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"More than ever, businesses are moving away from traditional methods of sales training. Pulling reps out of the field for several days to sit in a classroom sometime next quarter just doesn't match the pace of business today. The maturity of technology and content delivery is accelerating the move to online sales training. Although some may lament the loss of the face-to-face training approach of yesteryear, corporations simply cannot ignore the effectiveness of online training in providing sales reps the tools and skills needed to improve performance."

In his blog, Insights53, Jim Heffernan offered those conclusions, and cited five benefits of online sales training:

  • Cost Effectiveness
  • Accessibility
  • Time Efficiency
  • Measurable Results
  • Customizability

For lawyers who live in a time-based economy, the first three are of obvious importance. Even the most avid rainmaker's marketing and selling time is limited.

  • Every hour spent in a classroom is an hour not spent in or on her market opportunities.
  • Every hour spent traveling to training is almost completely wasted. 
  • Every month, week or day that passes while the lawyer waits for the scheduled training to arrive constitutes an opportunity cost.

Because it's available 24/7 from any computer or tablet, online training can be taken during off-hours instead of interrupting billable- or otherwise productive time.

By the time you finally have the trainer and the lawyers in one place, you have to cover as much as you can. But, nobody can absorb information through a fire hose, which is too often the requirement for in-person training. Online training permits learning in bite-size chunks of 15-30 minutes, which aligns better with how people learn, and with their schedules (and appetite for training).

The cost of in-person training usually restricts its availability, often excluding younger lawyers or others who've not yet demonstrated whatever traits firms evaluate for training investment. Online training's low cost and high measurability means that lawyers can begin learning important rainmaking skills earlier in their careers, long before firms would consider them investment-worthy in the traditional training calculus.

We've all seen training sessions where only a small percentage of those present actively participate. Group training allows individuals to sit back and let others do most of the work. Learning suffers. Because there's no group within which to hide, each online learner must fulfill the training mandate.

Finally, by trying to satisfy all attendees, group training satisfies none. Individual contributors benefit from online training targeted at their role and specific objective, and offered in close calendar proximity to their having to use the skill being trained.

Mike O'Horo

You might be surprised to learn that technology-based training (TBT) outperforms instructor-led training on each of 14 metrics recognized by learning experts. You'll definitely be surprised by the huge gap between the two. Read our white paper: Technology-Based Training vs. Instructor-Led Training