Customer Education: The Most Powerful Sales Tool You’re Not Using

ce and sales post
Thought Industries
November 1, 2022

Customer Education teams, maybe more than any other function, can resonate with the phrase “wearing a lot of hats.” For many organizations, customer training is rarely the most generously funded or highly visible. But behind the scenes, Customer Education is full of multi-faceted experts. They’re teachers and educators, project managers, digital content strategists, event marketers, and much more… 

Unfortunately, most sales and go-to-market teams haven’t recognized the potential in leveraging Customer Education. In my experience, these teams operate independently, and most don’t understand the opportunity to share success. The assumption here is that Customer Education doesn’t get involved until prospects have already purchased and are ready to onboard. In reality, Customer Education can be an invaluable resource long before a salesperson rings the closing bell. 

Beyond the home-runs in the customer lifecycle, Sales has an opportunity to capitalize on a deeper partnership with Customer Education. This is something I learned early in my career. On the flip side, the resources and budget allocated to Sales is something typically unavailable and unseen by many Customer Education leaders

Building a partnership between Customer Education and Sales is a strategy that will drive early success in the buyer’s journey. And, this connection will also serve to advance both teams in the long run. 

Generate Awareness & Build Demand with Customer Education 

Makes sense, right? After all, an educated, informed buyer is more likely to choose a product aligned with their goals. Who better to inform the impact and alignment of demand generation activities than the Customer Education team? These are training professionals with skills in instructional design, learning science, and storytelling. They are absolute masters at communicating value and leaving features on the spec sheets. More than any other group, Customer Education is equipped to nurture customers from prospects all the way to advocates.

Based on recent research from Conductor, we know that educational content makes consumers 131% more likely to buy from a particular brand. The impact of comprehensive content that’s focused not only on the “what” of your product, but the “why” and the “how,” brings your prospects closer to aligning your brand with their vision. This is where your Customer Education team shines as a demand generation engine.

The Dream Team: Customer Education & Sales 

Understanding the widespread impact of Customer Education across the buyer’s journey is important, but it’s also critical to find actionable ways for go-to-market teams to effectively create partnerships. Customer Education is in a unique position as both a team of product gurus and savvy communicators – so they can get across the true value of your product in a meaningful way. Inevitably, this partnership will elevate product evangelism and thought leadership. 

For Customer Education professionals, this relationship becomes simpler when the team can easily prove the ROI of the program. For example, great education programs can move the needle on:

  • Lifetime Value (LTV): As customers learn more about your solution they solve more problems, and transition into highly engaged experts
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): On-demand digital learning generates leads with minimal new investment.
  • Net Revenue Retention (NRR): Solve more customer pain points and they will renew their contracts at a higher rate. 

Sales teams can gather exciting data and insights into customer priorities from the content coming out of the Customer Education team. What your customers care about translates directly into what your future prospects care about too. This wealth of information is widely untapped by go-to-market teams, but it doesn’t have to be. 

A partnership between Sales and Customer Education is a mutually beneficial one. As Sales better understands how to leverage valuable educational content throughout the buyer’s journey, education becomes less and less relegated to the “nice-to-have” corner of the organization. Instead, Customer Education steadily becomes necessary and cross-functionally visible. From their unique skill set, to the content they create, to the customer data they own, Customer Education is truly the most untapped asset go-to-market teams should be leveraging every day.

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