When your partners do a great job, everybody wins. They are representing you, and their performance has a direct impact on your business. Making great training available to your partners is key in helping them be better at what they do. It’s a win-win situation when your partners are well versed in your product, standards, and can improve their skills to be at the top of their game.
When considering engagement with training, there are two levels to consider: a macro level, related to your partners training programme, that we will address in this article, and a micro level related to each course that that you read about in part 2 of this article. Let’s start with the macro level.
How can you improve engagement with your Partners Training Programme?
1. Relevance and Adequacy
First and foremost, even if you do nothing else on this list, make sure your training programme is actually relevant, adequate and actionable for your partners. This is the basis for any training programme. If your partners feel that the training you provide will actually help them do their job better, they will take it.
It’s important to note that, when you setup your partners training programme, don’t just go with what you think or believe they want or need. Ask your partners for feedback before, during and after because that is the most accurate way to know what they need and value.
If you don’t communicate your training, your partners won’t know it exists. Obvious, right? Yet, this is where many companies “drop the ball”. Make sure you have a communication plan in place, and that you actually execute it.
If you’re in marketing, you know what this entails. If you’re not in marketing here’s a simple guide on how to create a communication plan for non-marketing folks. It’s a simple version of how to create a communication plan that anyone can follow.
It’s important to highlight that, when you communicate your training, you need to make sure you focus on the benefits and outcomes for your partners – how it will help THEM - and address their challenges and needs.
3. Recognition and rewards
Considering the importance of training, it’s important to create a learning culture within your partner network. So, if you want your partners to value your training, make sure they know it. Recognise training completion as an achievement and offer rewards to partners that are more engaged with your training.
These rewards don’t have to be financial, quite the opposite. Besides the certificates, you can offer mugs, t-shirts, coffee vouchers or any other fun prizes.
Celebrate each partner’s achievement, both in terms of training and performance, publicly to all the partners network. This will inspire other partners to step up their game.
4. Ambassadors and Testimonials
There will always be partners more engaged than others. So, reach out to the more enthusiastic and best performing partners and ask them for testimonials on how your training helped them improve their results and to be ambassadors of the brand.
Also, invite key partners to be part of your training to share their experiences and best practices.
5. Foster a sense of belonging
People like to feel that they are part of something bigger. And your partners are not an exception. So, make them feel like are part of the family and foster a sense of belonging as if they are remote workers. When your partners feel like they are part of your brand, they are more likely to get involved, to care and to give it their best.
Being a family has many meanings, and one of the most important ones is to be there for each other. So, why not create an online gated community for your partners only, where they can share their tips, challenges and best practices with each other? This will add a new level of support as they can help each other with their own experience and create a sense of community.
6. Accessibility and responsiveness
You’ve probably read and heard this many times but it’s still important to refer that your training should be easily accessible from anywhere, at any time, and technology should not be a barrier to learning. So, make sure your training platform is available online 24/7, and provides a great experience for your partners in desktop, tablet and smartphone.
It’s about being there for them, when they need it, wherever they are.
You can read part 2 of this article on how to increase your partners’ engagement with your courses here. Also, stay tuned to the partners tag of the bugle blog for more tips and tricks to improve this key business relation.
You may also find interesting:
Building a great partners training programme (article)
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)
8 quantifiable reasons to make training available to your key stakeholders (article)
12 tips to choose the right training platform (article)
Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help with Partners Training? Let's talk.