The Marketing Strategist:

Rethinking the Role of Education and Training

April 20, 2015

Lori WeinerWayne McCulloch, senior vice president, Salesforce University, has a vision. Technology changed the way individuals work and interact, and McCulloch believes that it will also fundamentally change the way businesses get value from education and training services. In essence, this means meeting the expectation that training will be provided in whatever way best meets an individual’s needs (e.g., mobile tools, videos and simulations, virtual communities, online courses, etc.) at just the right time. Doing so, he theorizes, yields tangible business results, such as closing a deal, increasing the deal size, or keeping a customer.

Traditional, instructor-led training won’t go away; it will find its place among virtual and social learning environments, enabled by technology. On the premise that “none of us is smart as all of us,” we are innovating when we facilitate a group where people can ask questions of the instructor and of each other, no matter where the learners are. Providing learners the ability to craft those ideas and content into a discussion about topic they’re interested in generates real value to them.

From a business standpoint, mining this new source of data results in a better understanding of training’s value and the subject areas and formats that are most frequently accessed, creating a continuous improvement loop.

McCulloch also sees a role for gamification. When approached as a behavior science, gamification sheds light on how to get people to behave in a certain way based on what motivates them. In his experience, gamification establishes a two-way dialogue about what gets created at headquarters and what gets consumed in the field.

Technology isn’t just changing the way education and training services are being delivered; it’s also putting McCulloch and his team at the forefront of customer engagement and growth at Salesforce. Read more about what McCulloch is thinking and doing in the Viewpoint How Salesforce Is Redefining Education and Training Services.


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