Our sister blog, Top Sales Dog, recently reported on a survey of sales-training practices — specifically, on what’s different about effective versus ineffective programs. Its key finding is relevant to any kind of training, not just sales: Effective training programs invested more in follow up.
The survey found that companies with effective programs spent more money overall on sales training. But they didn’t spend a whole lot more than companies with ineffective training — about 10%.
The key was where they spent the money. Effective companies spent nearly twice as much on “sustainment” (that is, follow up): 22% versus 13% for the ineffectives.
In other words, investment in follow-up seem to be THE critical difference between effective and ineffective training programs.
Unfortunately, follow-up seems to be getting short-changed across the board. Even in the best companies, most of the money goes to “delivery” (that is, training events): 52% for effective programs versus 60% for ineffective ones. Planning is next (26%/28%). Follow up is third.
Those figures suggest that follow up is the still a stepchild. Training events are highly visible. Follow up isn’t. It doesn’t generate the same excitement as a gifted trainer who knows how to work a room. It’s hard work. It’s difficult to sustain. It’s often thankless. In fact, it would hardly be worth doing at all — except for the fact that it’s what makes training work.
Subscribe to Rapid Learning Insights
Get the latest research on workplace learning with weekly posts delivered to your inbox