Educating Outside of Your Organization: Learning for Customers & Partners

by Caitlin Bigsby | Posted | Learning

Educating Outside of Your Organization: Learning for Customers & Partners

Many businesses know that they need to educate their employees to improve productivity, provide growth and improve engagement, but did you know that educating your partners and customers can provide the same kind of bottom-line benefits? These audiences are often overlooked but there are real benefits to reaching out to these groups.

Increase Engagement with Customers

Don’t end the conversation at the sale. Welcome your customers to your organization with resources that will help them maximize their investments and connect them to people, tools and other customers to build a sense of community. Formal courses can provide a structured introduction to topics, but informal resources, such as discussion forums and wiki pages can provide flexible, on-demand access to information.

Additionally, a vibrant community will give you a window into your customers’ thoughts, wants and needs so that you can respond accordingly and build a loyal customer base.

Drive Business with an Educated and Loyal Partner Base

Does your business rely on channel partners to sell your product? An education program will give your partners the information that they need to represent your brand consistently and sell successfully. Partner success is your success so making it easy for partners to go to market translates into an increase in the bottom line. Your LMS can give you the mechanism to deliver this consistent training, track completions and potentially monetize the training, rewarding premium partners with tiered pricing and promotions.

Monetize Training

You don’t have to charge for training to see a positive impact on your bottom line; customer training can lead to fewer support cases, increased renewals and even act as a selling point to close deals. And of course, partner training can lead to an increase in sales. But monetizing training can be another potential revenue stream. Training with an associated charge should provide an obvious value to the potential customer. Consider offering basic training for no- or low-cost while charging for expert-level training.

More Audiences, More Work?

It can be intimidating to consider reaching out to a new audience, but you may be surprised to find out that it’s not as hard as you think when the LMS that you’re using internally is also equipped to reach out externally. Using the same LMS for both initiatives means that you can use the same administrators to manage both sites and not have to retrain on a new system.

Saba's Extended Enterprise, for example, can allow you to create multiple sites, with their own branding and URLs, to target specific audiences from the same instance that you’re using for your internal people. You can even reuse the same course content for multiple groups, but use security rules to create unique catalog experience for each. Finally, ecommerce features can be enabled just for the external group, enabling you to charge just external users for training.

A Final Thought

Don’t neglect your external audience when looking at your learning initiatives for the coming year. The benefits of developing your partners and customers make the effort well worth it.

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Best Practices In Replacing Your LMS

Reduce your fear about the process of replacing your learning management system – and create a strategy for success during the transition.


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