Planning, budgeting, reporting, defining new goals, strategising. For most of us, the last quarter of the year is a time for reporting and reflecting on what was done, what went well, and what needs to improve. And, on the other hand, to plan for the future, overcome new challenges, define new goals and prepare for a successful year.
In this article, you can find out how a digital academy can help you achieve your new set goals, overcome challenges, and drive success, whether you work in Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, Partner Management and Operations, or Human Resources.
A digital academy is a learning and development centre. It is usually a digital repository of content, an educational hub with benefits that extend to all the different players in the company's value chain — marketing, sales, customers, partners and employees.
So, what do you get from investing in your own online academy for your key stakeholders?
Build brand awareness and product demand: you will establish yourself as a subject matter expert and a source of knowledge. Brand recognition and appetite for your product will happen as a natural by-product of such expertise, status and positioning as the go-to brand for training and knowledge in your industry, being it product or skills training.
Attract and convert new leads: If you are making relevant training available to your potential buyers, an academy will attract exactly the type of leads you are looking for. Think about it: if a lead is going through a course on your product or on skills you need to use your product, it shows a high level of interest. When you use a gated academy, and your leads need to convert to access this knowledge, there is one more level of confirmation that this a great lead, and you can continue the conversation through lead nurturing.
Improve lead quality: if you choose to use your corporate academy to educate your potential customers and move them along the customer journey, you are effectively tailoring them to become better leads – and customers - in the future.
MARKETING + SALES
Training content created by marketing will help sales teams improve their lead nurturing process by integrating educational content in the sales process and help shrink the sales cycle.
Increased product knowledge and stronger sales skills will lead to better results in Sales: an in-depth knowledge of the product, combined with a strong sales foundation and additional sales skills (building rapport, communication skills, lead nurturing, CRM) will close more deals.
Making the Sales process easier: when leads are passed on from marketing to the sales team after being nurtured with educational content, they will have a deeper knowledge of your product, will be able to understand its benefits and how your product can help them and if it is a good fit for them. This means the sales conversation will be much lighter and it will be easier for the sales team to close the deal.
Improved KPIs: more deals mean better metrics and healthy-looking charts across the board.
Those are some of the benefits for the sales teams, from the perspective of external training. However, an internal digital academy for sales teams, where they can have the company, product, and skills training they need will prove invaluable.
Make sales reps’ onboarding more efficient and effective as you have all the onboarding training in your academy, you ensure more consistency and standards in training, less travelling costs every time there’s a new hire, and so on. Also, an online academy will allow you to offer training before your new hires join the team, reducing their time to first value.
Overcome team challenges: you can create content that addresses shortcomings and areas for improvement that are specific to your teams: handling rejection, creating rapport via phone, lead prioritization and other sales skills that will help your team be better at their job.
Offer the tools your sales team needs to be successful with better (and in-time) product knowledge, from new pricing schemes to new features or technology, training on your CRM and sales processes always available, and important sales skills training.
High sales team rotation? No problem – training is ready. Sales teams usually have a high rotation rate. With an online sales training academy, it’s easy to make sure all new members are properly onboarded and trained, and have a place to easily find the knowledge they need.
Whether in Customer Success, Customer Support or Customer Service, customer care teams can benefit from a digital academy for both the customers and customer-related KPIs’s, but also for the team’s onboarding and training.
Educating Customers for Success
The journey doesn’t end when you get the customer. In order to grow, retain your customers and keep them happy, there are a few things you cannot overlook. These important things can all be addressed with Customer Training – starting with the onboarding and throughout their lifetime.
Product knowledge: if your customers don’t know how to use your product, they won’t use it. Good product training can help you with this, especially if it’s kept available to your customers 24/7.
Skills training that will help your clients be successful: Clients buy your product to serve a purpose, usually related to being successful at doing something. So, offering skills training that will help your customers use your product more efficiently and getting better results is important to keep them around.
So, what does this means in terms of your bottom line?
Less customer churn: Knowing how to use your product successfully and having an open 24/7 customer academy to find what they need are key reasons for customers to stick around. Also, customers who are engaged in learning activities will develop an emotional connection with the brand – because you cared enough to offer education - and are less likely to leave.
Increased customer engagement: if your customers are engaged with your brand and product(s), they are more likely to stay loyal, and become brand ambassadors.
Onboard and train your customer success team: you will have full control over your customer care team’s onboarding and training experience. You can draw their learning path from scratch, creating company-specific learning materials and business-relevant case studies and examples.
A special note on Customer Onboarding
Making Customer Onboarding more effective and efficient: Onboarding is a crucial time in the relationship with your customers. A great onboarding can be the steppingstone for long-lasting, fruitful connection with your company so it’s important to ensure consistency, high standards, a well-planned and segmented training that will help your customer get to first value quickly.
You can even make low touch feel like high touch by using an online customer academy.
PARTNERS MANAGEMENT & OPERATIONS
Partner operations management: you can effectively use your academy to onboard, train and certify partners. This will increase their efficiency, motivation, results and sense of belonging as a partner in your brand’s network.
Increase engagement with your partners with new and enticing training content that will increase your partners' motivation and improve your relationship.
Reduce operational costs: an online partners academy is an investment that will pay off quickly, because it will reduce the need for high-touch training activities and one-on-one interactions. It also helps your partners know the more efficient way of doing things, reducing costly mistakes or compliance mishaps.
Creating a sense of belonging with your brand is important because having an emotional connection with your brand and your product, will make it harder for your partners to leave, and gives them the motivation to do better. You can use your Partners Academy to deepen your ties by sharing company culture, mission, values and how you operate. Even a simple welcome video by your CEO can go a long way to create a sense of belonging.
HUMAN RESOURCES AND INTERNAL TRAINING
Your company academy should be the mechanism for creating and upholding your organisational culture, as well as your business core values and skills — things like innovation, leadership, trust, lifelong learning… Some of its worth will be intangible and hard to measure, but there are very clear internal success indicators that you can impact with a digital academy.
Reduce training costs: internal development becomes cheaper and easier to manage, especially if your colleagues are working remotely, or if you need to provide training for different time zones. With an online academy you can reach a broader — and distributed — audience for a fraction of the cost of a traditional classroom-type session.
Increased motivation: a corporate academy will bring about the added-value of employee involvement and happiness, which will lead to better performance and results.
Increase talent retention: career development and opportunities for growth and learning are powerful retention tools, especially with new generations coming into the workforce.
Employer branding: offering continuous training to your employees is a great calling card for your company, positioning your brand as one that cares about your employees’ development and happiness. This attracts the right kind of talent that already have a learning mindset and will help your business grow.
Leadership pipeline and succession planning: having an academy will pave the way for traditional management tasks, such as succession planning, and facilitate the spread of knowledge across the organisation. It also gives you the chance to invest in your top talent and ensures that you are developing them to their utmost potential and closing the knowledge gaps that may be blocking your company’s growth.
In summary, with the help of a digital academy, you can impact the entire customer journey, foster key relationships with partners, keep your customers happy, make processes much more efficient and drive growth.
So, it’s time to consider including an online academy in your planning for next year, and we are here to help you every step of the way. You can reach out to the bugle team at any time, check out our free demo options, or learn more in the bugle blog, our resources page and the bugle Academy.
Here is some additional knowledge you can dive into:
How to leverage your video academy to generate quality leads
Why having a video academy helps improve marketing and sales KPIs
How educational content helps shrink the sales cycle
Customer activation - show value from day 1
Why customer education is key to success
5 reasons why customer leave and 5 tips to prevent it
Why online video training is the smart choice for your business
12 tips to choose the right training platform
Bugle’s Digital Learning Solutions team
Why online video training is the smart choice for your business
You may also find interesting:
The North Star metric and bugle's use case (guide)
The big eBook of Customer Onboarding (guide)
How to get more ROI from your training (article)
Preventing Customer Churn: how to identify and fix red flags (article)
Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help?