Extended enterprise learning can do so much to help an organization grow: Improve customer relations and retention, increase awareness of its brands and services, encourage the adoption of its products and features, and much more.
And as the 2020s progress, one trend is clear: Extended enterprise learning is here to stay. Looking at the past three years, we can see tremendous growth in its use:
- In 2020, only 27% of organizations offered both internal and external learning of some kind.
- Fast forwarding to 2023, that minority has now become the majority, with 77% of organizations using both internal and external learning.
But what’s behind this recent, rocketing growth? And how can an organization get value out of extended enterprise learning and ensure that its own growth is consistent and continuous?
These questions were addressed in a recent Docebo webinar, led by Samantha Murray (Director of Go-To-Market, Docebo) and Claude Werder (Senior VP & Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group). They explored how a customer-led growth strategy can fuel a dynamic and successful extended enterprise learning program.
Key topics include:
- The importance of designing from the outcomes you want to drive.
- How to adopt an experimental approach.
- Partnering with the right technology vendor.
- Measuring impact incrementally to show business value.
A full recording of this webinar is available to watch now. Read on for the highlights and key points!
Three factors that influence growth in extended enterprise learning
An organization could just now be dipping into the waters of extended enterprise learning, or it may already be well-versed and already seeing business impact. At either end of this spectrum, it’s essential to understand the factors behind the growth of extended enterprise learning:
- The rise of software as a service (SaaS). Post-pandemic, many organizations shifted to remote working environments., with a corresponding shift towards e-learning. This means that learning activities like live, instructor-led training that wouldn’t typically be tracked by a digital tool like an LMS are now more integrated into the overall learning program.
- Customer engagement and partner enablement play bigger roles in organizational growth. The number of organizations with extended enterprise learning programs is increasing as more and more companies realize the incredible potential to grow sales, revenue, and more.
- The shift toward a customer-led growth strategy. There are many different strategies to grow a business, including sales-led and partner-led approaches. And while all of these approaches have their merits, customer-led approaches are proving to be the ideal mechanism for growth in the modern market.
Retention is one example of how a customer-led approach can encourage growth. The famous stat that it takes between 4-10x times more effort (and investment) to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one is just one salient example.
What role does a customer-led strategy play in growth?
When it comes to building growth, it’s a no-brainer: Organizations need to decrease costs and increase revenue. But what role does customer-led growth play?
For decreasing costs, organizations should:
- Accelerate profitability by prioritizing growing customer revenue at higher margins than net new business. This is the classic ‘land and expand’ strategy.
- Drive growth efficiency by reducing post-sale costs with a proactive strategy for retention and growth.
And for increasing revenue, organizations should look to:
- Target customer expansion to tap into new, available revenue streams.
- Build customer and brand advocates—especially by amplifying the influence of existing super-advocates: The people who already believe in the value of the organization, comment on your social posts, and attend your webinars. You likely know who they are; you just need to empower them.
- Maximize retention through mitigating churn risk and making the most out of every dollar amount renewed.
Three underutilized features with the biggest potential impact
A customer-led growth strategy should leverage all of the opportunities created by technology. These features may not be getting a lot of use now, but they represent a tremendous potential impact.
- Expanded and integrated tools for analytics. In the era of technology-focused ROI, an organization needs to prove the value of every tool it uses. This means having integrations between different systems so that all of your data can be consolidated and analyzed in your business intelligence (BI) tools.Whenever and wherever the business impact of a learning program can be measured, being able to align its outcomes with the wider objectives of an organization is crucial. Integrated BI tools will ensure that this alignment is as painless and intuitive as it can be.
- Built-in monetization. Should an organization go down the path of monetizing its learning programs, having built-in e-commerce functionality is essential in helping its learning teams move from cost center to profit center. Examples of e-commerce functionality can include payment and subscription functionality, automated tax calculations (crucial for organizations going global!), and seamless integrations with ERPs. But remember: When you sell learning, the content and e-commerce experience is a direct reflection of your brand, and it will be judged by commercial standards. Make sure the content is high-quality and the experience is intuitive.
- Efficient workflows and content creation with artificial intelligence (AI). Put simply, AI is the future of learning. At its most basic, AI-powered automation can streamline workflows like, certifications, and skills tagging. But generative AI holds even more promise. Content creation tools can dramatically reduce the time it takes to produce learning materials—which is an especially useful feature for organizations that have to tailor content for different audiences and use cases. AI can also leverage data from these audiences to personalize the entire learning experience (more on this in the webinar!).
A learning professional counting underused features and the number of steps required to grow their program.
Ready to build an extended enterprise learning program?
To avoid some common challenges that can arise in developing a learning program, keep these three best practices in mind:
- Teams. Set up teams that can review and evaluate the organizational structure and establish clear roles, titles, and responsibility. From there, a business can address challenges stemming from that structure (such as team siloes, which can often be broken down through consolidation).
- Processes. As an organization grows, the small-scale processes it had relied on to work spectacularly can begin to fail spectacularly. Conducting a regular review and evaluation process can help an organization scale up its learning program (and itself) effectively. If it’s been many years since your organization has done a technology and process review, you will be amazed at the inefficiencies you discover.
- Technology. Document your existing tech stack, review contracts and costs, measure the benefits and value/ROI of each vendor, and have a clear review process to ensure that your technology is tangibly contributing to your organization’s goals.
There’s always more to learn
Want to dive deeper into what’s behind the growth of extended enterprise learning? Get more insights by watching the full recording of the one-hour webinar, Beyond Employee Learning: How Customer & Partner Education Drive Value and Growth.
Here are three key things to know about Docebo:
- Docebo lets you browse thousands of world-class courses and license the content your learners need. Or just create beautiful, effective content yourself with our powerful generative AI tool.
- You can also connect your learners to their team and help empower the experts in your organization. And you can integrate learning into the flow of work and the systems you already use.
- But the real magic is this: A great LMS (like Docebo) uses data to prove the impact of learning. It can show you which courses have the biggest effect on ramp time and retention. It can show you the users and learners who produce the most useful content. And it can deliver personalized learning to every user, so they get a tailored learning experience built just for them—starting from their very first day.