Leading Indicators: Measuring Sales Rep Knowledge

June 08, 2015 | Wendy Goeckel
Leading Indicators: Measuring Sales Rep Knowledge

Leading indicators are essential for improving rep performance and getting ahead of the curve. In a previous post, I laid out the difference between leading and lagging indicators, and talked about the importance of using sales rep knowledge and behavior for the former. In this post, I’m going to zero in on sales rep knowledge.

So, how do you measure sales rep knowledge? There are two things to pay attention to here:

1)      Whether the rep has acquired knowledge or learning

2)      Whether they can actually apply it

Acquire and apply

Measuring knowledge acquisition is easy.

  • Did they take a course?

  • Did they pass a quiz?

  • How many times did they have to take it?

  • Which questions and concepts did they struggle with?

Measuring whether or not they can effectively apply that knowledge can be more difficult.

  • Can they use it in a conversation?

  • Can they use it to support their sales process?

  • Can they use it to drive the sale forward?

Let’s take the case of pricing and packaging changes, for example. It’s important not only to monitor whether or not reps take the training on pricing and packaging and are certified, but also to ensure that can they apply it in their own sales situations.

Another example is learning a new corporate pitch. At Brainshark, we rolled out a new way for reps to tell our story about how we help companies improve sales productivity. But how do we know if they’ve mastered it? We measure their knowledge. The first part of that is just taking the training. Did they take it: yes or no? The second part is asking: can they present it internally?

However, just as important as training certification is field certification. Are they using it successfully with prospects? Are they adapting it to individual customer situations? And finally, the last layer of measuring sales rep ability to apply this knowledge is what we call “mastery.” Have they used it to drive new business to close?

Knowledge acquisition prepares reps. Knowledge application wins deals. And that’s what it’s all about, right?

For more sales enablement tips and ideas, visit our Sales topic page. For details on how Brainshark helps companies increase sales productivity, click here and view a demo of the Brainshark Sales Accelerator.

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