Salesforce.com Makes Training More Accessible, Easier

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Posted 2009-03-23

Salesforce.com is launching a new subscription-based training program that the company hopes will boost user productivity and increase adoption rates for both the popular CRM software and the company’s Force.com development platform.

The program, called Premier Training, was developed in response to system integrators, ISVs and Salesforce.com customers’ demand for easier access to training and certification resources, says Eric Kelleher, vice president of worldwide training and certification, Salesforce.com.

According to consulting firm MarketTools.com, customers trained by Salesforce.com can improve their users’ productivity by 37 percent, increase sales pipeline by 132 percent, and report a 39 percent improvement in customer retention. It’s those kind of numbers that ISVs, customers and solution providers can use to sell customers on Salesforce.com solutions, and the new program fulfills a major need in the market, says Kelleher.

While the company has always offered training and certifications, accessing those courses was often a rigorous and involved process for customers and solution providers, says Kelleher. Salesforce.com offered a handful of online courses, but the majority were held at a training location to which students had to travel, he says.

"Every training investment was a very involved process – students had to schedule their courses, receive approval from their supervisors, actually travel to the on-site location," says Kelleher. "We’re leveraging the benefits of our cloud-computing model to make it easier to get more people trained more quickly with less effort," he says.

The cloud computing model from which Salesforce.com offers its solutions will also serve as the delivery mechanism for Premier Training, says Nadim Hossain, director of product management and marketing, Salesforce.com. The new delivery model is fairly simple, he explains.

"It’s like Netflix," he says, "They can access our entire catalog of training courses any time they need to."

As new versions, upgrades and innovations to the company’s software and Force.com platform are released, Salesforce.com’s more than 55,000 customers’ deployments are updated instantly, he says. What was often a tedious process of re-educating users and solution providers each time a new release came out can now happen much more quickly, as users can access Premier Training anytime, anywhere.

"This new subscription-based model gives them unlimited access to online and instructor-led training and certification courses," says Hossain. "It’s incredibly flexible, convenient and it saves customers money," he says.

The Premier Training program will cost 15 percent of customers’ Salesforce.com subscription price, and includes classes held at training centers around the world, virtual classes delivered by an instructor over the Web, interactive self-paced online courses and certification exams.