What You Forgot to Ask Your Last Training Development Vendor


Where did it all go wrong?

When you hired a training development vendor, you thought you asked all the right questions: What delivery methods do they offer? What is their experience? Can they meet our needs on time and on budget? What do my colleagues say about them?

Then, you made your selection based on your needs, and solid evidence of the vendor’s capabilities. Maybe it was their highly-acclaimed instructor-led training events that led to your decision. Or maybe it was their e-learning expertise and responsive design modules that integrated seamlessly with your LMS. Or perhaps it was their interactive performance support materials that perfectly supplemented your technical writing needs.

The vendor delivered content and experiences beyond your expectations, and the participants loved it. Employees and managers alike responded with glowing feedback.

A few months later, you approached the C-suite with a request for more funds for another round of this well-received training.

And the answer came back: a resounding “no.”

Why? Because nothing changed. Despite the rave reviews, sales did not sustainably improve and customer satisfaction remained flat. This is because you left out the most critical question when selecting a vendor: What are their results?

Yes, you correctly confirmed up front that your vendor was technically adept, highly reputable, and capable of delivering on time. But even more importantly, you needed to ensure that they could fix your problem.

To help you determine the depth of a vendor’s commitment to improving performance in your organization, ask these questions:

  • What measurable performance improvement results have your solutions achieved?
  • How did you identify which results and key performance indicators to measure?
  • How did you obtain the measurements?
  • How did you confirm that your training solution would lead to measurable organization and individual participant results?
  • How did you identify the specific performance gaps and the root causes of those gaps?
  • What types of non-training solution recommendations do you offer your clients? How often have you done this?
  • Have you ever suggested a non-training intervention as a higher priority than a training solution?

Even if you like the vendor’s responses, the vetting process doesn’t stop there. They should also be asking you some specific questions:

  • What is the performance problem you are trying to fix?
  • What is the standard against which you are measuring performance?
  • Who is underperforming?
  • How is this performance problem affecting your organization?
  • What goals were missed or what mission is being underachieved?
  • What are the underlying causes of the performance problem?

When your training vendor is as invested in your success as you are, you’ll have your employees, management, and the decision makers clamoring for more.

Ready to crush your next training program? Begin planning today by downloading our comprehensive Employee Training Planner: