If you are not yet thinking about how training can have a measurable impact on business results, you need to start now. Our executives want to move the needle on software sales and renewals. If you cannot show the value of your training organization using metrics tied to business success, you are in danger of becoming extinct.
On the eve of the CEdMA Training Leadership Conference, I've been reflecting on the agenda and recognized that we are truly at an inflection point in the world of customer training. The members of CEdMA are laser focused on evolving their business models to align with our new reality. To be clear, it's no longer enough to measure the number of student you train, the amount of revenue you drive, the amount of margin you contribute. You MUST be able to show how trained customer correlate to more strategic initiatives. Are your trained customers more likely to renew? Are your trained customers more likely to recommend you to their peers? Are your trained customers more likely to spend more money on your software when they renew? Are your trained customers less likely to churn? Are your trained customers more likely to move from your on-premise offering to your Cloud offering? If you can't answer these types of questions, you are in big trouble!
The economy is humming along wonderfully at the moment, but we all know that a day of reckoning will come. And sadly, it's easy to forget those painful moments when we are asked who on our team is "critical" and who is "expendable". Personally, I want to be ready to defend my team and I strongly believe that the training team is more critical path to business success than ever before. So my advice to you is - start NOW! Don't wait until you have perfect data and automation in place to deliver the report of your dreams to your inbox. It's never going to happen - unless YOU make it happen. You have to make some decisions and you have to learn from the successes and failures of others.
How do you begin the journey?
I’ve been a member of this organization for over 15 years and on the board of trustees for more than 10. I can tell you honestly that it has helped me develop my career from a first level manager to senior director/vp level roles.
CEdMA is a rich organization to engage with – I encourage you to participate actively – there are so many ways – ask questions in our community, attend a group meeting (virtually), attend our conferences, join the executive council (if you are a senior director or above), write a blog to share your thought leadership or to start a conversation, or use the member directory to contact a member directly via email or phone if you need advice or a reference on a vendor.
2. Attend a CEdMA Training Leadership Conference
A sample of the agenda for our conference next week - where else will you have a discussion with thought leaders in the customer education space on topics like these?
- Is SaaS the Death of the Education P&L As We Know it Today?
- Customer Education in the World of Customer Success
- MOOCs and the Future of Learning Online
- LMS+CRM+ERP: Baby Steps for Big Impact
- A New Paradigm: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality in Training
- An Agile Transformation: Reinventing Curriculum for a SaaS World
- Case Study – Lessons Learned from Implementing a Digital Badging Program
- Sage Learning Services: Our Journey Towards Driving Business Impact
- Community-Powered Training and Certification
- Education Metrics That Add Cross-Functional Value to Stakeholder Teams – Panel Discussion
3. Read Blogs and Attend Webinars
Thought leadership requires learning from others and it's easier than ever to learn from the wisdom of top education leaders. They are publishing blogs and speaking on webinars to freely share lessons learned. Here are a just a few examples:
- CEdMA Blog
- Customer Education Blog by ServiceRocket
- News and Views from Thought Industries
- Thought Leader Adam Avramescu on LinkedIn Pulse
- Pat Durante on LinkedIn Pulse
- The Skilljar Blog
4. Attend a Customer Education Meetup
The bay-area has a unique opportunity to connect with other local training leaders to share experiences face to face! https://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-Customer-Education-Meetup