Proof that Most Business Development Training Fails

Training – a Good Thing in Principle

Accountants, lawyers and similar professionals are super smart, highly qualified and academically loaded. They arrive in professional firms as bright, shiny objects to be nurtured, sweated and inspired. Which is why training and developing your people is a good thing.

You want to invest in them and make them better. You want to mold and shape them into highly functioning assets to drive growth and serve your clients. You want to reward them, retain them and recognise them. You also want to keep them compliant and up to speed with the necessary rules, regulations and requirements of their role.

So you train them. You run workshops, buy into online learning platforms, invest in training resources and offer coaching or mentoring. It’s all good, especially for the technical side of professional work, like product knowledge or statutory updates. It all ticks boxes, satisfies the human resources element and even plays nicely for your firms reputation. Corporate Social Responsibility. Investors in People. You care, you give, you share, you love and you invest in your people.

Unfortunately, when it comes to truly moving the dial and geting people to change their behaviours, training doesn’t seem to work all that well. Here’s some proof.

Shock: Most Traditional BD Training Fails

The fact is, much time, money and effort is wasted on corporate training every year. Most of it fails to change habits, enhance skills or create significant ROI. Think about the soft skills sales or business development training you’ve invested in over the years. How effective has it truly been? Here are some statistics on the shocking failure of traditional training:

  • Even when training is liked by participants, only 37% of it led to learned new skills, just 13% was relevant to the workplace and only 3% had an impact on the company (Association of Training & Development)
  • Up to 80% of new skills are lost within 1 week of formal training if not used (ATD)
  • 87% of new skills acquired are lost within a month of training (Xerox)
  • 90% of new skills learned from corporate training are lost within a year (Wall Street Journal)
  • Continuous training (at least 10 months) results in a 50% increase in sales return per participant (Brevet)
  • $13.5m is lost per year per 1000 employees due to ineffective training (Grovo)
  • Only 20% of training shows transfer of learning or impact a company’s bottom line (Tannenbaum)
  • Up to 85% of sales training fails to deliver a positive ROI (HR Chally)
  • Only 38% of managers believe training programs meet their learner’s needs (ATD)

Millions of pounds are spent on corporate training every year. Sadly, so little of it seems to work. As a result, the majority of formal training wastes valuable time and money. Much like a fad diet, it has short term impact, but little long term sustainable behavioural change. Winning new clients takes time, particularly with higher ticket professional services. It requires certain skills, strategies, confidence, grit, motivation and resilience.

Is there a Better Way to Train People?

You’ve just read some stats for sales or BD training. They’re pretty humbling. Where’s the ROI? Where’s the lasting change in behaviours, habits, skills, practices? Where’s the uplift in revenue, confidence, opportunities and growth? All of this would be easier to measure if they were more obvious or pronounced. Truth is, ROI from training is hard to find. It’s certainly not found in happy evaluations.

I’ve been teaching people for 25 years, including 15 years training professionals to win more business through networking and referrals. Despite constantly high scores on my workshop evaluation forms, little of it has truly moved the dial in terms of new business won or sustained BD habits.

To develop the necessary mindset and skillset, the only plausible option is a long term intervention, delivered over time with a brilliant trainer and BD expert, and a dedicated, carefully chosen cohort of motivated rainmaking wannabees. That’s what the BD Academy program does.

This is an inhouse one year business development training program guaranteed to transform your people into confident, effective rainmakers and work winners. It’s the magic formula that delivers the right blend of accountability, world class training, the most up to date BD techniques the right level of inspiration and motivation, the perfect blend of supporting resources and the ongoing touch points to embed learning and guarantee implementation.

It’s a unique approach that is hand-on, intense and long-lasting. That’s why we can only work with a handful of professional firms at a time. It’s not obvious whether it will work for you and your firm. It requires a conversation. Which is what good BD is! For a chat to learn more, contact us.