Case Study

How Tableau uses Data to Improve Sales Training ROI

Location: Seattle, WA
Founded: 2003
Employees: 1,001-5,000 employees
Industry: High Tech

Tableau, a Seattle-based developer of business intelligence software, uses sales learning and coaching tools to boost sales performance and evaluate the impact of training on behavior and ROI.

This case study is from a presentation at ATD 2018 titled “How to Improve and Measure Sales Training ROI” with Michael Carpenter, Sales Readiness Information and Technology at Tableau.

The Challenge

As soon as Michael Carpenter tested Allego’s sales learning and coaching platform, he knew it would modernize sales training at Tableau, a Seattle-based developer of business intelligence software.

But he wanted more.

Carpenter, Manager of Sales Readiness Information and Technology, also wanted to move beyond the bottom levels of the Kirkpatrick Pyramid – a popular method for measuring training effectiveness – to actually quantify the impact of training on behavior and revenues.

The Solution

Carpenter started by testing Allego during an objection-handling exercise. “Previously, it had always been like pulling teeth to get people to actually participate in [these] exercises with their peers,” he said. “But when we used the videos to preload people’s brains with things they could say, ideas they could build on, we had the best session ever.”

Next, Carpenter focused on mining data from Allego’s Flash Drills daily microlearning exercises and objection-handling responses.

A member of the sales intelligence team then recorded short videos detailing potential responses to certain objections in a competitive sales situation. The reps practiced and recorded these responses, sending them back to the team for evaluation, scoring and feedback.

Once they received enough responses, Tableau ranked each rep’s capabilities to see which individuals, regions and office locations struggled with the messaging so they could target training investments with accuracy.

For the first time ... I can actually see behaviorally how people are articulating the messages we are trying to teach. We can ... see where we need to focus more training, or whether our training is even hitting the mark.

Michael Carpenter Sales Readiness Information and Technology at Tableau.

Results

An experiment with a sampling of reps revealed that trainees using Allego achieved a statistically significant gain in sales revenue compared to those who didn’t.

Tableau gained visibility into where they needed to focus training investments in order drive the greatest impact.

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