In this article, we will share what makes a great partners training programme that will help ramp up your partners quickly and effectively, setting them (and you!) up for success, with all the product knowledge and skills they need to do a fantastic job.
Before we jump into what to offer in terms of training, there are a few caveats you should keep in mind when it comes to partner management and engagement.
On one hand, you must remember that even the most seasoned partners will need key details and ongoing refreshers to keep their knowledge strong and their commitment high. Remember that training is never complete: products and processes evolve constantly, and you must anticipate these changes and communicate them to your partner network on an ongoing basis. (Here’s how to create a Communication Plan for non-marketing folks)
On the other hand, any successful training programme must consider the entire partner lifetime, from onboarding to continuous training and updates.
If you align your partner training objectives to your business KPIs, you will be able to get a clear picture of the return-on-investment of your partners training programme. Doing this will also help you figure out what specific content will have the most impact, allowing you to prioritise your Partners Academy course production pipeline.
What makes a great partner training programme?
1. A great onboarding experience
An online partner training platform gives access to different types of instructional content to help new partners: welcome videos, product and skills training, sales and marketing material, processes and compliance… If you make this content is made available 24/7, you can offer a consistent, comprehensive and on-demand onboarding experience at no higher costs, giving all your partners an equal opportunity to be competitive.
2. Product training
Regardless of what type of partners you manage, if your partners don’t know your product or your service, they won’t be able to effectively sell it, or represent you. This is why your product training needs to be top-notch: informative and crystal clear as well as rich, fresh and engaging.
3. Skills development
Whether you work with channel partners, distributors, franchisees or any other type of partners, there are some global and partner-specific skills you can make available to help them be better at what they do.
It’s important to get feedback from your partners on what they feel they need to improve, and you can use partnership data and information to identify any skills gaps.
4. Standards and culture
If your partners feel integrated and valued, they will have an emotional bond with your brand which will in turn boost their motivation. The more you increase engagement with your partners — and this can mean sharing new content, feeding conversations, asking questions or collecting their feedback — the stronger your network will be. Also, as they represent your brand, it is important to convey the standards you would like your partners to live up to. And that should also be included in your partners training programme.
In short, make sure your Partners Academy focuses on getting your partners the training and information they need to get the best possible results – for you and your partners – and to make them feel like they are part of the family.
Here is a guide with the 6 steps to set up Partners Training in your company. If you need any help with the creation of a great Partners Training Programme, or if you want to try the bugle platform, the bugle team is here for you.
You may also find interesting:
Scale your operations smoothly with online Partners Training (article)
The Simple Economics of Online Partners Training (article + ROI calculator)
Improve operational efficiency with Partners Training (article)
5 (not so) surprising ways to increase engagement with your key partners (article)