Blog Post

How Partner Training Increases Sales and Efficiency

Lizzi Shaw
October 24, 2023
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Channel partnerships are a cost-effective way to broaden your company’s reach, build brand awareness, and increase trust when partners serve as external sellers, implementation specialists, consultants, or field service technicians. 

Partner training enables partners to sell to and support customers most effectively. But, according to our State of Education Initiative Ownership research, only 33% of companies have a partner education program in place. 

In this article, we’ll show how partner training helps companies increase sales and improve efficiency—along with real-world success stories from our clients.

Partner Training Increases Sales 

A Forrester study found that mature partner programs can lead to 2x revenue growth and 28% of company revenue as partners serve to bolster company sales, marketing, and external customer support functions. Mature partner programs move beyond initial partner onboarding by offering more comprehensive training courses and certification programs to further develop partners. 

Our client Gusto found that certifying partners influenced both annual recurring revenue (ARR) and annual contract value (ACV). Gusto’s data science team estimated that Gusto Academy Certified partners bring in 40% more clients in the 90-day post-certification window than non-certified firms.

According to a PartnerStack survey, partners who complete a training or certification course earn six times more from partner programs on average than partners who don’t. 

For Gusto partners, completing the Gusto People Advisory Certification helped grow payroll revenue between 3x-15x and repositioned their payroll service as a pathway to higher value advisory work.

Partner Training Enhances Efficiency

Companies that proactively train partners save resources, time, and cost as their reliance on internal teams for support, customer success, or sales drops. 

Well-trained partners are better equipped to address customer problems and questions, which results in fewer customer support tickets. They may also serve as strategic partners, consulting on customer accounts, reducing the need for customer success headcount. 

Having a channel of partners for sales decreases the dependence on an internal sales team, allowing the company to increase sales without increasing headcount. 

Get the Most From Partnerships with Scaled Partner Training

It’s clear there’s tremendous value to including partners to your company’s ecosystem.

But how do you get the most out of these partnerships? A 2022 report on the state of partner programs from HubSpot discovered that companies with a programmatic allocation of resources drive more revenue than those that allocate most of their resources in an ad hoc fashion. Yet this programmatic allocation of resources was also identified as the No. 1 challenge for partner programs. 

This mirrors our own research, which found that ‍companies with scalable education initiatives are most likely to experience improved partner success, as compared to those that take a more ad hoc approach. 

While sporadic, ad hoc training documents may suffice early in a company’s partner program development, too many scattered resources make it difficult for partners to find information when it’s most relevant—and is unreliable for ongoing education.

The best way to educate partners is through scalable partner training using formalized curriculum, like courses and certifications. This helps companies ensure all partners speak about the brand, product, and its benefits consistently and accurately. It also provides a way to keep partners informed about product updates and new functionality. 

Provide Scaled and Trackable Partner Training with Intellum

When a company is ready to move beyond single-page resources to more comprehensive training solutions, a learning management system (LMS) can not only house courses and certifications, but also track which education content partners are consuming. This allows partner success managers to better track progress and identify which partners might be in need of additional support. 

Moving to an LMS also provides a scalable way to educate large volumes of partners consistently and efficiently while ensuring partners can easily find the information they need when they need it. 

The Intellum platform makes it easy to specify groups and serve training content to learners based on audience types. This feature reduces the need to create and publish an abundance of different content assets for customers, employees, and partners.

When one medical device company consolidated its educational offerings across multiple disparate platforms onto the Intellum Platform, the team gained significant efficiency improvements. Intellum streamlined the team’s content updates and distribution, allowing for rapid delivery of critical and time-sensitive medical education content.

Intellum's cost-effectiveness and scalability also proved to be a cost-efficient alternative to the company’s previous LMS, reducing costs per user and delivering a higher return on investment. 

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About the Author

Lizzi Shaw Headshot
Lizzi Shaw
Enterprise Account Executive
Lizzi Shaw is an Account Executive with Intellum and industry veteran having been in the SaaS space for over fourteen years. With a passion for customer success, she partners with enterprise SaaS companies to align education and community strategies with the right technology solutions to positively impact program and business impact.