By: David Hand, VP of DevOps Sales at Orasi Software

Any sales engagement is never complete until the customer is satisfied with product delivery and implementation. This becomes even more important with high dollar investments such as an enterprise software solution. A conscientious solution provider will ensure that their customer can embrace the solution without any friction or hesitancy. It is also an effort that rewards the solution provider. Yes, product training is another line item on the proposal but once a solution provider gives comprehensive support and guidance on how to best use their solution it can result in happy customers and, hopefully, long-term relationships.

Just like a car, software users realize the benefits when they are aware of the features and how to use them in their particular use case. No matter how many features or frills are loaded in the car, they do not provide any value if the driver does not know how to use them.

Training – a Selling Point?

Software solutions prove their value when its capabilities are fully optimized. That means in order for the customer to experience how the software can impact their business, it is highly beneficial to include a proper training curriculum and systems as a core part of the customer onboarding process.

Here’s how impactful product training can enhance your customer onboarding experience and build a strong partnership with your customers.

1. Effective product training allows the user to warm up to new software solutions. Any reluctance can be reduced by hosting comprehensive and well executed training sessions that are built around what users need.

2. It is a pragmatic way to eliminate any doubts or reluctance about an aspect of the solution. Issues can be clarified in advance.

3. Training is an excellent source of timely, straightforward, and context-based user feedback. This helps the solution provider by modifying the solution to better fit their customers’ needs.

4. Impactful training should never be dull. A few tools will equip trainers with endless features such as engaging templates, gamification, and design elements in the training program. A StackOverFlow Developer Survey, states 48 percent of developers have used an online video course or participated in a MOOC.

5. Effective training also allows the company to address or gaps that the users uncover during their sessions. Some users’ ideas can be tapped for future innovations.

Proper training – a service in itself

New, sophisticated technology will continue to proliferate at a rapid pace and bring challenges with it. The IT skills gap worries 80 percent of managers in North America and 78 percent of managers worldwide. The Global Knowledge 2020 IT Skills and Salary Report – a survey of 9,505 members of the workforce, is a big reminder that IT users need effective training – and to make it a priority.

IT decision-makers have pointed out that the skills gap persists because the proliferation of new technology outpaces skills development programs. They also cited a lack of investment in skills training as a top reason behind the widening skills gap. The primary cause is attributed to the rapid acceleration of technology and lack of training.

It is essential that product training is taken seriously and used effectively to close the skills gap. Product training is a value-add, and if executed optimally, it would be hard to replace your solutions for a competitor’s.