9 Tools to Sell More Online Training

Kelli Hinteregger
Feb 18, 2020 1:37:34 PM

Integrating eCommerce tools into your learning content site is one of the most effective ways you have of ensuring your customers are best positioned to buy your training products. Here are nine tools that – when implemented effectively – can help you sell more online training and increase your sales.

Tool #1. Flexible Purchasing Options

Your customers don't all have the same needs at the same time. With that in mind, you need a customer training platform that offers you the flexibility to sell your content in a myriad of buying formats. That could be pay-as-you-go, a la carte, as a bundle, as a subscription, or as a bulk purchase. Furthermore, the ability to include special offers, promotional codes, and discounts can drive sales and learning site traffic.

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 courses down the line.

Tool #2. Member-Discounted Pricing

Boost learner engagement and membership by offering discounts to your 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.

Tool #3. Online Training Content 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. Offering content recommendations for additional courses during the buying process or after a learner completes a course creates a streaming experience where content is constantly served up for them to consume.

Tool #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.

It's important to confirm that your customer training software can manage all of that content from a single interface (similar to Thought Industries Panorama) and have the content update across all of those licensed groups instantly, even when they're all accessing it through distinct interfaces.

Tool #5. Public Course Catalog

Your customers may already have access to an interface featuring the various courses and lessons they can take. But a course catalog is different from that. It 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 training offerings?

Tool #6. Blended Learning

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. You’re able to sell pre-event and post-event content to help them maximize their experience.

The ability to blend learning with videos, interactive content, and event-based courses expands selling opportunities beyond virtual and face-to-face conferences and webinars.

Tool #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 important because the data lets you see what people are buying and what they are showing interest in through any freemium-type 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 training courses. If you find that particular subjects are waitlisted, that's evidence that you need more similar offerings.

The more extensive the data analytics and reporting capabilities provided by your chosen platform, the better situated you will be to make calculated decisions.

Tool #8. Integrate Online Training with your Technology Stack

By integrating online training 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 that saves your company the trouble and expense of connecting two systems to make data pass back and forth seamlessly.

Tool #9. Communities and Social Learning

People often buy online training based on the recommendations of others in their community. 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 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 tools may seem basic to you, putting them in place in your 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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