What is your training team’s philosophy? In other words, is your customer training program focused on product adoption or driving revenue? And how, exactly, does your team define a successful customer training experience?
These questions are important to consider whether you’re just starting to create your training program, or you’ve decided it’s time to revamp an existing program. Specifically, understanding the primary purpose of your organization’s customer training can help you gauge success and evaluate best practices.
In this post, we’ll outline two of the most common motivations for customer training, so you can figure out which model best fits the needs of your organization and training audience.
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Companies that focus their training on product adoption typically offer courses for free. These companies tend to be driven by the belief that customer training is essential for proper onboarding and optimizing product usage. The goal of this type of training program is maximizing the customer’s success with a product. For this reason, customer renewal and expansion as a result of training are viewed as successful outcomes.
Content for training programs that aim to increase product adoption is often focused on customer onboarding. This includes product tutorials, as well as content that reinforces the value of the product. As teams build out their content, it's essential for them to focus on the value they provide and drive customers toward achieving it. As a result, time to value is a key metric used to evaluate the efficacy of onboarding content.
Courses of this type are often based on an eLearning platform, and aim to drive widespread adoption of training services through scalable content and seamless user experiences - all tied back to a CRM. With this in mind, delivering adoption-motivated training through an LMS that integrates with Salesforce is important for tracking metrics and KPIs.
Training programs that are built on a revenue model differ from adoption-driven ones in two key ways. One is that training in this model is typically not free, although the cost of training may be packaged as part of the sale. The second is that training is viewed as an additional service and an integral component of the organization’s service portfolio.
These training programs aim to drive scalable training revenue growth and profitability through offering multiple training services, increasing the average selling price (ASP), and selling additional units. Revenue-driven training programs run on the knowledge that larger accounts have a higher willingness to pay for training. Although instructor-led training (ILT) and virtual instructor-led training (VILT) are more traditional delivery methods and typically have higher ASPs, they also have higher variable costs, so less profitable on a per-unit basis and harder to scale.
eLearning, on the other hand, is increasingly preferred by trainees, since it’s more convenient and accessible. Pricing strategies for online training range from blended to a la carte, to subscription-based payment models. Keep in mind, online training also involves an upfront investment for content development, but costs are almost entirely margin after that (which means minimal variable costs).
So where does your training program fall? Are you currently implementing an adoption model but looking to move into a revenue-based one? Maybe you offer a blend of both philosophies, with some training offered for free to drive adoption and some more in-depth training offered as a paid service. Whatever your model, the most important measure of success is customer feedback, product use, and expansion.