How do you know if a channel partner training program will give you the results you need?
We understand that it’s sometimes difficult to understand exactly how a new system will offer the return on investment needed for your business to reach its goals.
This blog has been written to help you understand the intricacies of training programs and how one technology-based company made it work for them.
Read on to learn about the challenges it faced, the direction it took, and the results gained from implementing a training program.
About the Company
A UK-based organisation manufactures home security systems. The product range is constantly growing and evolving and also requires technical installation.
To reach and grow additional global markets across over 100 countries, it decided to develop a channel partner network to help market and sell its products in new territories.
Once the initial set of channel partners was on board, it became apparent that most channel partners also sell other products that compete with theirs. It also became clear that some channel partners were mis-selling products due to a lack of knowledge, incorrectly installing or providing poor support and service to end-users.
In addition, many sales teams were unable to connect the benefits of the products to the customers’ needs and wants.
Each of these challenges impacted the business. End-users were not provided with the best solutions, there was an increase in warranty claims, reputation was being tarnished and brand messages were lost and outdated. Ultimately, the channel wasn’t working as effectively as it should have been.
The organisation wasn’t familiar with training, but they understood the benefits and recognised how it would solve the challenges they were facing by:
- Providing up-to-date product and technical information.
- Communicating vital information on competitors and how to differentiate their products.
- Certifying installers to maintain high standards.
- Reducing the number of warranty claims by offering the correct level of information and support.
The primary goal was to address all the challenges and provide targeted training for those who need it.
The secondary goal (the biggest challenge for them) was to complete the primary goal with no ongoing budget and internal resources. The desired result was to create a self-funded training program and additional revenue through selling training courses.
What They Did
Now they understood their challenges, the exact training program requirements and how it would solve their problems, the first step was looking for training solutions that matched their needs.
After searching the market for LMS (Learning Management System) vendors, they soon realised that additional support was needed to run, support, manage and optimise their program effectively.
This led them to Wahoo Learning – specialists in delivering training to external audiences and solving the unique challenges this presents.
With the assistance they needed, a program of training was devised, made up of a number of courses that target different audiences to meet their specific needs and the needs of the business.
Wahoo Learning was tasked with creating this training. Training courses were made available in multiple languages with careful consideration made for localisation.
A customised version of the WahooLMS was deployed, themed to match the brand. It was integrated with their existing systems and then used to host the entire program.
The organisation opted for the Wahoo Learning eCommerce service, which allowed the training to be sold directly from the LMS and managed eCommerce activity, making it as easy as possible with very little direct involvement.
With the help of Wahoo Learning, the program was advertised to the partners, partners were brought on board and a launch was undertaken successfully.
Finally, once the training program was launched, Wahoo provided all the customer support services, using a dedicated phone number, online chat and email so the customer’s enquiries were all answered quickly and with no additional internal resources required.
Wahoo Learning provided the LMS, resources and expertise to drive and extend the global training program, quickly and efficiently. Training is effortlessly provided for the channel partners, freeing up time for internal technical and support teams, offering a challenge to competitors and giving many opportunities for brand growth and kudos.
Through the development and implementation of the training program, the organisation has also developed a successful certification and qualification program that benefit both parties.
A new revenue stream has been developed, with the entire training program now funded through course sales. Over time, the initial outlay was recouped and additional profit was generated.
Well-executed, formalised training programs solve many of the challenges associated with managing channel partners. Each of Wahoo Learning’s services is designed to allow organisations to run a training program, with a limited budget and no internal resources.
To help your organisation to achieve training program success here are some key points to consider:
- Fully understand your partner’s training needs and their drivers.
- Develop a mutual plan that addresses the partner’s goals, motivates them and keeps them engaged.
- Ensure you include market information in your training, information on your competitors and how your benefits outweigh theirs.
- Choose a Learning Management System that has been specifically designed to support the training of external audiences.
Discover how CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks, overcame its partner training challenges and achieved partner success with a technology-based approach. Check out our case study here.