How to sell your own training courses internally

Published: 31st July 2020

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Corporate training adds so much value to a company. Employees get a better understanding of your business and their respective roles, resulting in improved performances and higher productivity. They are more engaged with their workplace and feel like they are valued, increasing the chances of staying with the company.

In order to reap these benefits, you’ve decided to create training courses and invest in a good LMS. The challenge, however, is getting buy-in from employees and management.

This isn’t an uncommon problem. According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report, only 27% of learning and development professionals say CEOs actively pursue employee learning, even though 83% say their executives support employee learning.

Benefits of Selling Courses Internally

Selling training courses to your company is much easier if you have a firm grasp on what the selling points are. Here are the major benefits you can use to argue your case:

1. Orientation for new hires

Onboarding is absolutely crucial to get right, as this helps to orientate the new starter, instill a sense of belonging, and provides the context of the greater organisation for which they now belong. New hires who have a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for a new job in the near future [PDF].

A training programme that clearly states the company’s goals, structure, policies, culture, and other key information goes a long way toward properly orienting new employees, especially if it’s been proven to work for other departments.

Good employee orientation hastens the process of getting new hires comfortable in their jobs and increases retention rates.

2. Product knowledge training

A new product has to be “sold” to employees as much as it has to be sold to consumers. This includes educating employees on what the product’s features and benefits are and how to use it.

Training modules that cover all the facts about new products can be used to disseminate information throughout your company quickly. These will also be useful for getting new employees up to speed when they require product knowledge training.

3. Easier knowledge transfer

Training courses and content can be configured to teach job-specific skills. Such educational materials are already useful for new hires. With consistent updates to factor in the latest developments in techniques and technologies, these courses can also be of great value to experienced employees.

Skills don’t always have to be restricted to certain jobs or departments though. If an employee from one team takes the initiative to learn a new skill that isn’t strictly required of them, having a training course that teaches them would make transferring knowledge much simpler.

Step-by-Step Guide to Successfully Selling Training Courses Internally

Selling training courses to management and employees presents a series of challenges you need to overcome. From identifying problems and providing solutions that stakeholders can agree on to understanding misgivings and promising the right incentives, this guide will walk you through getting that buy-in from your company:

1. Show them how they will benefit from the courses

Training courses benefit different parts of your company in different ways. You can’t just give the same answers to both employees and management when they ask “what’s in it for me?”:

  • Employees Sometimes, getting through the workday with as little disruption as possible can be enough for employees. Whether it’s fumbling through proprietary software or having to untangle a complicated workflow, employees can be sold on taking training courses if they can use the learned skills to be more efficient with their time.Career advancement is another major benefit you can utilise to get employees on board. Let them know that by developing new skills, they can demonstrate to their department heads that they are ready for more responsibilities and more advanced projects.
  • Management For management, it’s best to approach them with a solid business case. Point to an existing problem and propose that employee training is the solution. Give them estimated figures on increased productivity, faster turnaround times, more savings, and a good ROI.

2. Run a marketing campaign

Much like how you have to do marketing to successfully sell products to consumers, you have to do the same to convince your bosses and co-workers to engage with training courses. They actually have to be made aware that they can access a treasure trove of useful knowledge.

Your best ally in this endeavour would be the company’s own marketing department. Have them join the course creation process so they can understand how it works. Let them guide you on running a marketing campaign, whether it’s coming up with promotional materials to be posted in common areas or drafting specific emails for different departments.

Email, in particular, is a powerful tool for marketing training courses. HR can provide a complete list of email addresses of the entire company. Write subject lines that spark curiosity instead of sounding like boring corporate-speak. Get help with the design team to create striking banners in the body. Include testimonials from fellow employees who have already taken courses and found them useful.

Remember that you want to keep people engaged in the long-term, so your email marketing campaign should be running consistently with updates and additional information. You can also use emails to gather feedback on the courses and get an idea of what new kinds of courses employees want to see.

A live demonstration of a training course can be the best way to show how beneficial it can be. Direct interaction also lets you answer questions and clear up doubts people might have.

3. Understand why people are resisting change

There are a variety of reasons why people in the workplace would rather not deal with training courses. It’s part of the sales process to unpack those reasons so that you can address them.

For some, it’s not being able to recognise there are problems that need solving. Others fear they might not be able to live up to the new standards or are simply afraid of uncertainty. There will also be those who simply don’t see what difference it’ll make.

Whatever the reason might be, communication is key to allaying people’s concerns. You have to give doubters the time and space to air out their grievances and truly listen. When you know where they are coming from, you are better equipped to give them answers that strike at the heart of the issue while ensuring you are speaking with facts to back you up.

4. Recognise learners’ compliance

Motivating employees to undergo training can be achieved through the simple act of recognition. A 2013 study in the International Journal of Science and Research shows that employees can be highly motivated and become better, more productive performers when they are rewarded properly and their efforts are recognised. It doesn’t even have to be costly, as 70% of workers don’t even need monetary rewards for motivation.

Integrating gamification into training courses is a fun way of recognising compliance and motivating employees. Every time an employee finishes a course, they can be awarded digital badges and gain points to level up to mark their progress. For activities and quizzes, you can set up a leaderboard that compares the top scorers for everyone to see.

You can extend the idea of public recognition in leaderboards to announcing those who finished courses and earned high scores through email newsletters and at the front page of your learning management system (LMS).

Power Your Internal Training with an LMS

Selling training courses internally has to be anchored in the concrete ways they can boost your company. When both employees and management can see how much better they can do their work with training, they are more likely to get onboard. Involve them in the process and recognise their efforts, and you can also learn how to improve the courses to better fit your organisations’ needs.

Persuading your company is a lot more straightforward when you have an LMS that can streamline the process in a digestible, interactive format. An LMS provided by Wahoo Learning will allow you to migrate your pre-defined programmes into your branded version on your behalf. From there, we can help you run your training programmes by managing and reporting on your staff’s progress. Book a demo with us today to see how we can help you create better courses for your employees.

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The author - lloyd smith

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Lloyd is the Managing Director of Wahoo Learning. He has a passion for the learning technology industry, particularly the latest innovations and technologies.

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