Regardless of the innumerable benefits a sales academy can bring to your company — and there sure are plenty —, if you fail to prove the impact such an academy will have on the business, it may be difficult to get the necessary buy-in to establish it in the first place.
Deciding to invest in training and buying learning management software can be an intimidating process for decision-makers. When it comes to training technology, there are many options on offer and there is a misconception that they are all very expensive and have a long implementation time.
So, how can you convince management that your training vision is worth pursuing and implementing? How can you make the case for a sales training academy?
In Benjamin Franklin’s words “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. Creating a bullet-proof plan should be your very first step: you must gather information and build up a solid knowledge about the importance of sales training for your business in particular: your plan must be personalised to your company and sales team needs and goals.
We recommend following a format that starts with defining the problem(s) and then presents a solution. A training needs analysis can be as simple or as complex as you want, but asking managers, surveying employees and reading operational reports will surely give you the valuable insights you need. Make sure to present the problem in measurable terms. Saying that 30% of sales are not closed because your employees fail to do an effective follow up on pending cases is much stronger than saying that employees need to be taught sales best practices.
After you have defined the problem, you are ready to present a sales training academy as a solution. You should define specific goals as well as a roadmap for the academy. Be realistic about what you need in terms of people, resources and budget. If your case is strong and the benefits are clear, you shouldn’t be shy about asking for funding.
Doing the math is key — you need to demonstrate with figures that a sales academy is something that is worth doing. Showing quantitative benefits alongside qualitative ones will help you and your decision-makers understand how budget efficient a training academy solution can be. Make sure you calculate and present the ROI of getting a training academy.
It is also important to offer a shared vision of success: your sales academy will have a direct impact on sales, but its effects will ripple across the entire organisation. Moreover, by choosing an online solution to deliver training, you will be able to leverage both content and platform to serve other teams and their objectives.
Fighting for a sales academy will be easier if you enlist the help of other key stakeholders, such as: HR (because training employees is part of their job), Marketing (that usually has privileged access to content creation and production and works – or should work – together with Sales), and other key departments that have some weight on your company’s decision making (especially when it comes to budgeting). This person can also give you feedback on how strong your case is before you present a final version of it. Sometimes asking for external help is a good idea – for example, the training platform experts are used to handling these situations and should be able to help you.
You may also find interesting:
6 steps to set up sales training (download free guide)
The simple economics of Online Sales Training (article)
Why move your Sales Playbook to an Online Academy (article)
How to leverage video to teach sales skills (article)
How having a brand academy helps Marketing and Sales KPIs (article)
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