Measuring the impact of Business Development Training

By August 4, 2017Blog

Measuring the impact of Business Development Training

We can say two things about the measurement of Business Development training:

  • It is difficult
  • It is essential

It is also important to recognise that what we are seeking to demonstrate is the difference between the situation before and after the training. We will not always be able to prove empirically that the change has taken place because of the training. We can demonstrate what has changed after the training.

Why should we measure the effect of training?

  • To support implementation and ensure sustained deployment
  • To ensure return on investment and make the business case
  • To constantly improve the training and ensure durability

What should we measure?

The classic measurement approach (primarily developed by Professor Donald Kirkpatrick), looks at four levels of evaluation;

  1. Reaction to the training
    Often using end of course evaluations and surveys
  2. Evidence of skills learned
    Learning can be defined as the extent to which participants change attitudes, improve knowledge and/or increase skill as a result of attending the program
  3. Evidence of a change in behavior
    The training itself will only be one of the drivers for this change. As Kirkpatrick points out there needs to be 4 conditions for a change in behavior

    • The person must want to change
    • They must know what to do and how to do it
    • They must work in the right climate
    • They must be rewarded for changing
  4. The effect on results

While most organisations measure at level 1, fewer measure at 2 and 3 and only a small minority measure at 4.

How and when should we measure?



At planning stage

Measure current alignment of skills and business goals/strategy

Before training

Measure participants’ expectations, confidence and view of own capabilities

During training


During training

Ability and commitment to apply

End of training

Opinion of training and commitment to apply

Plus one week

Opinion of training and commitment to apply

Plus one week

Change in understanding

Plus one-three months

Change in activity (quantity, direction and quality)

Plus three-six months (depending on buying cycles)


Plus six-twelve months

Change in competence


Measuring Return on Investment

Here are some useful indicators to measure changes in behaviour and changes in results.

This list is not exhaustive but reflects KPIs we have used with clients. Clearly it will be important to select the most appropriate KPIs for the specific situation. Select the most appropriate measures for you by looking for the measures that are relatively easy to make and which will be the most useful.

Level 4. Results 




Share of wallet

No. of deals

Average deal value ( spit by new business / existing customer)

Actual against forecast



No of new clients

Rebuy rate

Growth rate per account

Rate of in-sell against target and stage goals


Level 3. Behaviours





No. of customer visits (per week/month)

No. of proposals

No. of referrals/introductions

No. of opportunities into pipeline

% of time spent in direct selling activity

Time spent actively managing social selling


Concentration of Focus



Balance of activity between prospects and clients

Use of selection criteria to ensure prospects fit strategy

Use of GO/ NO-GO points to ensure opportunities fit strategy and tactics

Number of contacts in each client/prospect

Balance of time split between different buyer types/points of contact

Balance of activity across segments (vertical markets, customer size etc.)

Balance of time between pro-active and reactive customer work





Conversion ratios at different points in the sales process

Pre call/meeting/pitch preparation (time spent or % prepared for, use of meeting planner)

Clear call objectives set (main and fall-back)

Quality of approach (phone, e-mail etc)

Entry behavior

Positioning statements – yourself, your company, your products

Running the first 5 minutes

Creating openness

Asking questions to get to the customer’s real requirements



Structuring the meeting and controlling the flow

Forming a value-added solution

Presenting the solution to individuals and groups

Handling price challenges

Handling objections

Reading adapting to different personality types

Gaining commitment



Measurement of Business Development training is difficult but it’s important. If you’d like to look further into measuring the impact of Business Development training please contact us