Talent Development & Retention


More and more of our clients are talking to us about the need to build more strategic talent development and retention programs and activities, as ed tech leaders realize that their people – and their ability to build engaged and high performing teams — is of the utmost importance to exceeding outcomes and driving revenue growth.

David Gillespie leads OceansThree talent development services, and can bring his years of experience to help you design, develop, and implement overall strategies and specific initiatives in three key areas:

Talent Development

  • Onboarding – New employees want to know the right people, products, and processes, and they want to have an onboarding plan. Let’s build an onboarding plan for your team that starts your new employees on the right track, and keeps them there.
  • Competency-Based Recruiting Development and Training – From memorable job descriptions to focused interviewing skills, we can help your hiring managers access best practices for hiring the best talent.
  • Manager and Leadership Development – We ask our best individual contributors to manage people and/or lead a team, but often provide them with no management or leadership skills training. Having a plan for the training and development of your people managers will increase the success AND retention of both managers and their teams.
  • Career and Professional Development – Many of your team members know that they want to advance their careers, but few know how to do so. Whether for your entire organization, or for one employee, let’s build a career development or professional development plan that keeps your team engaged and thriving, and creates a talent pipeline for your more senior roles.

Sales Optimization

  • Sales Leadership – Optimizing revenue growth begins with developing your sales leaders. We believe that front line sales managers are the most important role in any sales organization, and we can help you develop that talent. And, sales leadership takes a “secret sauce” that combines vision, alignment and execution, mixed with creating an atmosphere where sales people feel like they can win. Let us create that for you and your team.
  • Connecting Sales and Marketing – The most successful sales managers understand that the lines between sales and marketing are blurred, with shared accountability, a common sales and marketing pipeline, and customer-centric marketing campaigns and sales tools. We can help you build a strong sales & marketing connection that will close deals and drive revenue.
  • Selling Skills Training – Whether for inside or field sales, hunters, farmers, or customer experience reps, we can build a practical selling skills training plan that is customized to your product, market, and customers.

Building Self-Awareness and Winning Cultures

We can help you maximize your team’s potential, and build a winning culture, as an Authorized Partner for Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™. Getting the results you want is about building more effective and productive working relationships, and these additions to David’s arsenal of tools can help you do that.



david gillespie

David Gillespie, Founding Partner

David is a co-founder of OceansThree and now leads the talent development side of the business. Prior to that, he had a rich, 25-year career of marketing, sales management, and talent development from Pearson and Cengage.

At Pearson, he successfully managed the US higher education sales organization through the start of its digital transformation. At Cengage, he launched initiatives in K-20 sales talent acquisition and development, sales learning, and sales optimization. As VP Sales Strategy, Learning and Development, he introduced a competency-based talent acquisition culture and process, launched a sales onboarding program, created industry unique leadership development and career planning initiatives, and served as a strategic advisor for senior leaders in all aspects of recruiting, retention, talent development, and sales effectiveness.

In 2014, he co-founded OceansThree, and helped run the day-to-day business through 2016. In 2015, David co-founded and still leads The River, an organization in Atlanta with a mission to transform the way people view homelessness. He has continued to advise leaders from ed tech companies of all sizes in areas of sales optimization and effective sales leadership, with an emphasis on creating winning sales cultures. Most recently, David brings his expertise as an Authorized Partner for Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ to his work with OceansThree.

He is a native Texan, now living in Atlanta Georgia, and has a BBA from Texas A&M University and a M.Ed. from the University of Georgia.


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“Having worked with David in the past, I knew he would be the best person to help us develop a learning and development program for a new sales team, which included a plan for our national sales meeting. David exhibited superb leadership and vision, not only for the training plan, but for other core issues, such as pipeline management, role definition and clarity, and sales team development and structure.”

Jerome Grant, COO, Universal Technical Institute, Inc.



“David’s work with us began as a need to create a day of selling skills training to a disparate sales team. He quickly jumped into our business, and discovered other organizational needs where he offered advice, including connecting sales and marketing, sales leadership development, and alignment of our mission with our value proposition. Our sales team indicated the training was the most impactful and useful they had ever received. In addition, our leadership team benefited greatly from his counsel in strategic areas.”

Joan Pedley, VP Marketing, Teachstone



“When David came to Real Time Cases to help us improve our sales organization, it was immediately apparent that we were working with someone who not only knew how to align sales and marketing, but how to be a true partner in transforming and leading a sales organization. From leadership to strategy to execution, it was a privilege to have learned from such a knowledgeable and mission-driven professional like him.”

John Collins, VP Operations, Real Time Cases