offer more earning potential to your higher performers to drive greater results.  An effective way for you to do this is through a variable commission structure.  Create a program where Sales Certified salespeople earn a higher commission rate.  Keep it easy to calculate the payout.  Don’t dilute the impact with a complicated formula to determine the commission.   


This will accomplish two things.  First, this motivates the certified salespeople to implement their learnings.  Second, the non-certified salespeople will study harder to become certified.  A 5% to 10% commission payout difference between certified and non-certified salespeople is recommended.


Step #3: Quantify the Benefit

How do you determine the value of sales training?  How do you separate the performance of certified from non-certified salespeople?  The answer is to use a scorecard to measure the benefit.  Consider these three dimensions to estimate worth:


  • Revenue Performance:  Measures the total revenue generated during the time period.  This is a quick way to separate results between certified and non-certified salespeople.  It is important to quantify the difference in productivity between the two groups.
  • Variable Compensation:  Offer certified salespeople a higher variable commission percent on each sale.  Easy way to separate variable commission payouts for analysis purposes.
  • Ramp-Up Time:  Uncover the number of days it takes for a salesperson to reach their goal.  This component brings visibility to a key sales training indicator.     


A total score is computed from the sum of the three dimensions.  Gaps between certified and non-certified salespeople are recognized.  Normally, certified salespeople score higher than the non-certified group.  Evaluate the final results to assess the value of sales training adoption.  Then share them with sales and executive leadership.    


In summary, capturing the value of your sales training program will increase adoption.  The 3-steps above will help you get there.


Download the Sales Training Adoption Estimator to determine your score using the three dimensions.