How do we measure training? It’s a question I hear frequently from my prospective Pinnacle Performance clients. By that they mean, “We’ve budgeted X amount of dollars for sales and/or customer service training. How do we measure our results and ensure we receive a worthwhile return on our investment?”
That is a great question, and one I would no doubt ask if I were in their position.
Of course, an obvious answer is to track and record sales results, close rates, customer appointments and other key performance metrics prior to training and then compare them to the results after training. While that is certainly recommended and should be charted throughout the course of any training implementation, this method does little to let you know how you stand in real time.
The best way to measure the effectiveness of sales/service employees and training on a day-to-day basis is to monitor and manage activity at the point-of-sale. There are two point-of-sale areas that company managers should be measuring and managing: face-to-face and telephone interactions.
For an objective look at employee performance in face-to-face interactions, I highly recommend the contracted services of a professional mystery shopping company. A high-caliber mystery shop company will use well-trained secret shoppers to provide you with an accurate picture of the customer’s perspective while conducting business with your company. Over my years in the training industry, I have had experience with both very good and a few not-so-good mystery shop companies, including one I consider to be the best. Send me a brief email with your company website and contact info at [email protected] and I will be more than happy to introduce you to them for consideration.
Then there’s the phone. As I detailed in this recent post, Top 3 Reasons Why Phone Skills Training Is Most Important In Sales, for businesses that sell both face-to-face and on-the-phone, phone skills is the single most important area of employee development.
As I was quoted in this recent Tire Review magazine article, Phone Skills Drill, the best way to manage employee performance on the phone is to record and evaluate actual customer calls. While call-in mystery shops can be useful to establish a baseline and determine if employees are performing their selling fundamentals, these scripted interactions simply don’t have the spontaneity and challenge employees the way genuine customer calls do.
It’s important to note that many companies are already recording their calls. If so, you’re only halfway there. The other half – the more important half – is monitoring and evaluating those calls on how well employees are meeting, or not meeting, the established selling system. In the case of my clients, a couple dozen individual components are assessed and compiled into scorecards. Armed with the evaluation data, we can then pinpoint precisely where an employee’s weaknesses are and what needs to be addressed moving forward.
I am quite familiar with many companies that provide call recording services and have found none better than my resource partners at LogMyCalls. For ease of operation, recording and tracking capabilities, scorecard administration and reporting analytics, their program is simply top notch and my choice for all my Pinnacle Performance clients.
Click here to view the LogMyCalls overview for the tire/auto service industry (which is applicable to all phone sales/customer service oriented industries).
As renowned management consultant Peter Drucker once said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” That is certainly true of sales/customer service training and there’s no better way than evaluating employees’ real-time performance at the point-of-sale.
Steve Ferrante, CEO of Sale Away LLC, is the producer and host of the Pinnacle Performance sales and customer service training program forthe tire/auto service industry. He can be reached at 866-721-6086 ext. 701 or [email protected].