Tools are only as good as their operators, and operators are only as good as their training. That’s why investments in training are so important. After all, when it comes to using sophisticated and powerful B2B products, the goal is to maximize success by gaining mastery over the product’s full suite of capabilities.
We Don’t Let Customers Fail
At Babel Street, our mission is to make sure our customers succeed. To accomplish that mission, we view training as integral to the product. That’s why we build training into the software itself, mandate training before use, and deploy training as a 100 percent self-paced solution that learners and organizations can adapt to their specific needs.
Make Learner Outcome Your North Star
It’s natural for clients to expect a B2B product to be as simple to learn and operate as the consumer apps on their phones. But is that expectation realistic? No. Generally speaking, the more powerful the tool, the steeper the learning curve.
Training is a process that helps operators unlock the value and capabilities of the tools they use. At one end of the spectrum, you have proficiency, while at the other end of the spectrum you have mastery. Typically, most learners are striving for something in the middle to realize the value of a particular tool.
We think of learner outcome as the North Star for training. Successful corporate training programs must make and deliver upon the following promise: after completing the training, the learner will achieve a specific level of mastery for a concrete set of skills. Of course, that concrete set of skills aligns with the stated capabilities of the product itself, but that only underscores why training is so essential. Companies buy sophisticated tools because they’ve identified an enterprise-level need for specific capabilities. Buying the product is the first step, but learning how to use the product is how customer experience becomes client success.
Why is it important for B2B companies to develop corporate training?
Many companies already invest in a variety of corporate training programs. In fact, the global corporate learning and development spend reached $370 billion in 2019. But how much of that money is specifically allocated to teaching employees how to use, or make better use of, the tools and products in the company’s arsenal?
That’s a question for each company to answer based on its needs. But the investments that companies make into practical, product-centric training pays dividends in terms of employee performance and business results. The reason for that is simple: Even if your team can figure it out on their own, you don’t know what you don’t know, and discovering what you don’t know takes time, money and effort.
Effective corporate training programs are a hack, of sorts. They accelerate sophisticated operators through the learning curve while making sure that there are no knowledge gaps. Meanwhile, those same programs can help novice operators overcome barriers to entry and build a strong foundation for achieving future learning goals.
From the company’s perspective, the value of training programs is directly linked to the mission of the enterprise. Because if your teams can’t use, and ultimately master, the tools and products you’ve armed them with, your enterprise can’t accomplish its mission.
Vice President, Education – Babel Street