Case Study: The Impact of Training One Year After Launch

A year ago I found myself in Birmingham, AL, helping to lead a train the trainer session as part of the launch and roll-out of a new sales training program.

A year later, we’ve been able to look at the impact of training through the lens of Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation and see the results and impact on each level, including a double-digit growth in sales for those stores who have implemented this program compared to those who haven’t.  

Recently, Randy Harris (VP for Training, Development and Compliance at Express Oil & Tire Engineers) and I had a chance to document the story of this training program – and the results – in this article, published in TD magazine this month.

Impact of Training Results

If you’re not able to access this article because it’s behind the ATD paywall, the bottom line results were thus:

Level 1 (Reaction):

smile sheets are a good start to evaluate impact of trainingThe feedback from participants regarding the quality and effectiveness of the training is, on average, a 9.2/10.

Level 3 (Application):

This anecdote was shared by an account manager following the training program:  “There is a manager at one of the larger stores that is a HUGE advocate for a competing brand. Our company even has a plant in her store’s town, yet she always tries to sell their employees on this competitor. This has been an ongoing issue over the last six months or so. I got a text from her the day after she attended our class. She said there was a customer waiting for the competitor’s product to be delivered, but she upsold them to our brand instead. It is little wins like this that will add up across the stores in the long run.”

Level 4 (Results):

Representatives from about 100 of Express Oil & Tire Engineers 300 locations have been trained and those stores have seen a double-digit lift in the product line sales.

This was an exciting article to collaborate on because it was an exciting project. What made it all the more exciting? The fact that the trainers, account managers and executives were all willing to share their perspectives and anecdotes on how sales staff were performing before and after this training.

Don’t Neglect the Impact of Training

Sometimes as training professionals, we put together a training program and then move on to the next project.  I’d encourage you to take a step back from time to time, and ask some of the people you’ve designed training programs for to share a little about the impact, a year or two after your program has been rolled out.

Gathering anecdotal evidence, or better yet quantitative evidence, that demonstrates the value and impact of training programs is ultimately how we as training professionals can win friends and influence people.

Are you in San Diego for the ATD International Conference & Expo? Drop me a line ( and let’s grab coffee!

2 thoughts on “Case Study: The Impact of Training One Year After Launch

    • I think the two largest advantages of training their managers on how to deliver this training when they returned back to their home locations were: 1) scale and 2) autonomy.

      If by “traditional method” you’re asking why didn’t we maintain ownership over the training program and either bring more people to us and/or go out to various regions so that we could continue to deliver the training – it would have been cost-prohibitive and it would have taken a lot of time. Of course, the counter argument to that in *support* of a more traditional model, is that we could have guaranteed consistently in how the training was delivered and we could have been confident it would be delivered by high quality facilitators.

      When managers were equipped to bring this content back to their shops, they were able to reach their front line staff immediately (speed and scale) and they felt more ownership over the content, the training program and the results (autonomy) that they would have if we maintained control. Which outweighed any benefits of a more traditional approach.

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