The word training probably doesn’t appear anywhere in your title, and it may not even show up as a line item on your list of responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean training—whether it’s employee-, partner-, or client-facing—isn’t a consistent part of your job.
When we first built Lesson.ly, the easy training software, we knew that training in small- and medium-size businesses tends to happen organically across different teams. But we grossly underestimated just how much training takes place outside of Human Resources, the traditional training department.
As a result, folks who are not traditional trainers now make up our most-active clientele; that is, they are the fastest growing segment of our business. The reason is simple: there aren’t accessible training tools out there for people who don’t have master’s degrees in instructional design.
With this in mind, we put together some data to find out what roles our non-trainer trainers tend to have most frequently. Three trends arose:
Folks in this role interface with the sales, marketing, and account-management departments. Training and education is directly correlated to their success. The better internal employees understand and get fired up about the product, the more product marketing wins. Training and education spans externally as well, with product marketers educating prospects and partners on product benefits.
Lessons from this constituency cover basic software navigation, pricing logic, competitive analyses, informal client stories, and general industry trends.
The end result of the customer experience group is happy clients. The only way to get there is with fantastic, well-trained team members who can deliver precisely what the marketers and salespeople have sold. Typically, this starts with the customer-service representatives who may be spread across the globe.
Lessons include how to log actions appropriately and consistently in customer-service software, how to navigate decision-tree talk tracks (i.e., when contact says A, you say B), and how to resolve customer disputes.
When a new client comes aboard, these folks are tasked with keeping them around. So, to boost adoption rates, they empower their contacts with the appropriate training and educational materials.
Lessons cover company history, FAQs, and basic software navigation.
The point I’m making is this: we are all trainers, whether we’re labeled that way or not. Recognizing this allows us to review our current training procedures and ask a fundamental question: have we systematized our processes for getting people up to speed, or are we at the mercy of an immeasurable approach?
Having insight into your process allows you to start making incremental improvements to the management of your time. Because, let’s be honest: Spending more time getting things done and less time reciting frequently given answers to frequently asked questions, well, that’s an equation anybody can appreciate.
Max Yoder is a co-founder and general manager of Lesson.ly, a platform for managing business training. He’s also the founder of The First Fund, which helps parents and grandparents of first graders save for their college education.
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