Suppose you deliver a sales training program to your sales force. And suppose that in the next quarter, or the next year, your company’s sales revenue increases. Well, good, right?

But now suppose you are asked to prove to a skeptical CEO or CFO that the additional revenue—or some defined percentage of the increase—is directly attributable to the sales training, as opposed to changes in the company’s marketing practices, a pickup in the general economy, or whatever. How would you demonstrate that?

For as long as there have been such things as sales executives, no good answer to that question has existed. In recent years, other industries have been able to address such issues by seeking patterns and evidence in oceans of “big data.” But not the sales-training industry. Not until now.

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 each of the five Critical Selling Skills that Action Selling teaches; how much that knowledge level improves after training; and how well the person is able to use the knowledge on the job.