I love channel learning. It just makes sense and is completely and beautifully tied to the bottom line. Pure unadulterated learning for the sake of money. Two of my favorite things learning and money are.
You are a company, you’re growing and you have a sales force. You assess them, hire them, train them, let them ramp up and hope they can sell. If you are right, you have a producing salesperson and your company takes an incremental step forward.
If you are wrong, it takes six to nine months to find out and $100,000 for the effort of recruiting, hiring, salary and benefits – if you are lucky. Multiply that by 1000 or 2000 sales people and you have a lot riding on each hire.
If you are really growing, you inevitably outpace your ability to hire and develop and need a channel of partners.
What is Channel Learning?
An organization’s channel consists of resellers, partners, value added resellers, franchises and distributors. The channel acts in your stead. The channel sells your product, services your product, adds additional services to support your product with the end client. A corporation, no matter how large, can’t be everywhere at the same time. You can’t penetrate into new markets easily and cost effectively without a channel. A channel allows you to put local experts on the street with your products and services without hiring them all, everywhere, in every language.
A channel may be captured or uncaptured. Captured implies that they only resell your products and services. Uncaptured channels can sell products and services from a variety of companies. Think life insurance for example. You can go directly to Prudential and buy insurance. Or you can go to Select Quote who represents the top life insurance companies and have them recommend a company and product for you. Either way, organizations need to educate their channel continually and provide relevant tools and information to help them sell or they won’t.
Let’s say a major insurance provider like Prudential has a partner portal where their uncaptured agents like Select Quote can access Prudential training, updates, best practices and collaboration. As new products are released, content is created and disseminated to ensure Select Quote agents are always up to speed and certified.
Imagine the other three insurance companies that Select Quote represents just send a packet of colorful paper to channel insurance agents every now and then. What product do you think Select Quote will sell when they are in the hot seat in front of a potential client? I was in sales many years and you always sell what you know best. Competition is always stiff and selling is always tough.
Business Reasons for Channel Learning
Some common business reasons for channel LMS and e-Learning initiatives are:
- Increase sales and revenue
- Decrease cost of direct employee hiring
- Decrease time to market with new products
- Penetrate into new geographic markets or new markets in general
- Increase the consistency of your message
- Increase the ability for partners to cross sell and resell
- Increase in “mind share” of the non captured channel
- Increase end customer satisfaction
- Reduce technical support calls
- Increase brand loyalty
- Increase channel quality and loyalty
Case Study Examples of Channel Learning
- Learn how ADP improves client retention and fuels business growth using Saba Software for their virtual classroom, learning and content development projects
- Autodesk, via ExpertusONE, creates a compelling, community-based channel ecosystem to educate sales partners faster, easier and more effectively than ever
- Caspio: Case Study on Customer eLearning and Marketing published on Talented Learning.
- DocuSign testimonial video on how they use Cornerstone to train tens of thousands of clients of their solutions
- KOFAX – Learn how the software provider reduced training costs by 80% withMindflash used to support channel, customers and employees
- Hitachi Data Systems wanted to consolidate global learning needs under one learning organization to better serve their employees, partners, and customers worldwide withSaba
- Progress Software Uses Net Dimensions to Deliver L&D
- Vitera Healthcare Solutions – Delivering new client training for end-to-end clinical and financial technology solutions with eLogic Learning’s eSSential LMS
- Yammer uses Mindflash to sell courses for their partner certification
Examples of Channel Learning in the News
- Windstream (Nasdaq:WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services to businesses nationwide. “Windstream Introduces Enhanced Partner Strategy for Cloud Solutions at Channel Partners Conference,” appeared in the WSJ here http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20140226-912833.html.
- Mimecast is a single cloud platform for all your email and information management needs. “Mimecast certifies first 100 UK partners for cloud migration” appeared on Channel EMEA here http://www.channelemea.com/spip.php?article27513.
- Here is an article from the partner point of view. Google’s AdWords Partner Certification is achieved by an Atlanta SEO company was published in IT Business Net here http://www.itbusinessnet.com/article/Atlanta-SEO-Services-Company-Now-Certified-as-Google-Partner-3090652.
Vendors Specializing in Channel Learning
- Absorb LMS
- Accord LMS
- BlueVolt LMS
- Cornerstone OnDemand
- eLogic Learning
- Interactyx TOPYX Social LMS
- NetExam LMS (by Media Defined)
- Net Dimensions
- Saba Learning@Work
- SilkRoad GreenLight LMS
- WBT Systems TopClass
Now Available: LMS Almanac: Corporate Edition
It’s here folks and it is good. The LMS Almanac: Corporate Edition 2016 will help LMS buyers cut through all the fluff in the industry and get a true view of what is going on. Deep detail and statistics about the corporate LMS market trends, 75 vendor profiles, 100+ comparison graphics and charts, , learning, tech dictionary and more. If you are looking for an LMS for your employees, channel partners or customers, this report is vital to helping you quickly qualify vendors and find the best for you.
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