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What is Partner Training?

Posted by Rachel Martinez on Apr 25, 2018 5:30:00 AM

Rachel Martinez >

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If someone is looking to buy your software, it shouldn’t matter whether they work with you, or a member of your partner program. The customer experience should be the same. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Enter partner training.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through our definition of partner training, how it differs from customer training, and a few key benefits.

Read on to learn more:

What is partner training?

Partner training is an education program designed for anyone who partners with your company to market and sell your product or service. Specifically, this may include:   

  • Franchise owners
  • Resellers
  • Consultants
  • Agents

Similar to customer training, it can consist of instructor-led training, on-demand training, or a combination of both.

How is it different from customer training?

Customer training typically rolls up to Customer Success or Services teams. For this reason, the goal is often to drive revenue by increasing product adoption and retention. In contrast, partner training is more often the direct responsibility of organizations with a dedicated direct sales enablement function (source: SiriusDecisions).

The main difference here is in prioritization - specifically around creating new assets. While content creation is a key component of many customer training initiatives, partner training can be secondary to other sales assets. In fact, it may even be the same content with minor changes.

A few benefits of partner training

1. Set Clear Brand Standards: If you’re extending the reach of your company through partner relationships, it’s critical that your partners are living up to the expectations you’re setting for your customers. An on-demand training program can help you maintain consistency and keep your partners up to date on the latest changes to your product or service. Partner certification serves to assess the readiness and capabilities of your network at scale, so you can have confidence that your partners have the requisite knowledge and standards to represent your company. 

2. Increase Revenue: With the right training, your partners will be armed with expert-level product knowledge, enabling them to sell more effectively. By offering training, you can also increase their loyalty, demonstrate that you’re invested in partner success, and foster a partner ecosystem. This is crucial, given that only 38% of resellers feel their vendors are doing ‘positively well’ in encouraging channel loyalty (source: ICLP).

3. Decrease Support Costs: When your partners understand your product and services better, they will likely ask for less help from your Support team. If you’re training resellers, a well trained salesforce can set better expectations with customers, and this benefit can trickle down to support ticket volume. As a result, your company can save valuable time and resources. Learn more about demonstrating training ROI

One final note

As with customer training, partner training is not one-size-fits-all. Often, you can repurpose assets across different audiences, but each particular group requires a unique strategy. Think about how you want to structure your program, and whether you have the resources you need to implement it successfully.

Topics: Training

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