| 6 minutes reading

How to Optimize Your Channel Partner Training with an Online Academy 

By Cursum

Proper channel partner training is of utmost importance when you want to expand your business and strengthen your brand identity. 

Your channel partners play a vital role in supporting your brand’s advocacy and play a huge part in securing and enlarging your market presence.  

The right approach to partner training should therefore empower your stakeholders to become effective service or product ambassadors. Furthermore, it should enable full compliance, guarantee quality expectations, and maintain your market position.  

Keeping your training strategy on par with the latest industry trends is thus key to supporting your business’ development.  

And with e-learning platforms and online academies becoming the go-to solution in modern workplaces, legacy training systems are slowly fading out.  

If you’re not yet sure how to take your training online, you’ve come to the right place.  

In the below, we’ll guide you through how you successfully can use an online academy like ours for your partner training.  

But before we dive into the nitty-gritty aspect of digital learning, let’s first define what channel partner training is. 

What is channel partner training? 

Channel partner training or extended enterprise training refers to the formal training process your channel partners (or customers) undergo to gain knowledge about your products or services.  

This learning is critical for determining successful outcomes and a great return on investment for anyone who uses, sells, or promotes your goods.  

Channel partners could for instance be: 

  • Resellers 
  • Authorized support centers  
  • Distributors 
  • Franchisers 
  • Contractors 
  • Retailers 
  • Dealers 
  • System integrators 

Partner training comes in various forms and can include the following: 

Like other corporate training programs, channel partner training can consist of instructor-led training, on-demand training, or a combination of both. 

The importance of partner training in business  

The core aspect of this form of training is to inspire your channel partners to engage in your mission as an organization. It means imbuing in them a sense of passion and commitment as they advocate your business or its goods. 

In other words, channel partner training isn’t just a mere learning program. It’s a strategic process of instilling your culture into your channel partners to make them more involved and invested in promoting your product or services. 

It’s like giving them a seat at your table to let them embrace your business objectives as their own.  

Partner training is essential because it helps you build, foster, and capitalize on relationships vital to your company’s success. Not only that, but it also: 

  • Guarantees the customer experience your external partners deliver 
  • Strengthens brand fostering and customer loyalty 
  • Increases your sales 
  • Enhances business agility by keeping your network up to date 

However, training your channel partners isn’t as simple as giving entry to your company’s knowledge vault. It brings on both complexities and challenges. 

Challenges in training channel partners 

The most challenging part of training your channel partners is the fact that they’re not your employees. Asking them to fully commit to something outside their personal or organizational priorities can be a herculean task.  

When training your stakeholders, you must also consider that you’re dealing with different types of channel partners that might have both cultural and geographic differences.  

So, before setting up a channel partner training program, it’s important to recognize these differences and plan for them accordingly. 

You also need to focus on offering your partners more targeted training, where specific issues like competing schedules and priorities can be addressed. And here’s where an online academy can provide maximum benefits.  

How to use an online academy when training partners 

Since traditional training hardly works in extended enterprise training, it’s best to administer your partner training program online. 

Keep in mind, though, that channel training isn’t always only about content. It’s certainly also about delivery and the solution you use to impart knowledge.  

You can have the best learning content, but if it fails to reach your audience, it’s nothing but a fizzled effort. 

In other words, learning content or training courses for partner training should of course be straightforward. But so should the way you distribute it.  

One way to achieve this is to use an online academy like ours.  

Our online academy is built on top of our powerful LMS which not only secures an engaging and easy-to-use interface, but also allows for flexible accessibility through various channels 24/7.  

Let’s dig deeper into the accessibility factor. 

Building partner training courses with an online academy 

Course development is a crucial part of your partner training process. And the sooner you start building your training courses, the quicker you’ll be able to deploy them and create engagement.  

But before you even think of deploying your training courses, it’s good to ask if you have any learning content at your disposal.  

Maybe you already have content in analog forms such as thick company manuals, textbooks, or CDs and DVDs.  

These are all types of training materials that can easily overwhelm your channel partners. Digitizing your training content and uploading them to an e-learning platform such as our online academy, will create a smoother learning process. 

If you’re running a continuous channel partner training program, content creation is something you’ll be spending a lot of time on. So which content development approach will you decide on?  

There are three ways to create e-learning content. You can build content in-house, hire external content creators, or buy off-the-shelf content.  

Just remember that deciding on a content creation process isn’t black and white. What works for one company might not work for you.    

When you’ve found an e-learning content creation process that suits your needs, all you must do is distribute your learning materials.  

With our online academy, you (or your content creator) simply upload and organize the learning content directly to our responsive course builder.  

When creating courses using our online academy, you don’t need any third-party creator tools. We provide you with all the necessary integrations and add-on modules to enable a seamless course production process.  

Delivering content through Microsoft Teams and native apps 

If you haven’t already gone digital, consider the time and resources you have spent on delivering traditional partner training. The total costs of outsourcing resource speakers alone can be mind-boggling.  

And on top of this comes the possibility of your partners’ unavailability, which can pose an even bigger problem.  

However, there is a way for you to offer a more flexible access point to learning content allowing your partners to retrieve learning courses whenever and wherever it suits them.  

If you have partners who already utilize Microsoft Teams, a custom app within this communication platform can be a great distribution channel. 

As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partner of Microsoft, we’ve enabled our users to easily create their own white-label apps within Microsoft Teams, giving them the power to deliver knowledge at their customers’ fingertips.  

If you want an accommodating solution like this, we can help you build your own native app for your content distribution. The apps we build can be created exclusively for Apple’s App Store, Google Play, or both marketplaces—customized to fit your company’s brand, look, and feel. 

Not all of us have access to a laptop or desktop at all hours of the day. However, many of us have a smartphone or maybe even a tablet most of the day. So, if you have an online academy that supports mobile learning, your training turnout rate might be higher. 

What’s the next step? 

If you’re interested in learning more about our academy solution, read this guide.  

The guide will let you in on everything you need to know about running an online academy. This includes the different pricing strategies, distribution choices, and content management opportunities you can leverage to improve partner collaboration. 

Otherwise, contact us or book a demo today to get a first-hand experience of how our learning solution works. Believe us, it will change the way you look at channel partner training forever.