9 Expert Tips to Sell Training Content Successfully

Laptops and notes on a conference table
Thought Industries
April 19, 2021

You sell training content online because you know your courses can help your intended audience. But how to sell training courses effectively, to more discerning and discriminating customers, you ask? How to elevate above other vendors?

Integrating eCommerce features into your learning content site is one of the most effective online training tools to ensure your customers are best positioned to buy your learning products. Here are nine online training tools that – when implemented effectively – can boost online training sales and generate bigger revenue for your business.

Tool Tip #1. Flexible purchasing options

When you sell training content, you need to recognize early on that your customers don’t all have the same needs at the same time. With that in mind, you need a customer education platform that offers you the flexibility to sell your online training courses in a myriad of buying formats.
How to sell training courses online more effectively? One way to do that is to offer your customers options. That could be pay-as-you-go, a la carte, as a bundle, as a subscription, or as a bulk purchase. Furthermore, including special offers, promotional codes, and discounts is an effective way to further promote your other online training courses.
With this, your buyers don’t have to commit to a major purchase they’re not ready for; they can try out a “lite” offering and then commit to a more advanced set of online training courses down the line.

Tool Tip #2. Member-discounted pricing

How to sell training courses and increase revenue? Give exclusive discounts!
Boost learner engagement and membership by offering discounts to your online training offerings for those who are part of your community or association. This is helpful when customers are sitting on the fence and a member discount may be enough to push them to order more.
The idea is to make discounts exclusive as part of the broader offerings your community provides. Whenever you sell training content with member-exclusive discounts, the probability of making a successful sale increases.
According to a study, when you sell training content and offer exclusive perks, 54% of customers say they will likely feel rewarded and develop positive associations with your brand. This will further motivate them to make subsequent purchases whenever they require online training content in the future.

Tool Tip #3. Sell training content through recommendations

The ability to upsell additional content as the learner needs it is useful not only to your learners but also to your bottom line. The trick is constantly offering content recommendations for additional courses that are relevant to your customers during the buying process or after a learner completes a course. This creates a streaming experience where content is constantly served up for them to consume.
When you sell training content, it’s not enough that you showcase your offerings via generic catalogs and emails. You don’t stop at saying you have the best courses and material. You need to personalize. A recent study by Salesforce highlighted that most modern consumers expect offers and recommendations to be personalized. A modern learning management system that provides various online training tools to give your customers personalized learning recommendations based on their previous purchases, or prior inquiries, will generate more interest and a better likelihood of successful upsell and/or cross-sell.

Tool Tip #4. Licensing online training content

Even when you’ve developed content for individual groups of learners, we’ve found that you can often license different mixes of the same content to other groups. What’s required is the ability to brand learning for different departments, geographies, partners, or clients so that each new group has its own learning experience.
But how has licensing become such a beneficial online learning tool to sell training content online or promote your learning courses? There’s a myriad of benefits a modern learning management system provides when you license your content and other learning tools, by:

  • Providing wide visibility for your brand and content by authorizing and leveraging third parties to deliver content to their client base;
  • Providing customers the ability to bypass single-shot purchases of your online training and getting them to commit to greater use of your online course business over a much more extended period for more of their people; and
  • Enabling an unhindered focus on marketing, content creation, and other strategic activities related to growing your business rather than all the mechanics of online training delivery.

When you license your content, you no longer have to deal with individual requests for permissions. Your learning courses, tools, and other content are easier to discover. Licensing eliminates barriers to access, thus impacting your sales in a big way.
Bear in mind: it’s important to confirm that your customer education platform can manage all of your content from a single interface (like Thought Industries’ Panorama), and have the online training content update across all of those licensed groups instantly (even when they’re all accessing it through distinct interfaces).

Tool Tip #5. Public course catalog

How to sell training content and training products more effectively? Make them more visible and accessible via a public course catalog.
Your customers may already have access to an interface featuring the various courses and lessons they can take. But a public course catalog is a different form of online training tool that provides a format that lets you highlight content so learners can take advantage of what’s most popular right now or what offers them the greatest opportunity for advancement.
Likewise, by offering a public course catalog, you can draw in new customers by making your online training more visible. It can help you drive more traffic to your learning site and, as a result, sell more of your online training. Is the customer training platform you’re considering able to face both current and prospective customers? Is it easy to feature the freshest, most compelling online training offerings?

Tool Tip #6. Blended learning

When you sell training content, you need to extend your in-person training – whether face-to-face or virtual – with blended learning. Blended learning helps you capture customers for longer than a one-off experience. It’s one of the best ways to sell training content as you’re able to sell pre-event and post-event content to help them maximize their experience.
Most blended learning courses contain 30% to 79% online-based lessons and instructions. Combining online and face-to-face learning has proven to be a successful approach. 72% of instructors reported a substantial increase in learners’ engagement; and 82% of learners said they prefer blended learning to conventional face-to-face, room-based environments.
The ability to blend learning with videos, interactive content, digital training tools, and event-based courses expands selling opportunities beyond virtual and face-to-face conferences and webinars.

Tool Tip #7. Financial & engagement reporting

When you look into the data that’s automatically generated by your learning software, you can find more opportunities than you probably would on your own. Detailed performance reporting, including financial analytics, is an important online training tool because the data lets you see what courses people are buying and what they are showing interest in through any freemium-type online training courses you’re offering.
Knowing what people want improves your planning. The use of information about current trends can boost selling courses. The application of data for blended learning can expose areas where you need to ramp up your ability to better sell training content and courses. If you find that particular subjects are waitlisted, that’s evidence that you need more similar offerings.
To make your reporting more powerful and engaging, integrate data-fueled visualization into your online training storytelling tool. This allows you to build a strong and valid argument for areas of your customer education or professional training.
When you explain data through sophisticated data visualization, your audience can process more information faster and comprehend the message you want to convey much quicker. This results in a winning combination: the ability to understand how your efforts are impacting the business and report on that to your stakeholders in a way so comprehensible that it encourages stakeholders to invest more in your education team.
The more extensive the data analytics and reporting capabilities provided by your chosen learning platform, the better situated you will be to make calculated decisions.

Tool Tip #8. Integrate online training with your technology stack

How to sell training courses online and further expand your reach after each purchase? By integrating online training tools with other powerful programs that your company uses, such as Salesforce or Zendesk, your team will gain a more comprehensive view of your customers, and that always provides an edge in the selling training process.
If you use Salesforce, as an example, you will be able to view online training purchasing data alongside broader business information, which can help you make more calculated decisions for your business. Native integrations are always best since they save your company the trouble and expense of connecting two systems to make data pass back and forth seamlessly.

Tool Tip #9. Communities and social learning

Among the last best ways to sell training content online is to tap into your community of users and have them recommend your courses and learning materials to their own circles or through social media and other channels. People often buy online training content based on the recommendations of others in their community.
92% of online consumers read online reviews and testimonials from actual users when thinking of making a purchase. Products with over 50 reviews enjoy increased conversion rates by 4.65%. When somebody who purchased your training also participates in your online community, you’re giving your customers a way to recommend your products.
Those suggestions are useful for bringing your training content in front of your learners that they might not see otherwise or compelling them to buy a course that they might not have thought of buying in the first place. It can also expose areas of weakness and opportunity – places where customers aren’t happy about your current offering, pointing you to where you can make improvements, or where you have a hole in your training portfolio that needs filling.
What’s required in your customer training platform to fulfill this function are community features and discussion boards.

Back to basics of selling courses

While the use of some of these eCommerce features and strategies may seem basic to you, putting them in place in your modern learning platform will help you “prime the pump” so that every training-related interaction your customer has with your company positions them to want more.
When you work with a customer training platform that helps you deliver all of these tools, you’ll see an instant improvement in your training sales. Businesses have seen an increase in their direct sales by over 50% after switching to a sophisticated online training platform with blended offerings.

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