Action Selling ® operates from the research-proven principle that the most effective way to boost a company’s sales performance is to train salespeople in a way that improves five Critical Selling Skills. Those critical skills are:

  • Buyer/Seller Relationship
  • Sales Call Planning
  • Questioning/Listening
  • Presentation Skills
  • Gaining Commitment

Recently a prospective client for Action Selling ® training challenged us with some extremely interesting questions:

  • How much has your training improved critical selling skills in companies in particular industries, such as technology, heath care, manufacturing, finance, or agriculture?
  • Which of these skills was the most deficient? Which skills improved the most?
  • How do you compare gains in knowledge (how much students learn in a training program) to how much they transfer into the field?
  • Which of the critical skills, when improved, produces the greatest return on investment for the salespersons company?

No sales training company in history could answer questions like those with reliable, validated data—until now.

“Big data”

In 1995 my company, The Sales Board, formed a development team of software engineers and psychometricians to create a validated instrument that would reliably measure factors pertaining to Action Selling ® training. 

Those factors include how much knowledge a salesperson has about the selling skills that are critical to success; how much that knowledge level improves after training; and how well the person is able to use the knowledge on the job. (Applying skills and knowledge on the job is, of course, the only way to improve actual sales performance.)

As I explained in the last edition of eCoach, we now have compiled 20 years’ worth of data on 400,000 salespeople from more than 3,500 companies in a broad range of industries. Our SQL relational database contains about 78 million data points…