Many corporations are now exploring the ‘Extended Learning Enterprise’. Typically, companies with a high-tech product or software vendors are in this space. Instead of hiring a large sales force, they are looking at Value Added Resellers (VARs) to sell their product for them. This, not only reduces costs, but also allows them to focus on product development.
Companies in the Extended Learning Enterprise space are leveraging elearning to do this. Take Facebook, they have deployed an elearning experience to train both SMEs and also their marketing agency partners. This means their customers and resellers are more technically savvy about their products, in particular the advertising features of the product.
According to a study by Elearning! 53% of corporations are using their elearning to support VARs/ Channel Partners. Corporations are even white labelling via multi-tenant elearning to create brand specific elearning for their main partners.
Some of the benefits of Extended Learning Enterprise are:
- Quickly update customers and VARs about new product launches, or changes to products (e.g. software)
- Certify VARs to resell their products
- Track compliance of franchises and other VARs to ensure they are providing the best advice to customers
- Reduction in support costs using elearning
- Creating an active community around your product and services
- Learning and Development becomes a profit centre as they are able to provide sales training to their VAR
If you chose the ELE route, or you want to extend your own, you need to think about the effectiveness of your elearning.
Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
1. Use Short Videos
You may have already seen TED talks or The Khan Academy as great learning tools. Using video is really effective. Many ELEs are recording even their best VARs to create engaging and effective bitesize videos. In order to create video, you don’t need a fancy studio, you can simply use a smartphone to record the audio and visual.
2. Think small!
Given your training is for sales people, they are often out on the road and busy responding to the latest RFP(s). Think small, don’t give them hour long elearning, cut it down. Typically we recommend no longer than 3-7 minute clips of elearning. This needs to be engaging, high impact elearning. Don’t forget, your elearning needs to be mobile. Often, sales teams have quick access to smartphones and tablets, you should leverage this.
3. Use Certification
Developing a certification for your VARs drives performance, and competition. The pyramid below shows how you can develop this, starting initially with knowledge transfer and then building up to true channel performance learning.
Webanywhere creates Corporate MOOCs to support ELE.