Training Needs Analysis

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Training Needs Analysis

Training Needs Analysis (TNA) can be made to sound very complex with lots of L&D speak, but fundamentally it is a simple process . . .

Written by John Fowler.


It is amazing how many companies dive straight into a training program without ever understanding the real training needs. These same companies certainly wouldn't start a new business venture without fully understanding the issues, how to get from where they are today to where they want to go and the costs and risks in doing that.

Training Needs Analysis (TNA) can made to sound very complex with lots of L&D speak, but fundamentally it is a simple process to qualify why you need to do the training, what business benefits are expected, and what the costs and ROI will be of the program. We would suggest a process that covers the following areas:

  • Business Needs for the training - what is the business reason for the training.
  • Gap analysis - what do we want to have after the training that we don't have now. What competencies and behaviours can we change to close the gap. See Competency Based Training.
  • Sales team assessment - analysis of their current skills, knowledge, competencies and behaviours. See Sales Force Assessment.
  • Check point - can training really fix these issues or are there other business or organizational issues to fix.
  • Agree training outcomes - What are the objectives and outcomes of the training. How will we measure success. See Measuring Sales Training Success.
  • Choose the appropriate delivery method(s) - develop outline training plan by module and cost the training. This may include in-house and external training companies. See Training Design.
  • Budget approval/Sign off - report back to the business and get approval to go ahead.

The scale and complexity of each step varies depending on the size of the change expected and associated costs. But we believe even in the most straight forward cases, a small amount of time spent doing this sort of due diligence is time very well spent.

About the Author
John Fowler is a sales and management trainer designing and delivering workshops across the world specifically for the IT industry. John can be contacted on his website at Sales Training Consultants.

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