Traditionally, training providers have made the bulk of their revenue by offering public training sessions that were open to anyone who wanted to attend.
This style of learning targeted employees who had a personal development budget that they were able to spend as they saw fit. This style of training was meant for individuals, people within organizations who were looking to upgrade a skill or earn a certification that could help them with their work.
As great as this could be, having one person within a team taking a course and learning new skills or methodologies wasn’t (and still isn’t) ideal. That person returns to work with all kinds of new skills and ideas, but lacks a way to successfully integrate them into their daily routine because they were the only one on the team who had that training.
Not only that, but the model of teaching that comes with those one-off courses is often a lecture-style course with little to no collaboration. It’s very much a one-way conversation that doesn’t engage learners in a useful way. Any conversation that does happen, end up being between people from different companies who are trying to solve different problems for different people.
Going bespoke with in-house training
In recent years, there’s been a shift in how companies approach professional development. They are moving away from individuals pursuing the training that appeals to them the most, to more of an all-of-team training model.
Companies are realizing that having entire teams learn and develop the skills they need to thrive in their jobs is more beneficial than just having one person in a department (or the whole company) attend a training.
That’s where the shift to in-house training comes in.
When companies bring in instructors to run courses or learning programmes in-house, it’s no longer about just one person. It’s about the team. Because the training is specific to your company, training directly addresses the challenges that are faced by the group.
It goes from being vague concepts that try to cover a variety of industries to addressing the challenges faced by your business (whether it’s specific to the team in training, the company as a whole, or the industry). This happens because of the bespoke nature of in-house training. The courses are run with a specific goal in mind for the organization, say training your team on agile methodologies within your business. Then training is tailored around that material in a way that helps your specific company.
The advantages of bringing instructor-led training in-house training
- Cost Efficiency – In-house training is considerably cheaper than sending employees out to training sessions. There are no hotels or flights to pay for (unless you’re flying the instructor in from out of town). Food costs are lower. And, everyone gets the same training at the same time. Productivity doesn’t go down as much when everyone does the training at once because you only need to account for the one day for training, rather than working around the individual training schedules of an entire team.
- Consistent Delivery – In-house training means that everyone gets the same training, from the same instructor, at the same time. It’s not a fragmented experience where each member of the team ends up with something different. When training happens in-house, all the variables that can affect a course (the presenter, fellow attendees, even the training venue) are more controlled and consistent.
- Tailored Content – This is probably the biggest advantage of in-house training. General concepts and advice are fine, but at the end of day employees have to take all the information and figure out how it applies to their job. In-house training eliminates that step by providing your employees with training that specifically applies to you. All discussions, examples, and ideas are designed to be as targeted as possible. Employees walk away with very solid examples of how they can use what they just learned in their jobs (this is particularly powerful when an entire team or department walks away armed with the same knowledge).
How does this help training providers?
On the other side of the equation, if it’s your job to provide training to companies, what does the shift to in-house training mean for you and your company?
First, it changes the role of public training sessions. These courses still have a role, but it’s no longer about being the main revenue generator for your company. It turns them into more of a lead generation engine. People attend the public course and think “Hey, this could really help my team.” And, as a result, they bring you in to run a more lucrative in-house training.
Even better than that, it changes the kinds of relationships you’re forming with companies. There ends up being a shift from a transactional, one-off relationship to one that leads to a deeper (more profitable) relationship with customers. An in-house course can easily grow into a more long-standing relationship through consulting, 1-1 coaching, content development, and ongoing training with different teams.
Marketing changes to capture this new market
Not surprisingly, getting the most out of this market means taking a different approach to marketing. You can’t just put it out there that an in-house training session will help. You have to prove it. Case studies and other customer success-based offerings are becoming key to helping sell the value of in-house learning. The highly-specific nature of case studies provides solid context and showcases value in a way that sending out marketing-centric material can’t.
Technology changes to capture this new market
You need to have the right technology in place, as well. Not only do you need to be able to manage the promotion, sale, and delivery of a non-public course, it needs to be seamless.
Three of the key technology challenges you need to address are:
Managing a group of attendees from same organization
A regular course registration process and checkout isn’t ideal when you are going to be running a course to multiple people who come from one organisation. It’s more likely that you will be dealing with one main contact from an organisation who is in charge of getting their staff to your course. Sometimes that main contact will give you a spreadsheet of names for you to process, other times they will want to register them all during the checkout process.
Your website checkout, billing and attendee communication processes need to accommodate these scenarios… and more.
CRM for your salespeople.
The tech also needs to help you grow and foster these relationships. You need CRM features that will help your salespeople to track and manage the relationship over time with prospects and customers.
Your CRM need to be able to capture emails, quotes, notes, leads and other activities, and be able to view these are a contact and organization-level.
Portal for customers’ team managers
The shift from transactional to deeper relationships means that you need to stay top of mind. Portals and certification management tools allow businesses to have greater visibility over their staff or team’s learning needs. Team managers and HR can see what has expired, if everyone is on the same level and more.
Grasp the opportunity
Training providers aren’t eliminating face-to-face training from their courses. It just sits higher up in their sales funnel. It will always have a place, but the market is moving to more programme based learning. A training management system like Arlo can help transform the way you offer courses. If you want to learn more about building solid, long-running relationships with your customers, contact us today.