Learning in the extended enterprise has become a profit machine, generating revenue and driving growth. Forty percent of organizations who provide extended learning to create income. Others increase sales and profits in a variety of ways.
- Certification training for channel partners creates a skilled partner workforce that excels at selling and servicing products. Since professionals manage their own development and willing to pay for certifications, it is also a reliable revenue source.
- Companies sell that same training to the public. Besides income, the training creates a pipeline for critical skills and valuable goodwill in the community.
- Sales teams who know your products and how to sell them increase sales and customer satisfaction.
- Training for franchise employees and managers can speed up onboarding and reduce turnover.
- Customer service training for channel partners and franchisee increases customer satisfaction.
- Training your customers helps them make better buying decisions and increases their satisfaction. It can also reduce customer support costs, and, as a bonus, contribute to creating a robust customer community that will feed you new ideas.
- Suppliers who manage better will help you lower costs and improve quality.
Even stronger than all of those benefits is how learning serves as a vehicle for communicating a shared vision, values, and collaboration.
Management by Influence
Every business is part of an interconnected ecosystem of subsidiaries, suppliers, channel partners, franchisees, dealers, contractors, customers, and prospects. From your local dog walker to Walmart, every business depends on other entities it does not control.
Relationships between firms depend on many factors, including the position in the value chain, available alternatives, and relative economic power. Those factors carry a lot of clout, but reducing the relationships to a transactional basis can affect quality and timeliness.
A transactional approach will not create partnerships that can weather bad times, nor will it encourage innovative thinking.
Influence through Learning
Managing in the extended enterprise requires the exertion of influence rather than control, and learning is the conduit. Every learning opportunity is also a chance to communicate a shared vision, values, and governance across the ecosystem.
Knowledge is the foundation of these values, and success depends on how well you integrate learning into the daily flow of work and living.
Classroom training is valuable for people who need to immerse in learning new skills, but the ongoing reinforcement and skill-building takes place on the job and in the tools they use every day. Whether that is a Customer Relationship Management application, a Finance program, a talent management suite, or a collaboration platform, learning works best when it is embedded in the flow of work.
Embedding learning in your social media outreach will connect with your customers where they are. It is now possible to connect to your learning environment from your social media page. It creates an opportunity for you to build an online community that can help you drive innovation by using customers as an idea source.
The values and shared vision you communicate with the learning can create a culture that permeates your entire extended ecosystem and beyond.
Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.