Business partnerships are essential to the success of any business, and training your business partners is crucial to ensure that they are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their roles.
With the advent of online learning, training business partners has become more accessible and efficient than ever. In this article, we will discuss the steps and advice on how to train business partners effectively in an online learning environment.
What is Business Partnership?
Business partnership refers to a strategic alliance between two or more businesses that collaborate for mutual benefit. In this context, business partners can be suppliers, customers, distributors, or other stakeholders who work closely with your organisation to achieve common goals.
Importance Of Training Your Business Partners
Training your business partners can help to ensure that they are aligned with your business objectives, understand your products and services, and can effectively represent your brand.
This will help to build trust and confidence in your partnership and increase your chances of success.
5 Tips On How To Train Business Partners Effectively
- Get to know your Business Partners
To create an effective training program, you must first understand the needs and goals of your business partners. This involves gaining insight into their daily operations, identifying what they want to accomplish, and determining what they need to succeed.
For example, you could ask the following questions:
- What are the knowledge or skills that you would have wanted to have when you started as a business partner?
- What areas are you the least confident in?
- What are you goals as a business partner? What motivates you the most?
- What do your everyday business operations look like?
- What kind of course design do you think would be the most motivating and easy to complete? (self-study, facilitated, blended, on-going, one time, etc.)
You can do this through a questionnaire, an interview, through shadowing them or focus group discussions. If you take the time to do this, we guarantee you will be more likely to create an effective course for them.
You may also want to familiarise yourself with data and your companies perspective. Are there some areas that business partners have not succeeded in? What does your company think is the reason and is a training the solution?
- Create a Business Goal
The next step is to create a business goal. The business goal involves defining what problem you want to solve, why you are creating a training and what you want to achieve with the training.
For example, you may want to create a Business Partner Training because you want to increase your sales by ensuring that your partners are fully familiar with your services and able to represent your company.
You can turn these business goals into Key Performance Indicators that you will follow after the training:
- Increase in Sales Revenue: This KPI measures the increase in sales revenue generated by the business partners after completing the training. This can be measured through sales reports and tracking revenue growth over time.
- Increase in Cross-Selling and Up-Selling: This KPI measures the increase in cross-selling and up-selling achieved by the business partners after completing the training. This can be measured through sales reports and analysis.
- Improved Customer Satisfaction: This KPI measures the level of customer satisfaction with the business partner’s service after completing the training. This can be measured through customer feedback and ratings.
- Reduction in Errors: This KPI measures the reduction in errors made by the business partners after completing the training. This can be measured through quality control and error reporting systems.
It is a good idea to work closely with your business partners to ensure they are also committed to this joint effort. Make sure you communicate the value for them in their language.
- Create Learning Goals for Your Partner Training Online Course:
Key Performance Indicators provide a larger vision and goal that help you set great learning goals that are very specific and easily measurable. This may require some thinking about is the exact knowledge, skill or experience needed to successfully achieve your KPI.
When you have identified that gaps, you can use the following format to write out your goals.
By the end of the training, Business Partners are able to:
- Identify the key features and benefits of our products/services and have a deep understanding of our brand and its values
- Communicate our values to customers and represent our brand to customers and stakeholders.
- Analyze market trends and consumer behavior to identify new business opportunities and contribute to our business growth.
- Resolve customer complaints and issues in a timely and professional manner, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Use our digital tools and platforms effectively to manage their business operations and optimize their performance.
- Plan on the Delivery and Resources
Once you have defined the learning goals, you need to decide on the delivery and resources for your online course. This involves choosing whether the training will be fully online or in a blended format, what platform could use used and what types of materials you will use.
Consider the following questions:
Who will you need to create and facilitate the training program? What kind of team of experts will you need? There are various roles you should consider, but depending on your administration, it can also vary:
- Subject Matter Experts who provide knowledge and insights
- Content Creators or Visual Designers who create beautiful content
- Course assistants or facilitators who take care of learners, support learning and ensure course goals are met
- LMS Administrators who manage users and roles
- IT for integrations and tutoring
You may also want a person to guide you through the course building process, who provides feedback, gives suggestions and is able to help you with important decisions.
The way you organise your training depends of the number of learning goals and what you consider being the most suitable way of teaching. You can create a self-paced online course, but you could also consider doing the course in a blended format or using Flipped learning?
After you have decided on your training style, you should consider how you will structure your training. Start by outlining the various learning themes and consider their order. What makes the most sense? Make sure to be aware of how long you want the training to be.
After you have decided on your training outline, you need to consider your learning material.
These could be:
- Interactive media such as Thinglink
- Quizzes and games
You may want to ask a content creator for help in creating your learning material, or you can ask our learning designers for help!
You need to have a good LMS or LXP to deliver your training. This may require some research on modern platforms and their features. However, before you go into the jungle of platform features, it’s really important that you first consider your organizational needs for the platform and what kinds of courses you’d most likely be facilitating in the future too.
The more information and requirements you have, the easier it will be to navigate through a world full of options and promises.
For example, do you need a platform that’s suitable for a fully self-guided online learning and for events, workshops or seminars? Do you want to encourage people to communicate and engage with each other? Do you have specific integration needs? Do you want to make use of tools you already have or do you want to invest in new ones?
- Create the course & launch
After you have created your course, you are almost ready to launch. Some important considerations are still here to come:
Run an outside quality check on the course before launch. Consider especially if the whole learning process are instructed clearly. Have you created clear instructions and a welcome email? How will your Business Partners register? Do they know what is expected of them? Have you communicated the value of the training? Are there any parts where motivation could start to drop?
It’s a good idea to ask for help with this one. If you can, ask a trusted Business Partner to go over the process and listen carefully to any feedback they might have. If this is not a possibility, you can also ask a colleague who has not worked on the course creation.
Benefits of Training Business Partners
Training your business partners can provide several benefits, including increased efficiency and productivity, improved quality of service, and increased customer satisfaction.
It can also help to build stronger relationships and increase trust and confidence in your partnership.
How to Measure the Success of Business Partner Training
To measure the success of your business partner training, you can use various methods, such as measuring satisfaction on training, learning outcomes, or KPIs.
Measuring satisfaction involves collecting feedback from your business partners to determine how satisfied they were with the training.
Perhaps you can ask them how confident do they feel in achieving the learning goal.
Do they feel that they have all the necessary knowledge and skills to represent your company and work for your common goal?
Of course, how satisfied one feels is different to measuring actual learning outcomes. Measuring learning outcomes involves assessing whether the business partners have acquired the skills and knowledge that they need to succeed.
This could be done in multiple different ways: a final exam, a simulation, end-of-module quizzes on the topics or by using scenarios.
Key Performance Indicators
Measuring satisfaction or learning outcomes usually happens during or immediately after the course completion. However, measuring KPI’s takes place anywhere from a month to a year.
Set a concrete plan on when you will review your KPI’s and how exactly will you measure them. Set up a meeting with other stakeholders to go over the results. It’s a good idea to plan on what you will do if results are not what you are expecting.
Training your business partners effectively is crucial to ensure that they are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their roles.
By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create an effective partner training program that can help build stronger relationships and increase the success of your partnership.
Our platform offers various functionalities that can aid in creating an effective online learning program for your business partners.