Check out this article recently published by TrainingIndustry.com and written by ASLAN CEO and co-founder Tom Stanfill on how we validate the impact of our training initiatives efforts.
The Putting Problem: Why Executives Don’t Invest in Sales Training
Tom Stanfill is co-founder and CEO of ASLAN Training & Development. Tom has more than 20 years of experience consulting and developing training programs for the sales organizations for some of the largest and most respected companies in the world.
This seems to be the most common response from an executive asked to invest in a sustainable training initiative. Whether spoken or unspoken, the skepticism almost always exists. “Can you prove it? Will it work?” Those are tough questions to answer when so many variables ultimately drive results, but all of us who wear the learning hat face a common, sometimes insurmountable challenge: How do we validate the impact of our efforts?
I found the secret while taking a Sunday nap on the couch.
One day while dosing off to a golf tournament, I stumbled on a simple but profound truth. The problem with validating the impact of our training initiatives is the way competencies are defined and measured. This is not a problem in golf, and therefore, the need to invest in training and coaching is never questioned. Conversely, in sales, the connection doesn’t exist, and the need to invest in skills training is debated.
A golfer’s success is based on learning four core competencies: driving the ball, hitting irons, chipping and putting. No one argues that the better you are at those four competencies, the better your results are. Why? Because those core competencies are easily measured and easily tracked. Everyone knows if the ball lands in the fairway, hits the green or falls in the cup. And because these competencies are easily defined, they are easily measured. Anyone who wants to assess a player’s ability can look at the data: fairways hit, greens hit in regulation, number of putts, etc. Within minutes, the correlation of competency level to the overall result/score is crystal-clear: “Let’s see why you had a poor score today. You hit the ball in the fairway and consistently hit the greens in regulation, but you still struggled to make par. Let’s look at the putting stats. Oh, your putting stats are really poor. You need to work on your putting. You need putting training!”