Lately, we’ve had the opportunity to partner with ASTD on several occasions to discuss trends and best practices in sales training. The first was a webinar hosted with ASTD’s Christina Mandzuk to discuss our joint report, State of Sales Training 2012. The report looks at various aspects of sales training, including obstacles, metrics, and expenditures, with the goal of giving those in sales training community valuable data to help them improve their sales training strategies.

Here are just a few of my top takeaways from this report:

  • Time is of the essence, so provide flexible training methods whenever possible
  • Develop training based on audience and to maximize learning
  • Sales managers need to be strong leaders and a model for their team
  • Provide opportunities for sales team members to connect and share experience

You can watch the entire presentation in the video below or by clicking here:



A few weeks later, we built upon our sales training research with two presentations at ASTD’s annual conference. The first presentation focused on one of the key opportunities that sales teams have for training: the onboarding process. Our experience has shown that while the profession of selling has increased in complexity with the influence of the Internet, companies have decreased their investments in effective onboarding.

During our presentation, we discussed how the process of continual, bite-sized learning can help new employees best prepare for the new position by spreading training out over longer period of time, instead of a few days of “data dumping” information they are unlikely to remember. This continuous learning strategy can help employees retain more information and better apply training to their day-to-day work, which leads to real results on sales. If you’re interested in seeing our full onboarding presentation, click here.

Just because your company has a successful onboarding process, however, doesn’t mean that your training stops there. Our second presentation at the ASTD conference focused on best practices for measuring sales training metrics in your CRM. When sales training and the CRM are linked, sales managers can see what impact training is having on sales, what kinds of training individuals reps need to improve, and can even measure the ROI of your training program.

We were lucky to have team members from ShoreTel Sky and LivingSocial with us for this presentation, and they shared their experiences with leveraging sales training in the CRM through our Blackboard Learn for Salesforce platform.  To learn more about ShoreTel Sky and Living Social’s case studies or to read the rest of our presentation, click here.

Did you have the chance to see any of our presentations at the ASTD conference? What else would you add to the thoughts above? I’d be interested in hearing from you in the comments section below or on Twitter at @lperlis and @Blackboard ProEd!

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