Manufacturers want their brands to be the gold standard, but how do you get the industry to trust your brand above your competitors?
It’s no longer just about the messaging within your company or the ads you post. It’s about controlling the messaging at every touchpoint in the supply chain.
Seem like an impossible task? Not if you use the new training strategy known as channel learning and readiness (CLR).
In simplest terms, CLR focuses on manufacturers using their product training information to educate every rep that touches their product. Doing so gets reps ready to sell more effectively and have better customer conversations.
By leveraging CLR, you build brand awareness with your product information. Furthermore, you'll increase trust in your product because you're offering product training right from the source.
If you're ready to make the change toward CLR and become a trusted brand throughout the industry, then you'll need to take the following steps:
- Make your resources accessible.
- Prepare channel partners.
- Promote a channel learning culture.
#1 Make Channel Learning Resources Accessible
Your product training is how your channel learns about what makes your brand the best. It can include videos, spec sheets, presentations, how-to guides, advertisements, and more. So, how do you get this information to your channel partners?
From being in the trades industry for nearly 20 years, BlueVolt has seen every type of training program you can imagine. What works best for learners at home, in the office, and in the field, is a dedicated online solution.
The BlueVolt platform, for instance, offers an online learning management system (LMS) solution that provides around-the-clock access to product information and skills training. Courses can be taken whenever they fit into the learner's schedule. Plus, managers can monitor course progress and assign training materials to focus team members on specific product messaging.
#2 Get Your Channel Ready to Sell
What does it mean to be ready to sell? When using CLR techniques, a big element of readiness is repetition. Sales reps need to see your brand message several times to lock the information into their brains.
Not only does repetition help them memorize your products, but it also keeps your brand top-of-mind.
After all, sales reps are not only selling your brand. They might be selling your competitor's brand, so you have to find a way to earn that reps' trust and become the brand they prefer to sell.
To do that, we recommend providing everyone in your channel with as much information as possible. Not information overload, but bite-sized pieces of information that promote and explain key elements of each product.
Smaller chunks of training are easier to complete and memorize. Learners are also more likely to complete several shorter classes compared to one longer class, even if the amount of time invested is the same. Your sales reps will see a bigger value in five classes versus one.
Reps also develop more trust when they recognize that a manufacturer consistently publishes new content for every product that hits the market. They start to rely on that information, engage with it, and use it to prepare themselves to have better conversations and bigger sales.
#3 Promote CLR and Promote Sales Growth for All
Making CLR a central part of how you do business is essential to increase revenue and improve partner relationships. Some manufacturers even require product training commitments when they make new partner contracts because they understand the potential for sales growth when reps complete training courses.
In fact, data shows that as reps complete more product training courses, everyone in the supply chain saw significant sales growth, up to 18%.
You don't get this kind of growth without developing trust in your channel, and you can't develop that trust without providing the right product training tools for success.
Get More Resources on CLR and Brand Training
Advance your knowledge of CLR and learn additional tips and tricks for promoting brand training by visiting the following BlueVolt Blogs:
- What Is CLR
- Do Incentives Really Work for Product Training and eLearning?
- 3 Reasons Why Channel Training Outperforms Digital Ads
*This blog was originally published by BlueVolt in May 2021. It has been updated and additional resources added.