Are you leaving money on the table? With more and more training providers entering the competitive online training space, it’s becoming harder to sell training courses.
Instead of sticking to your old trusty sales methods, learn how to stand out from the crowd by applying these five strategies.
1. How to attract the right customers
The Learn 2020 project found competition to be one of the three biggest challenges online training providers will face over the next five years. With more and more solutions entering the field, it’s more important than ever to differentiate yourself through marketing.
There are two key areas you should focus on: Understanding your ideal customer and investing in your website.
Understand your ideal customer
Who are they? What companies do they work for? Where do they hang out online? Once you know who your ideal consumer is, clearly define why customers buy from you over competitors. In other words, identify your value proposition.
Communicate this value proposition in all your marketing communications. This is what differentiates your training product from others. It’s no longer good enough to compete solely on price — you need to focus on why customers buy from you.
Invest in your website
When it comes to marketing, your website is your biggest asset. It’s often the first thing potential customers see when they come across your training organization. With that in mind, there are a number of things you must do to ensure your website markets your courses effectively.
- Communicate what you do and why you’re better.
- Build trust and credibility through your About Us and Contact pages.
- Use an account portal to sell courses online and manage customers.
- Publish a blog to give customers a taste of what they can expect in the training courses.
- Optimize web pages for search engines like Google.
2. Start differentiating your online training from that of your competitors
Unless you’re very lucky, you’ll have other training organizations competing for your customers’ business.
Follow these three suggestions to create online training that gives you a competitive advantage.
Use design to make your online training look better: Good-looking training appears professional, and anything else seems amateurish, regardless of how good the training itself is.
Use gamification to enhance the learner experience: Gamification fosters a high level of intrinsic motivation for people to persist and strive to do better within the gamified activities.
Use an authoring tool that lets you build mobile-friendly online training: Different learners will want to access your training on different devices. Modern tools – like Elucidat – help you build online training that adapts to desktop, tablet, and smartphone screen sizes (i.e., responsive). This will allow more of your learners to access the training in more flexible ways.
3. Choose the right pricing strategy
How do you price online training courses? It’s a difficult question for many online training providers. Simply “winging” your pricing strategy is risky. While you may be able to estimate what your online training is worth to customers, it can be helpful to learn about the different pricing strategies (and theories) available.
Calculate the cost
What does it cost to create your online training? You should have an understanding of how much it costs you to create a course. Factor in additional fixed and variable costs, and you’ll quickly learn what you need to be charging to break even. Any revenue above the break-even line will be your profit margin.
Understand external factors
What are your competitors doing? You must consider what moves your competitors are making. For example, if you set your price too low, you may trigger a price war. If you set your price too high — and can’t communicate the value — you may lose customers to lower-priced courses from competitors.
Estimate the demand for your product
It’s important to understand the demand curve for your online training. As you sell more courses, you’ll be able to better estimate future demand based on current sales.
4. Create online training that meets the needs of the modern customer
Consumers of online training are becoming increasingly sophisticated. They expect engaging learning experiences and will quickly choose a competitor’s offerings if you fail to meet their needs.
Here are three tips for building engaging online training that meets customers’ needs and has them coming back to buy more.
Use branching to increase engagement
Branching gives learners control over the process, allowing them to direct where they go, what they see and what happens. This makes the experience inherently more engaging and personalized than if the same information is presented in a linear and inflexible fashion. Read more on how to create simple branching scenarios.
Use bite-sized online training
Bite-sized learning enables learners to quickly and conveniently consume content, particularly on mobile devices. One of the biggest benefits is it can be consumed during gaps in busy work schedules. Consider this sales training sample (created with Elucidat) that would only take learners 5 or 10 minutes to complete.
Adult learners like to be challenged. Spoon-feeding them information is a sure way to bore them and have them forget what you’re trying to teach. Here’s a great example of how making choices can be fun for the learner. Adult learners like to prove to themselves that they understand what they’re being told or asked to do.
5. Improve the way you deliver online training to customers
When you provide online training as a paid service, you have to balance two broad factors. On one hand, you want to create training that meets your clients’ needs in an engaging, enjoyable way. But to maximize profits, you’ll also want to deliver that training in the most efficient ways possible.
These requirements aren’t mutually exclusive, but they do rely on selecting the right tools and using them wisely.
Key takeaways to deliver effective online training:
- Choose an elearning authoring tool that makes it easy to create and maintain training.
- Ensure your LMS plays nice with your authoring tool.
- Monitor analytics to understand and improve the learner experience.
Selling more online training courses isn’t easy. You can’t just turn on the marketing tap and expect new customers to come racing through your door. It requires a strategy that encompasses your marketing, sales and training teams.
Instead of relying on your old, outdated sales methods, try these new ideas to effectively position and sell your training to more of the ideal customer.
Continue reading: 8 questions to ask before buying an authoring tool
Latest posts by Steve Penfold (see all)
- 7 Elearning Authoring Tools: Comparison and Review - November 28, 2017
- Elearning Inspiration: Atlassian’s Time Wasting At Work - May 13, 2017
- 7 Mobile Learning Design Strategies: Tips, Examples, And Demos - April 19, 2017