BlogLearning & Development

Mastering Extended Enterprise Learning: The Complete Guide

Continu Team
One Platform for All Learning
Learning & Development
January 26, 2024

Dive into the nuances of extended enterprise learning, exploring its significance, strategies, and how it extends training beyond internal employees to drive external stakeholder success.

Cultivate a Culture of Learning

Extended enterprise learning is a powerful strategy that goes beyond traditional employee training, focusing on the education and development of your customers, partners, suppliers, and vendors. By implementing extended enterprise learning, organizations can foster stronger relationships, improve collaboration, and drive long-term growth.

In today's fast-paced business world, companies must think beyond their own employees to stay ahead and grow.

Welcome to extended enterprise learning, a powerful way to share knowledge with people outside your company, like customers, partners, suppliers, and even contractors.

Whether you're an expert in learning and development or just getting started, this easy-to-understand guide will give you the knowledge and tools to make a big impact on your company's learning programs and help your business reach new heights.

So, let's jump in and uncover the hidden potential of extended enterprise learning!

What is extended enterprise learning?

Extended enterprise learning refers to the strategic approach of providing training and development opportunities not only to an organization's internal employees but also to external stakeholders. These stakeholders may include customers, partners, suppliers, distributors, and even contractors.

The main goal of extended enterprise learning is to enhance collaboration, improve product knowledge, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive business growth by extending the reach of the organization's learning initiatives beyond its traditional boundaries.

But what types of extended enterprise training are available for businesses?

Types of extended enterprise training

There are several types of extended enterprise training that can be employed based on a company's unique needs and goals.

Here are some common types of training for external members:

Customer training

Customer training focuses on educating existing customers about a company's products or services, making them more proficient in their usage, brand ambassadors and increasing overall satisfaction. Well-informed customers are more likely to become loyal and serve as brand advocates.

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Partner training

Channel partner training is designed for distributors, resellers, and other partners that help market and sell a company's products or services. By equipping channel distribution partners with the necessary knowledge and skills, organizations can strengthen their relationships and drive better sales performance.

Vendor training

Supplier and vendor training ensures non-employees understand and adhere to an organization's quality standards, regulatory requirements, and other essential processes. This type of extended enterprise learning helps maintain a consistent level of quality across the entire supply chain.

Contractor training

Contractor and freelancer training focuses on company policies, project-specific requirements, and necessary skills, organizations can ensure a smoother collaboration and more successful project outcomes.

Compliance training

Compliance training is crucial for organizations that work with customers, partners, and resellers who must adhere to specific industry regulations or legal requirements. Compliance training ensures that all parties involved understand and follow the necessary guidelines, reducing the risk of non-compliance penalties or reputational damage.

By implementing these various types of extended enterprise training, a business can foster stronger relationships with their external stakeholders, improve overall performance, and drive business growth.

And how can these types of extended enterprise learning initiatives help a business?

Benefits of extended enterprise training for organizations

Extended enterprise learning offers numerous benefits for many organizations, which can have a direct impact on their overall success. Some of the key advantages include:

1. Increased revenue

By developing a comprehensive training program for customers and channel partners, your business can improve product knowledge, increase customer satisfaction, and drive sales, ultimately leading to increased revenue.

2. Enhanced collaboration

Training external stakeholders such as suppliers, vendors, and partners helps to ensure everyone is on the same page, leading to better communication, streamlined processes, and more effective collaboration across the entire value chain.

3. Improved customer retention

Well-informed and well-trained customers are more likely to be satisfied and loyal to a brand. By providing valuable learning opportunities, organizations can reduce churn and foster long-term customer relationships.

4. Competitive advantage

Organizations that invest in extended enterprise learning often enjoy a competitive advantage, as their external stakeholders are more knowledgeable, efficient, and effective than those of competitors who do not prioritize the training of the external enterprise users.

5. Reduced costs

Proper training can reduce costs, the occurrence of errors, misunderstandings, or delays caused by a lack of knowledge or skills among external stakeholders. This, in turn, can lower operational expenses and improve overall efficiency.

6. Risk mitigation

Compliance training for external stakeholders helps organizations ensure that all relevant parties adhere to industry regulations and legal requirements, reducing the risk of costly penalties or reputational damage due to non-compliance.

7. Scalability

An effective extended enterprise learning program can be easily scaled to accommodate business growth or changes in the external ecosystem, allowing most organizations to adapt their training strategies as needed.

Now if these benefits sound great, let's dive into implementing external enterprise learning for your business.

How to implement extended enterprise learning

By following these detailed steps, your business can successfully implement an extended enterprise learning program that meets its unique objectives.

Here's the steps to implement extended enterprise learning:

Step 1: Define the learning objectives

Start by clearly identifying the goals and objectives of your extended enterprise learning program. This may include improving customer satisfaction, increasing sales, enhancing collaboration, or ensuring compliance, among others.

Step 2: Identify your target learners

Determine the specific external stakeholders who will be part of the extended enterprise learning program. These may include customers, partners, suppliers, contractors, or a combination of these groups.

Step 3: Conduct a training needs assessment

Evaluate the current knowledge gap, skills, and competencies of your target audience to identify areas that require improvement. This will help you create a tailored learning program that addresses the specific needs of your external stakeholders.

Step 4: Choose the right learning management system

Select an LMS (Learning Management System) or other learning platform that supports both external user and employee training. Ensure that the platform offers features such as easy training content management, robust LMS reporting capabilities, and acts as a multi tenant LMS.

Step 5: Develop engaging training content

Create engaging training materials that addresses new technologies and new concepts about your product or service. This may include a mix of eLearning courses, video tutorials, webinars, interactive simulations, or other training materials.

Step 6: Invest in a blended learning approach

Combine different learning modalities such as self-paced online learning, instructor-led training, and on-the-job training to provide a comprehensive and effective learning experience for your extended enterprise ecosystem.

Step 7: Monitor and measure training progress

Track the progress of your learners through the use of learning analytics and reporting tools provided by your extended enterprise LMS. This will help you assess the effectiveness of the learning program, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions for future enhancements.

Step 8: Provide ongoing support

Offer continuous support to your learners through various channels such as forums, helpdesks, or email. This will encourage engagement, boost motivation, and ensure that learners have access to the resources they need to succeed.

Step 9: Evaluate and refine

Regularly evaluate the outcomes of your extended enterprise learning program against the initial objectives. Gather feedback from your customers, partners, and resellers to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to the program as needed.

Extended enterprise learning is crucial for modern businesses selling products and services. Without the implementation of partner or customer training, your organization is missing out on opportunities to reduce support tickets, increase sales, and spread brand awareness.

Now, pick the right learning platform to help train your customers, partners, and resellers - Continu.

Continu, the best LMS for training external users

Continu is a modern learning platform that makes extended enterprise training for non-employees a breeze. The platform will enable companies to create engaging learning content, deliver training materials, and track training progress of both internal and external users.

Now your business can provide customers, outside sales representatives, vendors, and partners with everything they'll need to understand your products or services. With a centralized learning platform, admins can get all of this done in a single tool!

Continu is ideal for:

  • Employee training, customer training, and sales training
  • Creating high-quality learning materials for all users
  • Hosting virtual instructor-led training workshops
  • Tracking the progress of learners throughout their learning path
  • Drastically reducing training costs

So, book a demo today and start crushing company goals while growing your business!

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About the Author
Continu Team responsible for Continu's content.
Continu Team
One Platform for All Learning

Continu is the #1 modern learning platform built to help companies scale and consolidate learning. From training customers to employees, Continu is the only platform you need for all learning.

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