Perspectives - Ken Taylor

One of my favorite segments of corporate learning is the sales training and coaching space. At Training Industry, we watch this section of the market carefully for trends, as the proximity to tangible outcomes and measurability of the impact of sales training programs has long been the easiest to measure and study. The reason this is important to all of us in learning and development, is that this segment of the market affords the opportunity for innovation and is often where new approaches and tools are introduced.

The technology support infrastructure (such as a CRM) for the sales team gives us line of sight into data that helps us better understand performance improvement. We see that best-in-class initiatives in this space are disaggregating from the course or event, introducing microlearning, video, learning and reinforcement at the time of need, mobile learning, and the use of e-readers and knowledge repositories to create personal learning environments supported by sales. The sales team must have access to the best and most current information when they need it, wherever they are.

At Training Industry, we have been publishing the findings of our annual review of the top companies in sales training for more than nine years now, with our 2016 Top 20 Sales Training Companies list publishing in February of this year. These companies are selected based on a thorough review of a detailed submission they make to our selection committee. One of the areas of focus in that review is innovation. We asked the best companies in the space to share innovative approaches they use to support the development of excellent sales professionals.

This special edition of Training Industry Magazine is a collection of perspectives on where sales training is heading and some of the challenges associated with improving the impact, or should I say performance, of our salespeople and sales management. This issue covers concepts from making the business case for sales training to leveraging big data to focus learning. We hope you will use this magazine to uncover a few ideas that can change or reinforce your thinking with regards to your sales training programs. The quality of the perspectives shared in this issue should provide you with some direction that will make a lasting impact on the performance of your company.

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts about the point of views shared in the magazine and any feedback you have on the new special edition format.