Date of Award

Summer 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Marketing

Committee Director

Earl D. Honeycutt

Committee Member

Kiran Karande

Committee Member

Steven D. Maurer


Recent reports show that 95% of organizations conduct some form of sales training and organizations spend more than $30 billion dollars annually on sales training programs. According to {\it Sales \& Marketing Management\/} (1993), the average estimated field training costs for a sales trainee is \$37,000. Due to the accelerating investments in sales training, Honeycutt, Ford, and Rao (1995) found that 57% of sales training executives said that the major area in greatest need of additional research is determining sales training effectiveness.

The research contained herein addresses a gap in the marketing literature by: (1) proposing and testing a model for evaluating sales training programs' effectiveness; (2) conducting a simultaneous examination of the Kirkpatrick's (1959) four levels of evaluation (reaction, learning, behavior, and results); (3) examining the various sales training evaluations performed by the salesperson, the trainer, and the sales manager; and (4) gathering information on evaluating sales training programs, drawing conclusions, and constructing a sales training program evaluation framework that would help companies evaluate future sales training programs. Survey data were collected from salespeople, sales managers, and the trainer. One large multinational company operating in the consumer industry in Egypt was employed. Experimental design was utilized to measure Kirkpatrick's (1959; 1960) level 3 and 4. Unlike previous studies, this research effort was comprehensive in nature.

Although a comprehensive evaluation of sales training programs is difficult to conduct due to many extraneous variables, it can still be performed. In addition, since there are no cut-off points or standards for evaluation, there were some difficulties in the interpretation of evaluation outcomes, especially in reaction and learning. No differences were found between anonymous and non-anonymous responses, especially in measuring reaction. The trainer's evaluation of trainees and the utility analysis are two complementary techniques that were found to be useful when conducted in conjunction with the Kirkpatrick's model. Finally, a more comprehensive model for measuring and evaluating sales training effectiveness is proposed by the researcher, that can be tested to judge the feasibility of the model as a system.