Like any other industries’ division of core customer audiences, online courses are split between sales to business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) groups. And while the majority of courses sale are geared toward BC2 audiences and most courses sold bought by individual students in the B2C space, there is still a wealth of unrealized revenue to be generated from courses sold directly to companies and organizations.
According to findcourses.com’s L&D report, companies with revenue growth are more than twice as likely to use innovative learning technologies in their L&D offerings to employees, linking the use of technologies with those businesses’ success. In addition to this, more than half of all surveyed L&D departments (63%) report that eLearning is the main learning technology used in corporate training in 2019, winning over newer cutting-edge learning technologies, such as VR and game-based learning.
Defined as the delivery of learning and training via digital resources —or online learning— eLearning benefits both employees and employers alike, encapsulating an affordable and time-efficient training method that can be personalized to each individual employee’s skill training needs. eLearning also offers L&D departments a tool to measure the success of their programs and establish benchmarks for future growth.
As an eLearning professional, does that make you ask why aren’t you selling your courses directly to companies?
What are the benefits of selling courses to organizations?
There are also several advantages for B2B sales over B2C, when it comes to selling courses directly to organizations a B2B sales model is more likely to benefit you over the long term:
- Course are generally bought in higher bulk quantities, leading to a better sale-to-customer ratio and higher revenue per transaction.
- While purchasing decisions do take longer in the B2B space, once a company had decided to buy their courses from you this also has the potential to result in a long-term business relationship with ongoing course sales.
- Though B2B courses sales may have a smaller lead pool that naturally translates into a lower reserve of potential sales, you likewise have the opportunity of building your ideal client profile and designing your sales strategy directly with them in mind.
So, how do you sell online courses to companies?
All this begs the question—how do you successfully (and sustainably) sell your courses directly to companies for their student employees while still ensuring you turn a healthy profit?
If you are concerned courses you offer do not fit into the traditional mold of either business training or continuing education for professional licensure, it is important to remember that many companies’ investment in their employees is not necessarily exclusively focused on their professional growth. Rather with the increased focus on employees’ overall health and well being and how this impacts job performance, many employers are now happy to make an invest for their employees that is not directly tied to their job.
Beyond the type of classes you offer, there are a number of other factors that go into selling courses directly to companies while still making sure you can meet the needs of corporate customers. Over and above your marketing and sales efforts, much of this goes right back to your eLearning platform and if the software you use supports your business requirements with its available features as well as the quality of its customer support.
To begin with, the most fundamental step is hosting your courses on a platform that can fulfill the requirements of your courses. Namely, your platform should support the requirements of courses taken by students whose employer has an invested interest in their success:
- Single Sign-On (SSO). Heavily demanded by enterprise-level clients, this core feature increases the rate of student engagement with training courses by simplifying employee student course access. SSO is so important, we would not recommend considering a platform that lacks SSO
- Hierarchical Company, Client and Student views and access to course completion, both at the client, student, class and section/test/question levels.
- Your platform should provide a variety of user roles, enabling your clients to manage both company-level course content as well as students’ access.
- Ability for Clients to enroll/unenroll their employee students at their convenience.
- Custom course certificate generation. If your clients’ businesses are dependent on their employees’ professional licenses remaining in good standing with licensure accrediting bodies, it is important to offer both continuing education (CE) approved-courses as well as custom certificate generation to document earned CE credit.
- A White-Labeled Platform within a Platform. Often times, your client will want the platform access you provide (which is siloed at a data level) to be white-labeled to reflect their company’s branding; this not only increases your client’s favorable perception of “their platform” but also provides their employee students with a user experience that psychologically acts as a natural extension of their company’s native processes and software.
- Analytics and reporting. To make sure they’re getting what they paid for, your clients will want to easily view student progress as well as easily pull both student-level and course-level reporting. Make sure your platform offers a robust analytics and reporting solution.
Directly relevant to the long term growth of your business, there are also other pragmatic factors to be considered when assessing a platform for company course sales:
- Integrated eCommerce solution supporting various financial options:
- Direct client billing.
- Affiliate course sale processing from third party clients.
- Affiliate & instructor commission payment processing.
- Payment processing via payment gateways, PayPal and potentially other payment options (Bitcoin, etc.).
- Option to package courses sold to clients in a variety of formats with specific controls applied, including unlimited student course seats, capped student seats access and length of course access.
- Integration with external solution. Chances are, no platform will ever completely fulfill your (ever changing) business requirements; having the ability to integrate with external solutions provides not only a temporary stopgap when unexpected needs arise, but also provides peace of mind in knowing that you can always supplement your platform’s functionality with quality external solutions as needs arise.
- Software customizations. Your platform should be able to scale with your needs. With your business’s needs constantly evolving, your platform should have the ability to adapt to those changing needs. Working with a platform vendors that offers software customizations allows not only for needed flexibility but contributes to your confidence in the software to make what you need happen if (and ultimately when) your business requirements change.
- A variety of platform features. Different clients will require different functionalities for their employee students’ training classes. Whether you need to able to support high-bandwidth live webinars or self-paced courses with videos, PDFs and SCORM packages, your platform should provide different options for all clients’ varying course requirements.
- Data security. Your clients are likely making a substantial financial investment when purchasing your online training courses for their employees. Back up the value of that investment and provide confidence by guaranteeing all clients’ data and payment information is secure.
Ultimately, it is these factors that drive what software solution (or platform) that an online training companies leverages for its company employee training courses—once you have determined which of these bullet points are central to delivering your online courses to your client base they can be cross-referenced against existing platform solutions.
Have questions about anything you read here? Want to learn more about selling your online courses directly companies for employees?
If you would like to know more about the eLearning solutions Academy Of Mine offers and how we will make you succeed, please send us a message via our Contact Page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.