Originally published on the Salesforce Blog.

In today’s world, social and mobile cloud technologies provide a huge opportunity for organizations, even in the highly regulated pharmaceutical environment. Organizations can now improve their often-complicated sales training process and better measure training success. Yes, you can show the number of reps that complete a course…but did the sales training work? Did it empower your reps to meet goals, increase sales and grow company revenue? Today these questions can easily be answered with technology.

An online learning environment packed with sales courses, sample presentations and tutorials become an around-the-clock virtual classroom chock-full of ways to engage your sales teams and measure your ROI. The incorporation of social and mobile tools into the training process not only aligns with how people are digesting information, but it also helps show if reps are understanding and retaining the knowledge, which in turn, can lead to a growing company bottom line.

With that, here are my top five tips for training your sales teams to be ready for today’s business environment – all while keeping your ROI in focus:

1. Take off the social media leash
Train reps to connect leads online and via social media. More and more customers and prospects are expanding their usage of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn from personal to professional by making purchasing decisions and engaging with salespeople socially. Incorporate training that focuses on how to leverage social media sites and track engagement.

2. Allow for anytime access
Learning is not a point-in-time event; it is ubiquitous. Sales teams should be able to access content, information and subject matter at any time to help facilitate the practical application of what is being learned.

3. Go mobile
Just about everyone has a cell phone or tablet. In fact, a recent PewResearch study showed that 91% of American adults have a cell phone and 56% have a smartphone. Capitalize on this reality by delivering training programs that are accessible on the devices your employees use every day. Allow for push notifications to immediately alert sales reps of pertinent regulatory changes.

4. Adopt social learning
Informal social learning often happens randomly around the water cooler and in conference rooms. But it is now starting to happen more formally as business leaders recognize the power in encouraging employees to use features like Chatter to connect with others with similar interests, set up online work groups and more.

5. Integrate your LMS and CRM
To help show ROI, integrate sales tracking and pipeline management with sales training to show how programs correlate with sales results.

Ultimately, you have to keep your employees engaged with a learning program they actually want to use. They need to truly see it as a valuable resource that helps build relationships with customers. By embracing a more social and mobile online learning approach, trainers are keeping salespeople up to speed on current technology, which increases the likelihood that the learning process will extend beyond the training time and that sales teams are more engaged in the experience. And after all, the more a sales rep knows, the more they sell.

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