BlueVolt’s LEAP Ahead conference links learning to ROI, storytelling

24 June 2019

PORTLAND, Ore., June 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At this year’s eighth-annual BlueVolt LEAP Ahead conference, learning, development and training professionals from electrical, plumbing, HVAC and other equipment distributors and manufacturers spent three days (June 18 – 20) studying how to:  prove a financial return from learning and development programs; weave storytelling into their training; and employ the science of persuasion. BlueVolt President Douglas Gastich kicked off the event by stating that business-to-business learning must go beyond touting new product features. Instead, learning must deliver an inspirational, persuasive message that measurably improves a business in terms of, for example, greater employee retention, higher margins or more units sold.  

“Calculating the monetary return from learning moves an organization in a powerful way because the learning and development pro is linking the lesson, or course, to a measurable business goal,” said Gastich. “Engaging sales representatives, warehouse workers and clerks with a learning experience that’s relatable will persuade, build culture and boost sales.”

Conference keynoter Patrick Renvoise, president and co-founder of SalesBrain, showed how understanding the science of persuasion can help manufacturers, suppliers and distributors turn prospects into customers, customers into ambassadors and trainers into highly effective instructors whose content makes a lasting impact. Renvoise distilled his research about the human brain into a blueprint for how instructional designers should appeal to a learner’s “primal brain” to fully engage memory and provoke a desired decision.

Other presenters included Juliana Trichilo Cina, managing director of Smart Self Solutions, who drew parallels between marketing and learning and development, including how content must reach learners in a compelling way to “sell” a lesson. Storytelling strategist Hadiya Nurridin, CEO of Focus Learning Solutions, showed how to train learners through a creative, relatable story. Learning professionals often tell their company’s story in a routine way, says Nurridin, instead of engaging the learner with a narrative that sparks a change in how they serve customers, sell products or interact with coworkers. Lisa Ann Edwards, partner at Bloom Technology Institute, explained her “Money Talk” methodology, which illustrated ways to derive ROI from learning initiatives. According to Edwards, when learning and development professionals collect data and financial measures, they win executive support for their training programs, and, in some cases, even expand these initiatives.

Day two of the conference featured workshops on:  demystifying the ROI for learning, using incentives with training, differentiating your training program from others and crafting compelling narratives for courses. On day three, BlueVolt’s Jeannie Sullivan, director of Learning Strategy, explained how to develop benchmarks and measures prior to launching a learning program for channel sales. For information about LEAP, click here.

About BlueVolt
Founded in 2002, BlueVolt helps companies use online training to improve sales, build culture and spread their message. Along with its learning management system, the company offers a range of client-focused services, including course and curriculum development, strategic support, channel-training innovations and software integrations that make learning a strategic asset. BlueVolt serves channel-based industries that recognize training as a business strategy, including organizations in the skilled trades and SaaS providers. To learn more, visit; for careers, visit


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