Today, it is increasingly common for Human Resource Departments to be faced with new and challenging situations and decisions that must be made.Among these is the important question regarding the balance between additional, value-adding, training and non-essential training, as well as the value that is added to the business.
This leads us to two questions we must ask ourselves:
1. Is there a solution to this question?
2. Are our professionals adequately trained and are they experiencing a lack of motivation regarding training activities?
If we were to pose these questions to our target audience (the professionals being trained), they will say that most of the time they are unsure of the purpose and do not clearly see the benefits of the training they are receiving. Training, is therefore, viewed negatively.
Once we realize how training is viewed by our target audience, we are able to ask ourselves what would happen if we approached training as a product that we, as HR representatives, must sell rather than considering it as a mandatory service that we provide our internal clients.
But, can training be sold internally within our company? The answer is a resounding yes. However, there are two challenges we must face in order to do so:
1. HR departments will experience an evolution, moving from simply beinginternal providers of a service to being a department that is now responsible for selling its product.
2. Convert training into a product.
Without underestimating the need of evolution that Human Resources should experience, here we will be dealing with what we must do in order to treat training as a product.
This new concept leads us to ask ourselves, what we need to do to sell training?
The answer is simply to create a training marketing planand start treating itas a product to be soldthat provides great value, whether it is a single action, a learning path, or an expert’s presentation.
To achieve this we must:
1. Extract the benefits which will truly motivate our target. We must ask, what drives our target audience? What do we have to do to help our target come to the decision to participate in the training?
2. Value. Now that we have defined a training product that offers clear benefits we should must know and understand what value we are offering our customers?How much would this product be valued in the market?
3. It is important to realize that, sometimes,individuals place a higher value on external training for the simple fact that it has a price and, in turn, a value.So, let’s put a price on our product!
4. Communication.A training catalog is no longer enough, we must develop a communication strategy that allows us to go reach our target audience wherever they may be, using newsletters, ads, banners, invitations, etc. Keep in mind that there are many different resources.
Remember, as Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing says,”the best advertisement is done by satisfied customers”.
5. Multichannel. Luckily, organizations have many established communication channels today: virtual learning environments, intranets, social networking platforms and face-to-face to name a few. Choose the most appropriate communication channel for the group to which you are targetting.
Training marketing will lead to a change of the indicators we use for follow up. Classic methods such as training hours and number of participants will leave room for new ones such as, percentage of prescribers, percentage of domestic sales training and percentage of loyal customers.
“The truth is the future is already here; it has already happened.” (Philip Kotler).
Article written by Eva Fernández Rebollido, Online training and solutions manager – Overlap
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