Published On: November 3, 2014By
How are businesses improving partner perfomance? Read these top channel learning cases

How do you get your external sales channel to look, act and perform the same or better than your internal sales team?

Best-in-class organizations train and certify their sales and distribution channel using a learning management system (LMS) and proprietary online content.  These organizations have proven that educating their channel provides a measurable return on investment and more importantly a significant competitive advantage.  As a result, these organizations treat channel learning as an ongoing mission-critical initiative.

Proving the worth of channel learning is simple though.  Use your LMS  to provide channel learning completion reports and compare with channel performance business reports. Here are the most common business metrics positively impacted by channel learning:

  • Channel partner sales, cross sales and up sales
  • Sale of premium “certification” content
  • Cost per training interaction
  • Time to market with new products
  • Time to proficiency for new channel partners and partner employees
  • Cost of customer support
  • Customer satisfaction

No wonder channel learning it is such a big business.  At Talented Learning, we’ve collected and reviewed hundreds of case studies during our 2014 LMS vendor reviews and here our Top 10 Channel Learning Case Studies from 10 different LMS vendors.    (There was a 10-way tie for first place so we’ve listed alphabetically.)


#1:  Affiliated Distributors

LMS Vendor:  BlueVolt

Affiliated Distributors (AD) is the largest wholesale buying and marketing group in North America, comprised of over 530 independent distributor companies with over 3,000 locations.  Using the BlueVolt LMS, AD has created an ecosystem of manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of all types.  Product manufacturers host weekly live product roll-out educational webcasts that reach hundreds of channel suppliers in one session that requires no trainer travel costs.   Manufacturing suppliers have increased their reach, reduced their product launch time from 3-6 months to one day and have experienced an exponential reduction in training costs.


#2:  Autodesk

LMS Vendor:  Docebo

Autodesk is a world leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software and services.  The Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI) program certifies instructors who can train users and organizations to help them obtain the greatest return on their Autodesk software investment.  The Docebo LMS supports targeted certification curriculum and even the ability for learners to upload videos of themselves teaching to obtain a practical exam grade.  Autodesk lowered cost, improved consistency and expanded their global reach.


#3:  Azlan, Hewlett-Packard

LMS Vendor:  Growth Engineering

Azlan, Europe’s largest value-added reseller of networking products launched an “HP Sales Excellence” program for its distribution network combing sales and product content to provide resellers the foundation to provide more value to end clients and thus sell more.  Using Growth Engineering’s gamified LMS they encouraged competition to facilitate content completion among resellers.  Active learners in the portal outperform inactive users by 75% in year over year sales comparisons.


#4:  Bluebeam Software

LMS Vendor:  Mindflash

Bluebeam Software develops and sells software for PDF creation, editing and collaboration, with significant market share in the architecture, engineering and construction industries.  Instead of using time-intensive webinars to reach their audiences, Bluebeam wanted to get its resellers excited about selling so they launched a highly interactive, 3-tiered certification program on the Mindflash LMS.  The average reseller doubled sales as a result of completing the base tier certification.  Those resellers that completed all tiers averaged a 400% increase in sales.


#5:  Chrysler Group

LMS Vendor:  Latitude Learning

Chrysler Group has approximately 6,000 dealerships in the US, Canada and over 90 other countries worldwide. Training and certification programs help establish consistent levels of performance throughout its large dealership network by allowing technicians to stay current with various certifications while training dealership personnel and selected suppliers in new product-related content, service and repair techniques, and financing protocol.  Deployed on the Latitude Learning LMS, Chrysler achieved a significant decrease in training administrative costs as well as increased the consistency of the Chrysler experience.


#6:  LPL Financial

LMS Vendor:  SumTotal Systems

LPL Financial is one of the nation’s leading financial services companies and the largest independent broker/dealer. LPL Financial offers industry-leading technology, training, service and unbiased research to more than 12,000 independent financial advisers nationwide.  Using SumTotal Systems LMS to reach its external agent audience,  LPL increased the knowledge of agents, boosted agent retention, increased course completions by 30% and reduced their overall training expenditures by $75,000/quarter.


#7:  Massage Envy Spa

LMS Vendor:  eLearning Logic

Massage Envy Spa through its franchises is the leading provider of therapeutic massage in the United States. To guarantee a consistently excellent experience for customers in any franchise location, Massage Envy Spa provides world-class online training to all franchise employees.  Using the eLogic Learning eSSential LMS, Massage Envy Spa has increased their ability to support franchises, decreased time to ramp up new franchises and has positively contributed to long-term success and growth of the organization.


#8:  Nikon

LMS Vendor:  Kineo

Nikon is well known for their quality cameras and specialist knowledge.  The Nikon reseller network of over 100,000 retailers has a significant impact on the performance of the company.  Partnering with Kineo they built a dealer knowledge portal to not only train and certify the resellers but also to create a community of global enthusiastic experts all working towards the same goal — selling Nikon cameras.


#9:  Siemens

LMS Vendor:  Expertus

Siemens is a global powerhouse in electronics and environmental engineering.  They holistically provide training and certification to 8000 employees, 400 distributors/dealers, and 2500  customers from the same ExpertusOne LMS system.  Siemens enjoys increased channel readiness, increased use and satisfaction with the LMS and an overall decrease in training administrative costs.


#10: Yum! Brands

LMS Vendor:  Saba Software

Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company, is the umbrella organization for well-known quick-service restaurants including KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Its 40,000 restaurants around the world are staffed by more than 1.5 million associates. Learn how YUM! uses Saba to deploy learning, training and virtual classroom to its associates around the globe reducing turnover by 20% and increasing customer satisfaction by 2% globally.


Thanks for reading!

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About the Author: John Leh

John Leh is CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning and the Talented Learning Center. John is a fiercely independent consultant, blogger, podcaster, speaker and educator who helps organizations select and implement learning technology strategies, primarily for extended enterprise applications. His advice is based upon more than 25+years of learning-tech industry experience, serving as a trusted LMS selection and sales adviser to hundreds of learning organizations with a total technology spend of more than $100+ million and growing. John would love to connect with you on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

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