Understanding Employee Training Needs

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To illustrate the depth of analysis required to understand an employee’s training needs, CRI has compiled a sample study of seven outstanding enterprise software salespeople who are considered top performers at ABC Enterprise.

Mental Abilities

Mental AptitudesMental Acuity – The individuals that participated in this study all scored to be average or above average in mental acuity which indicates that they are all capable of completing at least a four-year college curriculum or much higher. With that they all are consistent learners with strong reasoning and problem-solving skills. Translating the position requirements, they should all be able to learn the various products and benefits as well as work to relate said benefits to clients and prospects. Therefore the ideal benchmark for this position has been set at 5-9.

Memory Recall – All of the salespeople displayed an interest in keeping up with current events as they relate to the organization and their job. This aptitude reflects their observation skills and awareness of what is going on in the world around them. It also enables them to anticipate any economic or social trends that will affect their marketing and/or sales tactics. The benchmark for Memory Recall has been set at 7-9.

Vocabulary – As a sales-person, the ability to communicate effectively is essential, which is indicated by the strong scores of this group. It is likely that they are often asked to explain products and services as well as persuade clients and prospects to “buy into” them. Thus, we suggest that future salespeople also have the ability to communicate in both written and verbal form; the desired benchmark has been set at 5-8.

Numerical Perception – All of the participants have the ability to identify minute details and specifically numerical values. This will aid them when dealing with numbers of any kind including sales quotas, financial statements, or reports. Therefore, the ideal benchmark for this dimension is 5-8.

Behavioral Traits

Personality DimensionsEnergy/Drive – Advantageous to this position the majority of participants exhibit good levels of energy and drive. This enables them to be proactive and displays their ability to be on the go, promoting business for ABC Enterprise. They also have the ability to concentrate and follow through on projects as well as thrive in sales positions due to likely attentiveness. We suggest that future Enterprise Software Salespeople exhibit this same level of drive and urgency with their work and that they score within the 4-6 range in Energy/Drive.

Flexibility – The salespeople display strong character strength, integrity, and work ethic. This demonstrates their consistent nature when making decisions and interacting with co-workers. It is likely that they will be well-respected by those they work with and be an overall good representation of ABC Enterprise, whether they are in the office or holding a meeting with a client or prospect. They will consistently adhere to company norms and work to build a solid foundation with salespeople and the clients they will be working with. Therefore the benchmark has been set at 4-7.

Emotional Development – This group scored to have a good or very good level of ego and emotional development. At this level, they tend to be emotionally mature, persistent in their work, and confident in their position and knowledge thereof. Accordingly, the benchmark for this role has been set at 6-8.

Assertiveness – Overall, the participants are fairly assertive. They are able to give directions as necessary and generally have no qualms about offering their opinion or suggestions. Considering the nature of this position, this work to their advantage in that they are able to be decisive and confident, giving people honest, direct information. It would be in the best interest of ABC Enterprise to hire future salespeople based on his level of assertiveness, with the benchmark set from 6-8.

Employee Benchmark ReviewQuestioning/Probing – All in all, the sales people scored within the average segment of the population regarding their questioning skills. This indicates that they have the ability to trust people and yet ask secondary questions in order to determine various details of a situation prior to making a decision or recommendation. This will aid in making logical suggestions to clients and prospects as well as utilize information to seek ways to improve business functions and procedures. Therefore, the ideal benchmark for this dimension is 4-5.

Motivation – Typical of sales based positions. The participants scored to have highly ambitious natures and will likely push for change and innovation in the workplace. They understand the importance of an evolution in the job and tend to want recognition for their work efforts. The salespeople tend to be most motivated by commissions or incentives and prefer a job that provides such. With that in mind, the benchmark has been set at 6-9, since this is a key component in highly productive sales people.

Validity Scales

Validity Scales


By comparing an employee to other employees in a job category who are meeting and exceeding the expectations of the employer in that job category, management can identify the deficiencies of the individuals who are not performing as well, and determine the areas in need of attention for training, motivation and development. With this approach, management can learn exactly what needs to be done and how to best manage and develop an employee’s performance after comparison to the successful performers.

Related Articles

Read the next article in our employee performance development series, or contact CRI for help establishing employee benchmarks to unlock your team’s potential.

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