Between April 1999 and April 2001, sales training will take a gigantic leap from the classroom to the computer screen. So say executives from 102 companies nationwide in a recent survey by the Forum Corp., a Boston-based consultancy. Respondents said that they expect Internet/intranet training hours to increase a staggering 500 percent and CD-ROM training hours to increase more than 300 percent.

Nevertheless, most companies still expect more hours of training will be face-to-face than face-to-computer, with 43 percent of total training hours spent in the classroom vs. 24 percent online and 13 percent with CD-ROMs.

Survey results also showed that "leaders," those companies that delivered an above-average amount of computer-based training in 1999, expect to deliver 33 percent of training online in 2001, versus 20 percent for "laggards."