Client loss statistics are ruthless. Every year companies lose billions because of ineffective and outdated sales practices. The solution? Professionalism is the best client retention tool available, especially when backed by continuous training and constructive assessment.
The spendings on ineffective employee development almost look like companies have money to burn. Investing in people is undoubtedly the right choice and sound part of any business plan. However, how we spend that money is of utmost importance too. Especially when it comes to salespersons, who are the point of contact between the customer and the company. Their skills, knowledge, dedication and ethics play a crucial role in corporate success, but only if they are up to date.
It is easy and tempting to organize a training session with a tutor. What is more demanding is to evaluate the impact of the new skills and knowledge on the team members. Assessment and follow-up constitute the backbone of Learning & Development (L&D) and to omit them is very often to waste precious time and money on pointless attempts.
For the business to evolve, the workforce has to progress. Learning & Development should be a core part of your workforce role. The most important information for all managers responsible for employee training is whether the money isn’t spent on ineffective teaching. That is especially true when it comes to salespersons, who are the frontline of most modern companies. Those people generate income, so skillset development is more than a reasonable choice to make. Both new and experienced employees can benefit from additional training by advancing their skill set and strengthening bonds within the team.
In many fields, salespersons must meet the highest standards of education. Dealing with professionals is challenging and demanding. It is especially true for those who work with medical professionals: doctors, nurses or pharmacists. When introducing a new product, they must know it by heart, inside out. Otherwise, they risk putting not only their reputation but also that of their company at risk. It is very often that doctors like to test the knowledge of salespersons, who usually don't hold a degree in medicine or pharmacy. Without solid knowledge, any product presentation can end up in an embarrassing failure. Salespersons must be able to address the problem even before it happens. Therefore, they need constant training in both soft and hard skills. One followed by an evaluation to make sure every dollar yields profit and benefits the company in its entirety.
Initially, online learning and assessments offered little more than a cost-efficient alternative to traditional sales training, with the team and the tutor in one place. However, with the onset of advanced web tools facilitating interactions and evaluation, it became easy to create better outcomes.
Recent advancements in the technology of online assessment tools, such as Testportal, provide a solid help in making sure that the workforce gets the best possible Learning & Development experience. To measure the training effectiveness and evaluate the commitment of the team, successful companies utilise online assessment tools. Our platform features advanced algorithms that go beyond grading participants. The feedback that you and your employees receive lets you make good decisions for the future.
You can successfully assess sales techniques, negotiating, defending prices, customer service, and many other skills. Testportal also offers detailed feedback on every participant's progress, commitment and esprit de corps. Using online tools to evaluate employees' development in both single training and the whole series guarantees reliable and up to date information. Assessment automation algorithms used by Testportal eliminate problems caused by the attitude and expectations of tutors. They provide impartial information that is priceless to the management.
The evaluation of a completed training should be two-fold. First of all, trainees should express their subjective opinions on the knowledge and skills they gained. Secondly, the management expects measurable and objective results to assess if the training yields a return from investment. Several proven training evaluation models offer solid results when combined with the power of the Testportal online platform.
Testportal-generated results show a holistic evaluation of the training and advancements in the skillset of the workforce. The analysis centers on single- and multiple-choice questions as well as descriptive tasks. Advanced algorithms of this online tool facilitate partial and comprehensive insight into all segments of the training. It can show in detail which parts were the most effective or the most liked by the trainees. Such knowledge is invaluable for the preparation of future professional development plans by the management. Automated feedback generation is a useful Testportal feature that facilitates the evaluation of the group as a whole and its individual members.
Testportal is a perfect tool to be combined with learning evaluation schemes. One helpful way of assessing the training effectiveness, greatly enhanced by Testportal features, is Kirkpatrick's Four-Level Training Evaluation Model. It uses simple steps to give accurate feedback on how beneficial training was for the organization in all possible fields.
To measure the trainees' satisfaction, they should answer questions such as:
- Was the training successful?
- Was it worth your time?
- What are the most important things you learned during the training?
- Which parts of the training are you going to implement in your work?
It is to check how well they received the training and how engaged they were. It also gives valuable feedback on the tutor, facilities and handouts.
In this part, we assess what the trainees have and haven't learned. For this to succeed, your employees should take two tests to measure their attitude, knowledge, confidence and commitment, one before and one after the training.
The purpose of this level is to understand how your employees apply the training in their work. We measure changes in their behaviour by observation and interviews, which might be a long-term process.
If we observe little or no change, it doesn't mean that the training was ineffective. In many instances, corporate culture is an obstruction to the implementation of new skills and knowledge. Employees might not be encouraged or confident enough to apply the new way of thinking. The management should therefore praise team members for using new skills to create a positive atmosphere.
It's time to measure all the results obtained to determine the Return On Investment. Assessors should concentrate on the following fields:
- Increase in production.
- Better sales results.
- Higher morale and a better sense of belonging.
- Increase in customer satisfaction.
- Better employee retention.
- Fewer conflicts within teams.
Although time-consuming, Kirkpatrick's model remains an effective way of assessing employee training and its impact on the team members, corporate culture and financial results. Some managers use this method backwards, starting with setting the desired results and choosing learning options best suited for their goals.
Testportal platform allows for easy implementation of this and other evaluation methods to measure how successful the training was. It is a helpful, all-in-one online tool that makes evaluating and receiving feedback from the workforce almost effortless. Testportal facilitates every step of training evaluation, saving a lot of time for the management and providing incredibly detailed information that other tools do not.
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