Companies are investing more than ever into their sales team training – more than $15.5 billion a year to be exact (according to ASTD data). But why are businesses spending all that cash on the same old training techniques? Isn’t it time for a fresh approach? ASTD characterizes this behavior as “a large investment to attain mediocre results.” Blackboard agrees. We see the value in a new way of training sales teams – and doing it more effectively with less of a cost burden on businesses. We call it continuous learning. The informal, continuous approach to learning takes content out of isolation and makes it more dynamic and fully integrated into the sales professional’s repertoire.

In a recent white paper we published, “Stop Drinking From the Firehose: Continuous Learning Offers A Better Way To Meet The Demands of Today’s Sales Training Environment,” Blackboard outlines how this new attitude toward sales training dynamically integrates both the classroom and the work environment.  Learn more about continuous learning by reading the full piece here or review some of the benefits of Blackboard as a continuous learning environment below:

• Easy access to and integration of a wide range of media resources
• Fast and cost-effective course development
• Consistent core curriculum that is easily updated and distributed
• An environment in which to store “institutional knowledge” in high turnover environments
• Integration of collaborative and social learning tools
• Support for traditional classroom and on-demand instruction, as well as “reach back” resources for networking and reference
• Integrated tools for tracking learner participation, performance and customizing instruction to individual needs

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  • http://davesteinsblog.esresearch.com Dave Stein

    Hi Jennifer,

    There is little question that an increasing proportion of sales training is going virtual, as it should. Traditional classroom training isn’t appropriate for many organizations for a number of reasons. On that subject you’re right on track. And your company is at the right place at the right time.

    As a co-author of the report from which you quoted, I just want to mention two things:

    1. That report was published in 2008. 2009 and 2010 were difficult years for sales training in the U.S. My firm, ES Research Group, believes the total spend was down 30% or more during that economic downturn. It’s rebounding now, with expected investment in insourced and outsourced sales training up 8-10% over each of the next two years, but it won’t be where it was pre-2008 for a while.

    2. We don’t see any situations where all training for salespeople within a company should be virtual, continuous or otherwise. We advise our clients that there must be a live learning component, whether it be for negotiation, presentation, relationship building, or other learning that is designed to increase effectiveness in one-to-one or one-to-many selling situations.

    Congratulations on Blackboard’s success to date. I trust we’ll be seeing more of that going forward.

  • Angela Goldman

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful feedback, Dave. We are excited about the current interest in virtual learning, but agree with you that a blended approach is ideal for many professional situations. We look forward to continuing the dialogue about where our industry has been and where it is heading!