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Stuart Banbery

Interactive Software


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Do more with less: Train smarter not harder (Part 2)


Welcome to Part 2 of the “Do more with less: Train smarter not harder” blog series. To recap, in Part 1 we looked at the importance of planning in achieving your businesses’ commercial and process goals.

We also looked at the role that USP’s and differentiation play in finding your strongest position in the training market and how to identify your unique competitive advantage.

Finally, in Part 1 we discussed how almost every training purchase will in some way be influenced by a referral or review – so make sure your learner experience and feedback mechanisms are on point!

In Part 2 we’re going to continue to explore the Top 10 ways that our most progressive learning provider clients are competing, developing and growing their business, here’s the next 3…

4.Your current customers are your best customers

The cost of marketing to a current customer is much less expensive than the cost of obtaining a new customer. Some marketing researchers say that this number may be as high as twenty times the cost.

Focus on marketing to your current customers first. Every time you communicate with a customer capture the information in a CRM system. As you build up a bank of customer data in your CRM solution, you can then interrogate this to identify new trends and identify cross-sell / up-sell opportunities. Your email client, linked to your CRM system, can then be used to target new customer segments. After a course, customers should have a very clear idea of what course to take next, this may not be “right now”, but they need to know where they’re going next and why – with automated email reminders at regular intervals.

5.Teaching to the converted

Every phone call or email enquiry from a qualified prospect is like a golden nugget. Do you know the value of your incoming enquiries? Do you also know the marketing cost of generating these enquiries? If you’re selling traditional classroom-based training the potential value of an enquiry can be very high, therefore it’s essential that you treat it with the importance it deserves.

What percentage of enquiries do you convert to sales? If you don’t know what that percentage is, I bet you’ll be surprised. This is where robust internal processes and training management software can deliver clear business visibility and intelligence. As a rule of thumb, if you’re not closing one in five sales calls, then there’s still some work to be done. If you were able to close 20% of your incoming calls, how much would this increase your revenue by? You might also be surprised at the answer to this. Long story short, measuring, benchmarking and increasing the conversion of incoming enquiries can have an immediate and huge impact.

6.Hello…is it leads you’re looking for?

These days, almost every prospect sees your website, reads several pages and downloads literature before they ever talk to you or buy from you. Your website is your first impression and your shop window to the world. First, ask yourself if your website makes your company look better or worse than you actually are. If it’s worse, then you’re losing sales.

Second, is your website making you money? Understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and spend time optimising your website for Google, adding regular and original content - such as a blog. Ensure your visitors can find the information they want with as few clicks as possible – otherwise, they’ll be gone. Add bold Calls to Action (CTA’s) and valuable gated content that your visitors much exchange some details to obtain. You can then add these details to your CRM and begin nurturing these prospects using emails.

In this day and age your website must offer a quick, simple and convenient way for visitors to book online. This also has the additional benefit of creating resource internally and reducing your cost base. Leading training providers now hook up their website to their training management system, and the rest is taken care of. The customer books and pays using an online form, course confirmation is automatically emailed out, the CRM software is updated and finance is notified – all from within one solution.

Hopefully that’s given you some food for thought and useful takeaway ideas for how you can get creative with your marketing, processes and training management software - and leverage some great results. Just by doing the basics well, you can make a significantly positive impact on your business - at a relatively low cost.

In the third and final blog in this series, we’ll be looking at best email practice – without spamming your prospects to death, the power of success stories and ROI, how to integrate social media effectively into your marketing mix, and the concept of alliances between training providers.

Developed in collaboration with leading L&D partners and fully-accredited by the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI), ATMS (Achiever Training Management Software) is a robust, powerful and scalable solution for the training provision sector. ATMS utilises the latest technology to enable training providers to drive profits through communications and conversion, reduce costs through automation and visibility, and manage courses and customer experience across multiple touch-points.

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Stuart Banbery


Read more from Stuart Banbery

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