Learning & Development

L&D Terminology 101: 8 Basic Sales Training Terms for Beginners

The makeup of a Learning & Development (L&D) program varies from organization to organization, but generally, these teams have at least one or two people who are experts/specialists in learning theory. Best case scenario, they have already invested in a modern learning platform that you can leverage.


Ildo Frazao / iStock / Getty Images Plus

If not, it’s likely that they have at least looked into modern learning platforms, but haven’t been able to justify the investment to the business. You can provide them with the opportunity. Worst case, they have no idea what a modern learning platform is, and you can help them up their game while you investigate the opportunity together.
Once you are ready to begin developing training services, whether they are classroom services or Mobile-Learning/e-Learning modules, you will need someone to lead the effort. Your L&D allies won’t be the subject matter experts (SMEs), but they can help your SMEs translate their knowledge into useful enablement services.
If you don’t have a background in training, getting up to speed on the terminology can help you have a more productive discussion with the learning professionals in your organization. Here are just a few terms with which you should be familiar:
Talent is the #1 priority for organizations, according to a recent LinkedIn survey of L&D professionals. And, over 25% of the L&D professionals polled said more of their companies’ budgets will be devoted to L&D. We want to know which L&D training areas you plan to invest training dollars into for the coming year. Click here to take a quick survey!
  1. Badging. Validations given to learners to attest to completion and passing of a course. Badges can be added to social profiles on platforms such as LinkedIn.
  2. Credentialing. Similar to badging, credentialing is often used when attesting to the learner’s competency in an area.
  3. Gamification. Adds elements of game play to learning such as scoring points, leaderboards, and badges. Since salespeople tend to be competitive by nature, gamification is particularly effective in sales force enablement.
  4. Learning Management Systems (LMS). A somewhat outdated term that refers to the systems used to manage and maintain learning assets as well as data on attendance, course evaluations, and student assessments.
  5. Microlearning. Learning that is delivered in short bursts that focus on a very specific topic. Generally, microlearning is thought to increase retention. It also tends to be one of the best ways to increase participation within a time-strapped sales force.
  6. Mobile learning (or M-learning). Refers to learning assets that can be accessed through mobile devices.
  7. Massive Online Open Course (MOOC)—Originally offered by universities to the community, these online courses are open to anyone and free of charge. Private businesses are now taking the MOOC concept and transforming it into a learning platform for their sales organizations.
  8. Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT). Training that is offered in a virtual environment where instructor and learner are in different locations. This type of training fosters interaction between instructor and learner, and sometimes, between learners.

The above article has been adapted from Miller Heiman Group President and CEO Byron Matthews’ and CSO Insights Research Director Tamara Schenk’s recently released book: Sales Enablement: A Master Framework to Engage, Equip and Empower a World-Class Sales Force—which outlines the critical elements of a strategic sales enablement function and how to implement them. Backed by CSO Insights research and decades of Miller Heiman Group experience, this book addresses how sales organizations can use enablement to keep up with industry changes and the shifting needs of today’s buyers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *