“Trained users buy more product.”
“About twice as much,” said software maker CA’s Alliance Director of Education James Grigolite.
“They have a better experience, greater satisfaction,” Grigolite said.
“The product is meeting their business needs, we’re able to now ensure that the purchase is meeting the need they bought it for. Those things only come with good implementation and a client who understands how to implement the product.”
Convincing clients to purchase education and training programs as part of an already expensive solution can prove difficult for channel partners and vendors.
However, it can be the key to recurring revenue, and selling the service early in the sales cycle is key to its adoption by users, Grigolite said.
To prod channel partners to include learning programs early, CA, formerly Computer Associates Inc., this week launched Vendor of Education and Training, a program that provides SPIF (Sales Performance Incentive Funds) and partner training in selling education SKUs.
“When you’re selling services of any kind, the earlier you introduce it the better,” Grigolite said. “The farther along you go, it just looks like you’re piling on the cost.”
“It’s the same old question, ‘Are you selling a solution or a product,’” he said. “You have to treat selling education like selling any other service as part of the solution, and that means selling early.”
Like many other services attached to solutions, it must impart the value and return on investment of having trained usersless downtime, fewer service calls and programs that are used to their full potential.
Education accounts for about 3 percent of revenue at CA and software companies nationwide, Grigolite said. CA doesn’t expect to raise that figure significantly with this program, but to increase adoption and user satisfaction, he said.
CA and most software vendors offer training and education programs ranging from Web-based training programs to on-site tutorials for programs, applications and solutions across the portfolio. CA also employs 17 training centers nationwide.
As part of the renewed education initiative, CA expects to commission interested VARs as training providers, who will deliver learning programs and operate their own training centers.