You wouldn’t trust your life to a poorly-trained cardiac surgeon or fly with an untrained pilot. Yet too many corporations fail to grasp the critical role training plays in the success of an organization. Ineffective training doesn’t just lead to serious inefficiency and low morale — it often creates disastrous mistakes that cause irreparable financial and reputational harm.
It’s undeniable that the fortunes of any organization track closely with how well and frequent the associates are trained or how easily they can access knowledge resources when need be. It’s not enough to ensure that only in-house staff has sufficient access to training protocols. Rather it’s crucial to take a holistic approach and make your training initiative all-inclusive. Effective training must be available to the partners, franchisees, suppliers and extended enterprises. Focusing on employees isn’t enough — all external associates should have the same opportunity to experience high-level training and skills development.
That’s the only way to ensure the same high level of productivity and customer service across the entire spectrum of an organization and its key partners.
The importance of comprehensive partner training
In a modern consumer economy, reputation is of paramount importance. Social media platforms and review websites have given every individual a potential platform to amplify their grievances or concerns in a public forum.
While external associates may not be the employees, they often represent the last or primary point of contact a consumer has with a business. When customers are unhappy, they won’t care about the subtle distinction between employees or contractors, or franchise vs. corporate designations. They demand satisfaction and will hold any business responsible for the actions of its associates and partners. It doesn’t matter if the problem originated with a contractor, a supplier, or a distributor — the company ultimately bears the burden.
Despite this, many organizations still fail to pursue external training with the same zeal as they pursue in-company training. Whether it is because they perceive partner training as less of a priority or believe that it’s too difficult to get partners to comply fully, many businesses allow external associate training to fall to substandard levels.
That’s an incorrect way because there’s an economical, highly effective solution to this problem: advanced eLearning training platforms for partner training. These tools can help ensure that your organization delivers a consistent, high-quality consumer experience. By training franchisees, suppliers, distributors and other partners, you can refine your brand messaging, generate more revenue, limit mistakes and make sure that your products and services are represented in the best possible light.
How eLearning takes partner training to the next level
In the not very distant past, key tasks such as on-boarding, compliance training, and new product training often required repeated in-person visits, seminars and other resource and time-intensive activities. It’s not a model that’s particularly efficient or one that scales well, but it was often the only option.
The advent of eLearning gave organizations an alternative, one that offers much greater efficiency and scalability, wider access and lower costs. Online training platforms allow businesses to conduct training remotely, allowing learners anywhere, anytime access — flexibility that helps encourage workers to complete their training.
This flexible remote model allows organizations to streamline their training efforts and lower costs. Instead of traveling from site to site, trainers can build course archives and administer them as needed. Today’s eLearning platforms also feature a suite of powerful tools that allow trainers to create an engaging and interactive learning experience and help users master and retain information more effectively.
By offering anywhere, anytime, any device training from a single platform, eLearning tools have transformed the way partners are trained. Choosing the appropriate tool, however, remains a critical task.
How to choose a partner training platform?
To help you make that decision, let’s take a closer look at the most important features to look for when seeking an eLearning platform for partner training.
- An intuitive and seamless user experience. This is vitally important in terms of promoting training course completion, as user-unfriendly interfaces lead to confusion and disengagement.
- A comprehensive product with a full slate of advanced features. Support for all learning formats is essential, and the product should offer full integration with no third-party plugins needed.
- An easy to implement the cloud-based product. Ease of deployment is an absolute must when you’re establishing a sophisticated partner training program and dealing with multiple categories of external associates.
- A highly scalable eLearning platform. As the number and type or your partners grow, you’ll need an eLearning solution that can effortlessly scale to accommodate this expansion.
- Data analysis capabilities. This is essential in terms of measuring the overall efficacy of your training courses. The most advanced eLearning platforms allow you to gather real-time feedback and closely monitor trainee progress. Once again, these are features that are critical in terms of encouraging continued participation and course completion.
- Certifications. These credentials play an important public role in allowing your partner network to demonstrate their proficiency with your products and services. By developing relevant certifications, you can be certain your partners know your product or services inside out, and display competency every time.
By focusing on elements such as these, you can ensure that you have the most powerful tool available for partner training. With the right tool — and a serious commitment to making training effective and widely accessible — you can deliver a unified consumer experience, minimize the risk of errors and raise your return on investment.
Effective training is a prerequisite for ongoing business success. Even well-run organizations can run into turbulence when exporting their training model across their partner network, however. To avoid this, it’s critically important to make the partner training process as simple and seamless as possible, as this encourages external associates to focus on training, retain what they’ve learned and acquired the necessary expertise.
Choosing the right eLearning platform is an integral step in this important journey. By opting for a highly scalable, full-featured, cloud-based platform with the attributes outlined above, your organization can help ensure that all partners demonstrate the necessary expertise, and act as high-quality brand ambassadors for your products and services.
And that’s a sure-fire recipe for sustained business success.