Express Train: As Seen in Sales & Marketing

The biggest mistake a company can make when implementing e-learning is to ignore its relation to a larger training strategy. Online training is a costly investment—James Moshinskie, director of the Center for Corporate E-Learning at Baylor University, in Waco, Texas, estimates a small sales force will spend at least $20,000 on a new curriculum, and for large sales forces the cost can be more than $2 million—so it needs to be aligned with business strategy. In the heyday of e-learning hype a few years ago, many companies assumed that because online learning was cheap and fast, it made sense to put an entire sales training curriculum on the Web. But that's not the case. Different lessons suit different formats, so when companies introduce online training, they need to establish what types of programs should be migrated online and what type of content is best suited to those courses. Not all types of teaching—skills training that involves role-playing, for example—transfer easily to an online format, so managers need to carefully consider their mix of online and traditional learning.

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