Published on May 29, 2014
A guide of best practices and examples YOUR PARTNERS & CUSTOMERS
2How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples Finding new business. Closing deals. Retaining customers. What do all of these have in common? They all require a deep awareness of your organization’s evolving role in the marketplace in order to be successful. It’s assumed that you’re making sure employees know and understand the benefits and use cases of your products and services. But have you stopped to consider if your extended network of partners and customers fully know the value of your offerings? If not, you could be missing out on a hefty opportunity to boost sales and customer loyalty—through training.
page 3 How to train your partners and customers 3How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples Boost loyalty: When partners and customers know how to effectively sell and use products and services, they will remain more loyal because they are able to provide and receive top-notch customer service. Sell more: With more knowledge about what they’re selling, partners will provide better service and be able to sell more products. Decrease costs: Training a large group of, say, sales associates can cost a lot of time and money when teams are dispersed across the country. A learning technology lets a company connect with teams across different locations while boosting the productivity of training. Why training customers and partners matters
4How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples Now that we know why training the extended network is a must-do, let’s dive into how we do it. Here are 8 best practices:
5How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples Create a central location for all training resources Benefit: One centralized portal makes it easy to deliver and maintain consistent training, ensuring employees, partners and customers are all up- to-date on the latest resources.
6How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples Provide real-time training on new products Benefit: With a technology-based learning system, the time lag between rolling out a new product and educating the extended network is eliminated, increasing partners’ and customers’ ability to provide stellar service.
7How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples Address common issues that the extended network reports Benefit: When partners are armed with the answers to FAQs, companies can reduce the number of redundant questions to the call center, and partners and customers can get the answers they need faster. Q FAQ’S A Q A
8How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples Collaborate across social channels Benefit: Companies that engage partners and customers on wikis, blogs, social network profiles and forums provide continuous learning opportunities no matter where the extended network is online — this also creates an opportunity for partners and customers to share knowledge and learn from others’ experiences.
9How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples Incorporate company procedures and standards Benefit: When risk and compliance training is baked into customer and partner enablement, companies mitigate problems that could result from a lack of communication with partners and customers.
10How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples Create competition with certification programs Benefit: Everyone has a small — or big — competitive streak, so offering various levels such as gold, silver and bronze motivates the extended network to continue learning.
11How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples Monitor the success of programs through an analytics dashboard Benefit: Companies can measure the impact of their training on sales performance and customer satisfaction — plus they can see how partners and customers prefer to learn.
12How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples Turn learning technology into a revenue stream Benefit: By offering customers and partners training at a cost, companies can create a new source of revenue while offsetting the technology investment costs. For example, tech companies commonly derive 6 to 10 percent of total revenue from training.
13How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples How do we know these are best practices? Many companies have proven that extended network training boosts their performance. Let’s take a look at three companies that drove big results:
14How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples MetroPCS, a wireless communications service, created Metro University with 80 dynamic online courses to train 5,000 dealers and sales associates about the latest technology and rate plans. 3 big results: Increased productivity and profitability. Accelerated onboarding of new associates. Instant ability to analyze the number of completed courses against the amount of sales. 1 2 3
15How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples Education isn’t just about teaching students, it’s about teaching educators and superintendents too. That’s what Pearson Education, a media and education company, did by providing educational and professional development training to 30,000 members of its extended network. 3 big results: Updated courses on a rolling basis. A fully trained global network. Record course completion and certifications. 1 2 3
16How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples American Bankers Association, a financial company that provides compliance and skills-based training to bankers, has a highly engaged extended network of 130,000 bankers who complete 150,000 courses each month. After a bank’s staff completed the courses, one bank increased new customers by 70 percent, and another bank saved $47,000 annually on professional development and compliance training. 3 big results: Reduction of costs.Ability to drive return on training investment. Custom learning opportunities. 1 2 3
17How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples No need to wait — it’s time to dive into training the extended network!
18How to train your partners and customers | A guide of best practices and examples Learn more at www.csod.com Cornerstone OnDemand is a leader in cloud-based applications for talent management. The company’s solutions help organizations recruit, train, manage and engage their employees, empowering their people and increasing workforce productivity. Based in Santa Monica, California, the company’s solutions are used by over 1,700 clients worldwide, spanning more than 14.5 million users across 191 countries and 41 languages. For more information about Cornerstone, visit csod.com. Read Cornerstone’s blog at csod.com/blog. Follow Cornerstone on Twitter at twitter.com/CornerstoneInc. Like Cornerstone on Facebook at facebook.com/CSODcommunity.
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