The value of reseller training centres

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Deciding to develop a customer-training centre is a big step for any reseller. When executives consider opening such centres, they first see expenses: they need dedicated trainers, well-equipped facilities and the ability to offer a set of comprehensive courses. Operating a centre requires an ongoing commitment to updating courses, improving the facility and recruiting customers to fill seats.

However, establishing a training centre can be among the most rewarding decisions that resellers make. The effort starts with identifying products that are either vitally important to many customers or are in demand in the vertical markets your company serves. Often, such products are critical for closing engagements with new clients. Once you identify those solutions, creating a training centre will allow you to offer classes on that vendors technology to customers, prospects and other consultants.

Despite the work involved in getting a training centre up and running, the rate of return on investment can be extremely high. Here are five compelling reasons in favour of launching such a facility:

Competitive Advantage
A training centre gives you a unique selling point, proving to prospects that youve got advanced expertise in the products on which youre training customers.

Increased Product Knowledge
Having specialised trainers in-house will also spread product expertise to your sales force. In fact, the IQ on a given product should rise across the organisation.

Increased Revenue
You may be able to resell your training curriculum to your customers. In addition, training centre students are often prospective clients who will purchase additional services and products after completing the class.

Augmented Customer Database
When you offer training for a particular product, you can expect the vendor to help you to fill your classes. Vendors typically invest marketing resources and use their sales databases to augment such efforts. Meanwhile, your sales team can capitalise on cross-selling, creating another avenue for increased revenue.

Increased Customer Loyalty
Customers tend to feel more loyal to integrators that not only sell products, but provide education and deep expertise about how to best use them. Resellers should hold their first class within 30 days of the trainings completion and pick a trainer with real-world experience of the chosen products.

Furthermore, the vendor could return the favour by introducing the reseller to some of its existing customers and by providing marketing muscle to fill the training centres seats. For instance, the marketing team could create monthly promotional mailers advertising new classes being offered at the reseller partners facilities.

Launching the training centre enables the reseller to be recognised as a full-service integrator, which can provide a complete solution for its customers. Ultimately, opening a training centre is an ideal way to add significant value to the products and services you provide.

Jon Rolls is director of product management, ScriptLogic Corporation. The organisation is a worldwide leader in network administration software for Microsoft Windows-based networks. ScriptLogics award winning suite of desktop, server, and Active  Directory management products help empower network administrators to  proactively save time, increase security, and maintain regulatory compliance.

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