Ready to Sell: The 5-Step Guide to Turn Training into Revenue

Ready to Sell: The 5-Step Guide to Turn Training into Revenue

March 20, 2024
Training Tips

Ready to shift the perception of customer education from a cost center to a vital source of revenue?  

The Shift Towards Monetization

Customer education is undergoing a significant shift with self-serve digital models and further top-down pressure for impact—revenue generation is now a core concern. This shift reflects a profound change in how we connect with our customers and foster growth.

By implementing strategic pricing, you can elevate your offerings’ perceived value and deepen customer engagement, turning every educational interaction into an investment in mutual success.

Step #1: Laying the Groundwork

It begins with evaluating your current resources and aligning them with a monetization strategy. This process, exemplified by Smartsheet’s evolution from traditional eLearning to a scalable, revenue-focused model, highlights the importance of adaptability and strategic alignment with organizational goals.

Smartsheet’s adaptation to more accessible Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) sessions in response to the pandemic is a prime example of understanding and meeting your audience’s needs. This strategic shift catered to immediate challenges and paved the way for a monetization approach that resonated well with their audience.

Educational programs can become valuable assets by strategically designing a curriculum that emphasizes high-value topics and diverse content types. Smartsheet’s experience demonstrates the effectiveness of such a strategy in driving customer investment in education. Skilljar supports organizations in this journey, ensuring that the move towards monetizing customer education marks a significant step towards achieving sustained growth and engagement.

Step #2: Building the Infrastructure

Monetizing customer education hinges on a solid foundation provided by a capable Learning Management System (LMS). Skilljar stands out by seamlessly integrating content delivery, e-commerce, and analytics. This comprehensive approach is crucial for effectively managing subscriptions, processing payments, and evaluating the impact of your courses in real time.

In the case of Smartsheet, their transition to a scalable, revenue-generating model with Skilljar highlights the importance of an LMS that supports monetization and growth, proving that the right infrastructure can transform educational initiatives into significant revenue streams.

The strategy behind pricing is critical in enhancing the value seen by your customers. It’s more than setting a price—it’s about crafting an experience that’s both valuable and unique. Through direct engagement with your customers, you can tailor pricing to meet their needs while achieving your business goals, transforming your educational offerings from standard to exceptional.

Mirroring Smartsheet’s success, Homecare Homebase (HCHB) exemplifies the transformative power of Skilljar’s platform in driving significant revenue growth through customer education. They launched Homecare Homebase University, transitioning from in-person training to a comprehensive online platform offering live, on-demand, and virtual training. This move addressed scalability challenges and significantly increased their education-driven revenue by 40% year-over-year, demonstrating the critical role of a versatile LMS in supporting growth and monetization.

Step #3: Launch and Growth

Launching your courses starts a growth journey that adapts and evolves based on learner feedback. Leveraging Skilljar’s analytics provides actionable insights into course effectiveness, engagement levels, and opportunities for enhancement. This approach enables continuous content refinement, ensuring it remains aligned with learner requirements and market trends.

Smartsheet’s rollout of VILT sessions is a prime example of how responsive development, informed by user feedback, can significantly enhance the relevance and impact of educational offerings. Their strategy adapts to changing learner needs and showcases the effectiveness of integrating educational content with product offerings. This integration has been instrumental in streamlining the customer journey, fostering stronger relationships, and opening new channels for revenue.

The importance of closely monitoring key performance metrics cannot be overstated. These metrics are crucial for evaluating the health of your educational program and making informed strategic adjustments.

By adopting this feedback-driven approach, you ensure that your educational programs are responsive to current needs and preemptively adjusted for future demands. This positions your educational offerings as a key strategic asset, contributing significantly to the growth and success of your organization.

A testament to the effective monetization of customer education is seen in the success story of Homecare Homebase (HCHB). By creating a centralized portal for education—Homecare Homebase University—HCHB expanded their training into virtual and on-demand formats, hitting their initial revenue goal with a 15% increase just two months post-launch and achieving over $100,000 in training revenue shortly after. This case highlights the potential for strategic content delivery and monetization to drive substantial business outcomes.

Curious how real customer education teams do it? Take a few tips from Smartsheet:

Here is how Smartsheet launched a monetization strategy:

  • It’s reasonable to start with 100% free learning, but don’t hesitate to test paid options early in a program’s evolution. Iteration will allow content to improve and pricing to adjust with demand.
  • Start small when scheduling VILT sessions to create a sense of paucity to drive behavior.  You can always add more in the future.
  • Offer blended learning options. The best experiences are influenced and driven by the learner, which means giving them choices and providing content that supports those choices.
  • Don’t lowball the price. Setting the session or path price higher enables you to “discount” or run promotions to test the customer price tolerance.
  • Customers attribute value according to a “purchase” or “published” price. If they have to pay something for the experience, it will be more highly valued than one that is offered at no cost.
  • Success metrics should be part of the planning process when making the shift to paid services. Examples include:
    • Total volume of sales/bookings for the program
    • Recognized revenue (if that is relevant)
    • Impact to product or subscription bookings/sales
    • Growth of product usage or adoption (or both)
  • Know where usage data at your company is stored and how it was measured by other teams within your organization. This will help align LMS program performance with already established metrics.
  • Set success measures with the C-suite that are not wholly related to revenue/sales. This will help enable the program to show impact and maintain support during the initial rollout of paid/premium offerings. Ask your C-Suite what metrics they find meaningful and enable easy access to that data. More business impact = more leadership support.
  • Whenever possible, beta test or pilot your learning experiences.

Step #5: How can you do this with a customer-focused LMS?

Monetizing customer education involves a range of strategies tailored to meet your audience’s and business’s evolving needs. Skilljar’s suite of tools and features support these strategies, driving revenue while enhancing the learning experience to make education accessible and engaging.

Promo Codes and Training Credits

Promo codes and training credits effectively increase course sign-ups and foster long-term engagement. Skilljar streamlines the creation of promo codes, allowing for customized offers that appeal to various learner segments. Similarly, training credits provide a valuable option for corporate clients, offering bulk purchase benefits that facilitate flexible learning opportunities. These strategies incentivize early adoption and position education as a critical component of organizational development.

Seamless Payment Integration

Ensuring a frictionless transaction process is vital. Skilljar’s e-commerce integration simplifies payment processing, from individual course purchases to corporate sales, providing easy access to your courses and a steady revenue stream. This approach highlights the ease with which customers can invest in their education, enhancing the perceived value of your offerings.

Building Corporate Partnerships and Enhancing Customer Support

Establishing strong corporate partnerships and providing exceptional customer support are fundamental to monetization success. Skilljar enables the creation of tailored training paths and certification programs that align with corporate objectives, encouraging regular engagement and feedback to keep content relevant.

Additionally, Skilljar’s comprehensive support infrastructure, including a robust helpdesk and dedicated customer success teams, ensures learners have a smooth and enriching educational experience. These efforts improve the learning journey and strengthen customer relationships, contributing to sustained program growth.

Skilljar supports your journey to monetize customer education through these integrated strategies, ensuring your offerings contribute significantly to strategic growth and customer engagement. Our commitment to providing the necessary tools and flexibility allows you to confidently navigate the dynamic landscape of customer education.

Now’s your time to turn training into revenue

The path to monetizing customer education is not just about enhancing revenue—it’s a strategic move towards strengthening customer bonds and boosting engagement. This approach doesn’t merely aim for financial gains but seeks to forge deeper connections and provide impactful learning experiences that propel your customers and your business forward.

As your ally in this journey, Skilljar is here to unlock the full potential of your educational programs. Armed with our comprehensive tools and insights, we’re ready to help you transform your customer education into a pivotal growth engine. Discover how our platform can amplify your efforts, driving revenue boosts and deeper customer satisfaction.

Take the next step with Skilljar. Let’s collaborate to turn your educational content into a cornerstone of your business’s success story. Together, we can redefine the impact of customer education, setting a new standard for growth and engagement in your industry.

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