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What does IT training have to do with your brand new Audi?

19th August 2016
by Faysal El Fassi

IT trainingYes! After an extensive track with one of your customers you have closed a mega deal. You can implement a new solution that matches the business of the client perfectly and with it comes a sizeable revenue and an even better margin. Your job is finished.

Or isn’t it? Didn’t you forget something, perhaps?

Does your client know the ins and outs of the environment you sold him? Does he know how he can work best with that environment? Does he know how he can get the best return on investment?

Audi: always a training with the car of your dreams

Let’s make a short detour to Audi. Audi believes that someone who is going to drive a new Audi can only be truly satisfied when he knows the vehicle really well and is familiar with all the possibilities of that recently ordered dream car. And a satisfied customer is a returning customer. Audi understands that quite well. That is why everyone who buys an Audi will receive a training at the Audi dealer.

IT projects without IT training

Back to the IT market. At Fast Lane we often encounter partners, a Cisco partner for instance, who completely forget the component training while making a hardware sale. The result is that after a while an end customer will discover that there is a lack of knowledge within his organization. All this time the product hasn’t been used in the correct way and now the following problem arises: there is actually no budget whatsoever to attend IT training and to acquire that knowledge after all.

Consequently only half of a solution is chosen. The end customer sends its employees to a short training or an IT training that doesn’t meet the precise need. Or the end customer sends 1 or 2 of its employees to a training who are supposed to transfer the knowledge to the rest of the team afterwards. The result? A dissatisfied customer. Dissatisfied with the product (“Next time we will chose a product of another vendor”), dissatisfied with the service of the partner, or both.

How do you prevent this?

Quite simple: by making IT training part of the project. After all, the sum training is often only a fraction of the total budget. When IT training is planned after the project it will not be payed from the project budget, but from the educational budget. And the latter is often subject to cut backs.

Satisfied customers and extra margin, but no extra effort

As an account manager of a partner you don’t have to be an expert in IT training.

A fair share of my partners come to me with these kind of questions. The partner is leading and my advice in the area of trainings is non-binding. I will ensure there is an intake to map out the precise educational needs, an offer, a subscription, IT training, evaluations and feedback to the partner of end customer. Training as a Service. As a partner you thus extend your portfolio with an extra service that will cost you no additional effort. It will cost you no time and energy, but it will generate margin. And a satisfied customer. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

And of course, training is not your core business and of course the sale of IT training will not help you to meet your target. Consider the training an extra service to help your client best and to make him a returning costumer. That is your focus!

Do you want to know more about this process? Do you want to spar together to see how you can set this up in the best possible way? Do you want to find out how you can apply, for instance, Cisco Learning Credits or NetApp Training Units in a smart way? Don’t hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to help!

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