Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2018 - 44

CASEBOOK

INTEGRATING BLENDED LEARNING
INTO A SALES ACADEMY
BY STEPHANI MAGER

As millennials now represent more
than 50 percent of the workforce
and Generation Z begins to enter it,
personal, engaging and relevant new
hire onboarding programs are becoming
increasingly more important. These
tech-savvy generations are seeking
blended learning, a combination of faceto-face and digital training, and access
to advanced technologies in order to
perform at the highest level in their job
roles.
MetLife, Inc., the number one provider
of employee benefits in the U.S., is no
stranger to training the technologically
advanced generations. Each year,
MetLife employees visit colleges and
universities with business schools and
sales programs to recruit college seniors
nationwide. These students then apply
to participate in MetLife's 12-month sales
training program, called Sales Academy.
Anna Lavery, the assistant VP of learning
solutions at MetLife, says the program is
specifically focused on building product
knowledge and refining an individual's
selling skills. Upon completion of the
program, the individuals are then placed
into their roles as either a sales account
executive or a sales associate within one
of MetLife's U.S. locations.
The Improvements
In previous years, this sales training
program consisted of product and

| 44

market knowledge and leveraging
role plays to practice speaking and
positioning with benefits brokers and
employers. Fresh out of college, MetLife's
sales trainees were still in an education
mindset. As such, Lavery says they would
take the textbook knowledge they
received on a product, such as dental

USING TECHNOLOGY
AND BLENDED
LEARNING PROVIDES
THE PERSONAL,
ENGAGING AND
RELATABLE
TRAINING THAT
MILLENNIALS CRAVE.

insurance, and instead of presenting
it in a way the recipient could relate
to, the trainees would tell whomever
they were talking to everything they
knew about dental insurance. With the
breadth and complexity of the products
it became apparent that a new approach
was needed to enhance positioning and
solution selling skills, says Lavery. The
knowledge was there, but confidence
needed to be improved on.

A year ago, this training program
went through a curriculum change to
include an on-demand social learning
and coaching platform from Advantexe
Learning Solutions. The platform is
cloud-based, making it easily accessible
on a computer, mobile phone or tablet.
This integration allowed for MetLife
trainees nationwide to communicate,
practice together, give feedback and
grow with one another. The platform
appealed to MetLife because "the ability
to practice remotely and get feedback
socially fit for this cohort of learners,"
says Lavery. "They're comfortable
with technology and with recording
themselves."
Knowing where the gap in the curriculum
was from previous years, MetLife wanted
to make sure that whatever platform
they picked would provide the right
solution to help their trainees. The
program provides blended learning for
their nationally dispersed sales force.
This includes webcasts with subject
matter experts, e-learning programs,
on-the-job exercises and in-person
learning labs - a face-to-face classroom
experience held every six to eight weeks.
Out of the more than 1,700 college
seniors who apply to attend the training
program, 18 are selected each year.
After graduating from college, Lavery
says that these 18 individuals begin the
12-month onboarding program, starting



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2018

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20181112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112_se
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20161112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016sales
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015outsourcing
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015leadership
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008spring
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