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How Much Does Sales Training Cost?


One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is: How much does training cost? With an average of 60% of sales reps achieving below-target results, I understand why (Source: Hubspot). The main reason for this question is that even when companies pursue a training conversation, many of them don’t have a budget set aside for “Sales Training”. In addition, in a widget-based world, pricing typically looks like this: 1 widget = a specific $ amount, 2 widgets = 2 x ‘specific amount’. Heck, even our post-education system treats tuition with a similar pricing model. It’s no surprise that the expectation is for me to respond with: “Sales training is (insert amount)”. The only problem? That’s not how most sales training works. In this industry, the short answer is: It depends.

I know, I know – the safe catch-all answer of “It depends”. I’m not trying to be evasive, there are several factors that impact costs. Stick with me – by the end, you’ll have a better sense of the different types of sales training, their associated starting costs, and what factors would change those costs.

The first step towards determining a starting point is to identify the results you’d like to achieve. The quote from Dr. Covey – “begin with the end in mind” is a key consideration. Presuming you’ve decided to pursue training, what is the payoff you’d like you or your team, or company, to achieve? And for how long? Then we want to consider the current challenges (not enough new business, reports of lots of ghosting, excessive discounting, long sales cycles, management struggles, and high sales team turnover) and the financial impact those results are having on the business.

These questions are relevant because it’s important to determine whether any investment in the development of you or your team is going to yield a payoff. If we don’t have a sense of the business being missed, any amount will feel like an expense. Determining a return on investment (ROI) – either through honest self-reflection or with a professional guiding you – is critical in the process of identifying what level, if any, you invest in skill development.

Once the desired payoff has been determined, we then look at the types of sales training to determine pricing starting points.

Most training programs can be segmented into three different types: Transformational, Occasional, and Informational.


This type of training was created for people who were effectively seeking to create a winning sales culture. Their teams have a range of success from their reps – some are exceeding targets, some not. Some companies may not have even set targets for their teams for fear of driving a team member away because they didn’t want the ‘pressure’ of a target (the ‘why’ behind that is for another article). In all cases, Leadership knew that results could be better, and that better needed to come from more effective communication, common sales language, system, and methodologies with the sales, management, customer service, and leadership teams.

To achieve ‘better’, this type of training involves commitment – of time and resources: human and financial. The types of people who are successful in this program understand that accountability, reinforcement, and a long-term relationship provide the best chance for behaviour change.

Sounds like a lot? Perhaps.

Effective? Absolutely.

Average starting cost:

$1750 monthly

Factors that would increase or decrease this number:

Number of Participants, Benchmarking assessments, types of content utilised, additional support (e.g. sales system consultation)


This type of training is geared to the business who is looking to support their team in a specific area of the business. Topic areas could include improving communication, Prospecting, Relationship building, Territory Management, Confidence and Mindset, and Team Building.

Typically, these engagements could be anywhere from one-hour to a half-day workshop, to a 2-day intensive. These companies usually have a line item on their P & L for “Team Development” or “Sales Conference” or similar labels.

Their payoff is to provide development for their team in a short-term engagement.

As the name suggests, the investment of time and resources is smaller (compared to Transformational), however for some this is ideal for the specific moment in their team and business.

Average starting cost:

Varies significantly: $3500-$30,000

Factors that would increase or decrease this number:

Number of participants, duration of session, quantity of sessions, duration of engagement, types of content utilized.


Informational training is where the company or individual is largely seeking information only. They might describe themselves as a ‘DIY-er’ and have a high level of self-discipline and self-accountability. They may be starting into a sales career, or simply want to gain more knowledge in a specific area. This type of training includes anything from a podcast to a book to a webinar.

Book Clubs have become a popular activity for teams and rely solely on the individual team member for accountability, growth, and on leadership to facilitate the discussion and execution. The payoff for this type of training can vary widely as it’s up to the company culture and leadership facilitation. On average, the payoff is lower. That said, the investment of time and resources are equally low.

Average starting cost:

Varies significantly: no cost - $500

Factors that would increase or decrease this number:

Number of participants, Type of content

When you’ve identified the payoff, frequency, content, and participants, the next step is to identify and connect with a training partner that you feel aligns most with those goals and your values as a company.

Now, I’m going to guess what you’re thinking here: “Yeah, but when I connect with them, aren’t they just going to try to ‘sell’ me on their program?”. My answer? Maybe. The good ones won’t. The good ones will want to schedule an initial conversation. Any organization that truly cares will want to find out more about your goals instead of going into a ‘sales-y pitch’ about what their program can do for you.

If you’re thinking about leveling up the skills of you and your team, but not quite sure which type of training is for you, here’s a link to a survey that can provide some guidance.

That’s, in a nutshell, how I answer the question: What is the cost of sales training?

Stephanie van Dam

Stephanie van Dam

Stephanie is the owner of Clydesdale Performance Management and a former Sandler student who has come back into the Sandler Network, driven by a passion to help others sell, deliver exceptional customer service and excel as leaders.