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January 24, 2018

The ROI of Reducing Business Risk Through Sales Training

Fifth in a series of posts about the ROI of sales training.

In a previous post, The Hidden ROI of Sales Training, I described certain ROI as being “hidden” much of the time. This particular word comes to mind because sales training teams often overlook entire categories of real business value they deliver when conducting payback analyses of their programs. So everybody benefits but nobody takes credit for it.

Because of the butterfly effect — where one tiny adjustment in the present can alter the entire shape of the future — some ROI isn’t so obvious. For example, would you think to try and quantify the ROI of NOT getting fined or penalized by a regulatory agency because that one salesperson knew the do’s and don’ts around how to accurately represent the product? If not, you should.

And regulatory compliance is just one facet of business risk. What about execution? It costs $94 million to develop a new medical device1 (and much more to launch it), and sales performance often determines success or failure of this big investment. Which function impacts sales performance? Training! Quantifying execution risk that training mitigates is every bit as important as capturing cost savings.

Mitigated brand risk is another oft-unacknowledged source of ROI that sales training delivers. United Airlines lost $770 million in market cap because of poor training that led to newsworthy incidents which eroded brand equity. In fact in the world of B2B, buyers’ interactions with frontline sales representatives actually explain over 70% of the brand equity an organization enjoys.2 And these are no trivial numbers — for example, experts estimate SAP’s brand equity to be a whopping $28 billion.

Sophisticated businesses develop the habit of considering all sources of ROI when measuring an initiative’s value. And if you’re a sales training or enablement professional measuring the ROI of your programs, you’re leaving money on the table if you don’t include risk reduction.

For more on measuring the ROI of risk reduction that sales training delivers, watch this video:

Read the following blog posts to explore our entire series on the ROI of sales training:

The State of Sales Training ROI
Measuring the ROI of Sales Training Technology
Reducing Sales Training Costs with Modern Sales Learning
Sales Training ROI: Measuring Revenue Growth
The ROI of Boosting Sales Rep Retention and Engagement with Better Sales Learning


1 Medical Device Manufacturing Association
2 Journal of Product and Brand Management

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