But the survey reveals that not all companies will continue with this trend. Twenty-five percent of the companies surveyed
reported plans to scale down as a result of budget cuts and sales force downsizing. In addition to these changes, there is
a trend toward re-allocation of training resources. Some large organizations have shifted from a primary care to a specialty
sales focus. These companies already have re-allocated their primary care trainers to other responsibilities, like specialty
sales or managed care training.
In small and mid-sized companies, training departments are also growing. This includes small companies, such as Esprit Pharma,
which maintains two trainers for their 177-rep specialty sales force. But Esprit has plans to grow.
The Value Proposition
In the coming years, trainers predict that their responsibilities will continue to grow, which brings more opportunities for
L&D departments to demonstrate their value. They will work with legal and sales to keep the field current on increasingly
complex regulatory issues. And, they will need to do it better than their competition.
The training outfit at Amgen, for example, stays connected to the big picture by asking its customers to spell out their business
goals every September. "As we build our strategy for the upcoming year, we ask our customers to tell us their goals and business
drivers," Nasser says. "We then link our training strategy directly to the behaviors needed to drive business results." By
connecting L&D to business results, training stays relevant to senior leadership.
"Today, heads of training increasingly are being challenged to communicate and demonstrate the value of their function throughout
the organization," says Brian Fagan, executive director of SPBT. "The key challenges for learning and development departments
are visibility in the organization, better integration with other functions, and a stronger role in the overall business strategy
of the company."
Michele Goldberg is a senior consultant with Hay Insight and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Ramos is editor of SPBT Focus magazine. She can be reached at email@example.com