Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Dana Aldis, LivingSocial’s, Director of Sales Training and Development, to discuss how her company uses Blackboard’s Salesforce integration throughout the sales training process. If you’re not familiar with LivingSocial, it is the local marketplace to buy and share the best things in your city (and their headquarters is just across the street from Blackboard’s here in D.C.!).  Since LivingSocial relies heavily on developing relationships with small businesses to create unique offers for its members, having an informed, agile sales force is critical to the company’s success.


Q: Why did you decide to incorporate your training programs within Salesforce?

AldisSalesforce is one of the main ways we communicate with our sales team, so having this integration is key. Through Blackboard’s integration with Salesforce, for example, our users can access training directly from Salesforce so training courses are easy to access and are more directly aligned with company goals. The powerful reporting tools have also been a huge asset allowing us to see what training is most useful to individual sales reps while analyzing the relationship between a rep’s training and performance metrics.


Q: How is Blackboard used throughout the sales training process?

Aldis: LivingSocial uses Blackboard Learn for Salesforce throughout a sales rep’s growth within the company. The process begins during onboarding, as new hires are quizzed throughout their first few weeks to ensure they are taking in all necessary information for their new role and that they are able to apply it on the job.  Established members of the sales force are quizzed on a weekly basis so they can stay informed on the latest updates within the company. Sales team members also take part in module-based training as they advance through the company.


Q: Has this been effective?

Aldis: Sales representatives have not only given positive feedback on their training, but performance metrics are speaking for themselves: sales reps who successfully complete 100% of their assigned training are outperforming those who don’t by an average of 12%. LivingSocial embraces the importance of learning in general, so it is encouraging to see these results and that sales reps are learning the skills they need to do their best work.


Q:  What’s next for LivingSocial when it comes to employee training?

Aldis: Sales employees will continue to be quizzed on LivingSocial’s new initiatives and services throughout to keep training timely and relevant. We have been really happy with the results so far and have had a great customer service experience, so we are definitely open to spreading the use of these training solutions beyond our sales team at some point as well.


The LivingSocial experience is a great example of how integrating sales training with Salesforce can help companies directly align training with company goals to for real results. If you’re interested in learning more about Blackboard’s sales training solutions, check out our Blackboard Learn for Salesforce page or contact us here!

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