Channel Training - Can an LMS do it all?
Posted: 2/5/2013 by 11
Training & Certification are two of the most common elements provided in any Partner Program. Partners who are poorly-trained on marketing, selling or servicing your products have a direct and negative impact on their effectiveness, revenue and customer satisfaction. And conversely, partners who are well trained contribute positively to your customer’s experience.
Whether you use an internal Learning Management System (LMS) or an external, hosted LMS to deliver your partner training, the data stored in this training system is vital to tracking the training status at the individual partner user level. An LMS system can easily and quickly allow you to see what training a particular partner user has taken or how many more classes the user must take to achieve an individual certification and whether an exam is required for certification completion. However, a Learning Management System (LMS) and training your partners is not enough for successful channel engagement and performance.
An LMS is ineffective at meeting the unique requirements of the distribution channel. It does not have the capability to collect and correlate all the pertinent data about a partner to give you a full view of their value and contribution. That is the function of the PRM system. By integrating the data and value of these two systems, you can get the full picture of not just training and certification, but also other program benefits and requirements related to the partner. For example, you may discover a partner is short a few certifications needed to advance to the next tier of program status AND that they have some unused development funds that they can put toward achieving that goal. This information is at the core of successfully managing Certifications & Training to ensure your partners are acquiring and investing in expertise to serve customers.
Unfortunately, if these two systems are disparate and do not work together, it is very difficult to understand the big picture and easily identify at the partner level which partner is performing and which is not without a tremendous amount of manual reconciliation. This type of manual reconciliation can cause costly mistakes or at a minimum a lot of wasted time and effort. In addition, since there is no one place for a partner to log in and validate this information, the partner equally ends up spending too much wasted time looking in more than one system or ultimately, waiting on you the vendor to provide it to them on a regular basis.
How many partner certifications do you track? Does it require too much time to manually reconcile? Are your partners frustrated they don’t have one site that has all this data in a summary view? If you said yes to all these questions, it might be time to re-evaluate whether now is the time to start planning your integration.
Our Guest Blogger
http://requisite.comservice, execution, and on-time delivery. At Requisite, Lisa is responsible for the Channel Management solution.