Today, many companies have implemented a sales strategy that incorporates growing their revenue through the development of a channel partner program. Working with third-party organizations that function as channel partners essentially makes them an extension of your sales team. Often, these organizations can expose your company and offerings to sales opportunities and markets that you would not be able to access with your in-house sales team, alone.
And while incorporating a channel partner sales strategy can make sense for many businesses, it is important to develop a channel partner training strategy and program to help ensure that these third-party organizations are effectively onboarded and that they have access to all of the knowledge and skills they will need to make significant contributions to your sales efforts.
Types of Channel Partner Training
Channel partners can be a big part of your company’s brand. These are organizations that represent your company to market, sell, and deliver your offerings and, in some cases, provide support. Given this, effective channel partner training can bring a number of benefits to your organization. When considering the development of a channel partner training program, there are several specific aspects you might include:
Product and Service Training
One of the best uses of channel partner training is in providing your partners with the knowledge they need to understand, position, and sell your product and service offerings. Many organizations even leverage their programs to “certify” a partner and their sales teams as having gained the required knowledge to effectively represent your company.
Your brand is your company’s most valuable asset. Your channel partner training needs to support this fact and encourage your network to respect and promote it. Incorporating brand training will help to guide your partners in the areas of understanding and adhering to your corporate values, leveraging your unique competitive advantage and marketing position, and properly incorporating your branding elements in all relevant communications.
For some companies, particularly those that operate within healthcare, financial services, and other highly regulated industries, compliance training is critical for onboarding a new channel partner. Through compliance training, you can help ensure that each of your partners understands and knows how to operate within the guidelines set by your organization and the industry, at large.
An LMS for Channel Partner Training
Today, most companies choose to leverage online learning, or “eLearning” as the foundation for their channel partner training programs. Unlike traditional, classroom-based training, eLearning allows your partners to conduct their training activities at any time and from any location that is convenient for them. All that is required is an Internet connection.
The core technology that supports all types of eLearning programs, including channel partner training, is a Learning Management System (LMS). And while in the past, many companies chose to “stand up” their own LMS on-premises, most companies now choose to work with a third-party vendor who can offer subscription-based access to their LMS platform in the cloud. This approach eliminates the need for a large, up-front capital expense and places the responsibility for the ongoing management and maintenance of the system with the vendor, thus allowing your organization to simply focus on build a great channel partner training program.
A Multi-Tenant LMS for Channel Partner Training
A relatively new option in LMS technology is in the ability to deploy your channel partner training program using a multi-tenant LMS architecture. Where a single tenant LMS dedicates the entirety of the software and hardware infrastructure to a single audience, a multi-tenant LMS allows you to “spin up” new instances of the application (portals) as you bring on new channel partners and unique training audiences. And each portal you launch can have its own unique branding elements and supporting technologies to enable a great channel partner training experience.
LMS Portals offers a cloud-based, multi-tenant LMS that allows our channel partner training clients to build, deliver, and track powerful eLearning programs.