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What is Extended Enterprise Training and what are its benefits?

Normally, when we refer to corporate training, we think of the training of internal employees. Indeed, the training of these individuals is essential for their successful integration, the development of skills and more generally, for the proper functioning and performance of the company. Having said that, we should not forget the wide range of other stakeholders and players gravitating around the business. In fact, an organisation is not able to function without customers, members, suppliers and partners.

With competition becoming increasingly fierce and global, training of the entire network, including all external stakeholders, must now be taken into considered. This is exactly what the ‘Extended Enterprise Training’ means.

So what does the training of these so-called ‘external’ populations involve?

What is Extended Enterprise Education?

As explained by Elodie Primo, CEO of MOS – MindOnSite, in this short, playful video, extended enterprise training is a concept allowing the various players connected by contractual links to an organisation to be trained, in order to blend with the culture of the company and learn how to exploit to the maximum all the products and services it uses. Extended enterprise training is often associated with the training of customers; however, it also involves partners, distribution networks, associate members and external professionals.

In many organisations, extended enterprise training takes the shape of a new department, a new team and/or a new budget line, further and beyond the traditional customer service and training functions.

Extended enterprise training focuses on the learner, taking into account the day to day needs of all these external and therefore non-captive populations, as well as the place, time and manner in which learning fits best into their daily world and habits.

Company interest in extended enterprise training is growing. According to a Though Industries study, 60% of respondents increased their investment in extended enterprise training by more than 30% in 2021. It’s easy to see why. Extended enterprise training helps organisations perform better at every stage of the customer’s, partner’s and member’s lifecycle: from cultural and brand awareness during the onboarding stage, to customer retention and the resulting net turnover growth.

What are the benefits of extended enterprise training?

Benefits for the company offering the extended training

Once implemented, training programs for the extended enterprise produce numerous quantifiable benefits over the life cycle of the customer/partner. Furthermore, the impacts on brand awareness, customer expansion, retention of new net revenues and increase in market share are also measurable.

Significantly, did you know that 51% of associate members place benefits such as training at the top of the list of motivators? This becomes even more important for millennials, for whom the acquisition of new skills is at their very top priority when it comes to engaging in an association (source: community brands study).

As can be seen, the benefits of offering training to customers, partners, members or distribution networks are considerable.

Increasing customer satisfaction

Extended enterprise training programmes for clients are aimed at providing them with training and information on the products or services purchased in order to maximize their use and the creation of perceived value. As the customer is provided with all the information, their satisfaction can only increase.

Increasing customer and partner retention

As a logical consequence of the increase in customer satisfaction, the training provided acts as a protection from loss of customers due to lack of understanding in the use of your products or services –  increasing their retention over time. The same happens with other types of partner. According to the 2021 Thought Industries study, extended enterprise training has the most impact on:

  • better adoption of products and services – 48%
  • the rate of renewal of contracts – 37%
  • customer satisfaction – 31%

Increasing sales

Extended enterprise training is generally provided for free (57%), although paid training programmes can also be designed. According to the Thought Industries study, in 2020, 16% of respondents indicated that paid training offers for customers and partners resulted in new net income.

Building a strong corporate culture and brand image that stands out

Providing information and training content free of charge on an online training portal dedicated to your customers, partners or distributors, and designed specifically for you, both graphically and functionally, will be greatly appreciated. Your different learners, with their different learning objectives, work on the same training programme and information and have the chance to soak up the culture of your organisation more easily. They will feel pampered and your organisation’s image will gain in positivity and friendliness. This is the perfect basis on which to build some very powerful collaboration!

Building a strong and vibrant learning community

Improve the attractiveness of your training offer to your partners, members and volunteers of your organisation through online portals, including gamification (badges, points, rankings, progress). Your online training portal can be used as a showcase for your solutions, with the aim of attracting new partners, members and volunteers. You will be able to design impactful learning experiences leading to certifications and featuring a wide variety of content.

The benefits of Extended Enterprise Training for stakeholders

Benefits for customers

·        Ensure the success of their projects by providing them everything necessary to enable them to get the very best out of your solutions

·        Maximise value creation around the product or service

·        Become experts in your solution

Benefits for partners

·        Acquire new skills and become experts in your solutions

·        Obtain certifications

·        Increase the sales of your solution

·        Benefits for associate members

·        Know the culture, values and mission of the company

·        Become ready to go into the field

·        Acquire new skills

Benefits for distribution networks

·        Know the culture, values and mission of the company

·        Maximise value creation around your solution

·        Acquire new skills and become experts in your solution

·        Obtain certifications

·        Increase the sales of your solution

2022: time to set up  a digital learning solution for your extended enterprise.

Using an LMS designed for in-house employee training when your aim is to train all the stakeholders in your extended business may at first appear to be a good idea. Inevitably though, you will end up with gaps and frustration because, as your goals are quite different, the features you need are also different.

A platform designed for extended enterprise training, whether for your customers, partners, distribution networks or associate members, must be able to adapt to the growth and expansion of your organisation. For a quick return on investment, you should choose strong communication and content development features that allow you to easily publish and advertise the latest updates to your products and services. Seamless integration with your IT system and other tools in your IT environment will be critical in order for data to flow freely in both directions and for administrative processes to be efficient. Thanks to reports and analyses on both your customer training programme and its impact on the business, you are always able to provide your Board of Directors with an overview of the results and successes of your project, all wrapped up in a customised portal, packaged in line with the image of your organisation.