Over the last decade, consumer buying experience innovators like Amazon have begun to shape B2B buyer expectations. Many B2B businesses are beginning to leverage automation, AI, and an ever-growing volume of 3rd-party data to make every customer touchpoint personalized, timely, and positive.

In this article, we'll explore the growing importance of customer experience (CX) for training firms, an emerging framework called Revenue Operations which aims to improve CX and revenue generation, and how SharedBook's 2019 platform can help trainers create greater CX value for clients.

The Age of the Customer

Each September, B2B business operations professionals gather in San Francisco for the Ops-Stars conference which explores the frontier of B2B sales and marketing. During her keynote, Laura Ramos of Forrester Research described the current landscape:

"62% of B2B buyers say they can make all of their decisions - they can select the criteria, select the vendors, and do all of this online without help from anyone else...The real way of getting to success in this age of the customer, this digital world, is by creating customer experiences that differentiate your brand, your products, everything you do for your customers. Forrester feels so strongly about this that we believe the only way to thrive, to succeed in this digital age, is by creating these exceptional experiences."

For training firms that see intellectual property as their principal source of value creation, Forrester's perspective suggests they should consider how every aspect of the training experience can be used to improve the overall client experience.

The Role of Revenue Operations

Traditionally, operations roles have been found within various business functions including sales, marketing, customer service, and product or service delivery. The common goal is typically to optimize efficiency within each function.

The emerging framework of Revenue Operations recognizes that improving performance within siloed functional areas does not always translate to overall performance improvement. Instead, RevOps looks at the role each business function plays in acquiring and retaining customers and aligns processes, teams, technology, and data across functions to create customer experiences that result in more new customers and improved retention of existing customers.

The recurring question RevOps poses is, "How does this process impact the customer experience?" As service-intensive businesses, training companies have numerous opportunities to differentiate themselves based on enhanced experiences. These are just a few examples:

  1. Website ease of use
  2. Speed of follow-up to new interest or current client issues
  3. How training content is delivered
  4. Post-training learning reinforcement
  5. Measurement and reporting of learning and performance gains

In each of these areas and many more, operations professionals can play a vital role in crafting strong customer experiences that convert and retain clients.

Training Content Delivery and Customer Experience

Once a new client has engaged a training company for services, a key moment of truth occurs during the training content delivery process. In many instances, this happens via printed workbooks, participant guides, training manuals, and similar resources. While some training organizations feel print does a better job of protecting their intellectual property from unauthorized sharing, a key piece of the customer experience is sacrificed. Consider these questions:

  • Will the learner be able to access the content at key moments of need?
  • Given the rapidly-increasing popularity of video-based learning, will younger learners find the printed content engaging enough?
  • Can you accurately measure learner engagement with your content and learning outcomes?
  • What event-related risks are created by having to print, inventory, and ship printed materials across the country to training events?

The SharedBook training content delivery platform was developed to solve these customer experience issues while protecting training firm intellectual property. SharedBook clients such as Dale Carnegie Training, McAfee, Loeb Leadership Development Group, and others can easily and securely distribute their content with just the following steps:

  1. Existing training content is imported into the platform by the training organization or by SharedBook's Customer Success team.
  2. The training firm selects which content it would like to provide for specific client engagements.
  3. The system automatically transforms the uploaded content into an engaging ebook format.
  4. Secure, tracked digital access can be provided to learners via iOS or Android apps, or via a browser-based cloud reader.
  5. From the platform, printed versions can be sent for production to any of FedEx Office's 1,900 domestic printing locations that are close to the training event, eliminating shipping and handling costs and reducing order delivery risk.

Gordon Loeb, Chief Operating Officer of Loeb Leadership Development Group, shared the following thoughts on Loeb's partnership with SharedBook:

"We are impressing clients with a user-friendly tool that enhances the learning experience. Thank you for providing a tool that helps lift our brand and service to our clients!"


Operations Can Make Every Touchpoint Count

As you think ahead to 2019, and the experience you want your training firm to provide clients, remember that every detail, even your content formats, is an opportunity to differentiate your training brand and improve the customer experience. By asking operations professionals within your organization to collaborate across departments to create the best possible client experience, you can identify opportunities to delight clients, build longer-lasting relationships, and grow revenue.