Choosing Tech Solutions for Partner Training

Your partners are critical to the success of your company’s extended enterprise. They do more than sell or re-sell a product or service — to your customers, they are the face of your brand. According to a recent study, deals close about 46% faster and are 53% more likely to close when a partner is involved in the sale.

Because your success is so dependent on your partners, it’s important to train them, but a recent survey found that 25% of partners are not getting the training they need from vendors.

I know something about the importance of partner training. Before I was Litmos’s Director of Training, I worked in partner education. I’ve seen firsthand how important partners are to a business, and how much training can help companies and their partners. I have also seen how technology can help companies deliver and scale partner training. In this article, I’ll explore the challenges of partner training, common tech solutions for it, and which technologies to focus on when choosing your partner training solution.

The challenges of partner training

One training program won’t fit every partner in your program. Organizations often work with a variety of partners, all of whom have different learning needs. You may need to customize training for specific partners. If you’re in a global market, you may need pitch content differently depending on cultural differences.

Content also needs to be updated regularly, which takes work. Your training program can’t remain stagnant. It has to evolve with your business; if you’re launching a new product or a new feature, you’re going to need to launch new training to provide support to your partners.

Your partner training content doesn’t only need to be about your product, although that’s certainly important. You need to provide a blend of product knowledge, sales techniques, market dynamics, and customer service training to your partners to ensure that they can properly represent your brand and provide customers with well-rounded service.

Motivating partners to train

One of the big challenges with partner training is that partners aren’t your employees. You can’t make them take training. If a partner hasn’t completed training, you can’t approach them and ask why it hasn’t been done.

What you can do is make partners want to take the training. Here’s what I recommend for keeping partners engaged in training:

  1. Use gamification elements and social learning to make partner training as engaging as possible. Salespeople love to win, so leaderboards, badges, and social sharing are great ways to encourage a little healthy competition amongst partners.
  2. Rewards can also be effective for motivating partners. Tracking training performance with badges and leaderboards and linking that to a perk, like a preferential rate or partner benefits, can sweeten the deal for partners who need a little more motivation to participate in training.
  3. For some partners the training itself is the perk. Smaller partner organizations may not have their own L&D department, so their teams might rely on your training for development and skills-building. I’ve seen some cases where partners are offered access to wider training content – not just product training. In those cases, partners had to reach certain revenue benchmarks before being given access to that content.

Types of tech solutions for partner training

There is a wide variety of training technology available, many of which integrate with one another. In fact, all your tech solutions should be centralized in one platform: the LMS.

Learning management systems (LMSs)

A learning management system (LMS) is an online platform for delivering, tracking, and managing learning and training programs. It is a centralized system that enables organizations to create, deliver, and track learning content, as well as manage learner progress, assessments, and certifications.

Virtual collaboration tools

Partner training is not a one-way street. A good training program gives your partners the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with you and other partners, as well as provide feedback that can improve your offering. A virtual collaboration platform allows you to build relationships with partners and allows them to interact with one another. This creates a sense of community, reinforces learning, and ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Sales analytics and reporting tools

Sales analytics tools track metrics around sales and can help your team track the performance of each partner, seeing the gaps in knowledge that should be addressed with L&D content.

Choosing the right tech solution for your partners

When you’re working with partners, you’re looking for scalability, accessibility, and a seamless integration with existing systems. You need to train new partners quickly, improve sales, and keep your partners updated. Here are some key characteristics to look for in training technology:


What you don’t want is an unnecessarily complex solution. Something that’s difficult to use puts barriers between you, your partners, and your training content. The technology should be easy to use, accessible, and easy to implement. It should integrate with existing solutions and be easy for your admins as well, so you can track metrics and update content.


Any implementation that encourages the kind of communication a partner might get in the classroom is great. Partners should be able to communicate with you and each other. You’re all working together to sell your product, so that communication is key.


Sales is an active process, so sales training needs to be as interactive and dynamic as possible. This can look many different ways:

  • Differentiated learning: Look for a platform that allows you to customize learning paths for different partners, adapt and redeploy content for different needs.
  • Gamification: As I mentioned above, a little friendly competition between partners can help encourage them to complete trainings. Introducing game mechanics into non-game situations, like work or training, is a great way to keep learning fresh and engaging.
  • Live training: Being able to interact with instructors and fellow learners can make partners feel more connected to their training. Look for the ability to offer live training, such as Instructor Led Training (ILT) or Virtual Instructor-led Training (VILT), to ensure that your trainings are dynamic and interactive.

You need your partners, and they need support

When you are working with partners, you’re already two steps removed from the customer. It’s important to reduce that distance — both between you and the partner and between the partner and the customer — by providing  consistent training across the enterprise.

Training your partners is a way to make sure you’re all on the same page when it comes to what your product does, what your business is offering and how to best present that to the customer. Technology is a powerful tool that can help you do that more easily, especially as the number of partners grows.

Find out how to meet the training needs of your partner resellers in our new eBook, Rev Up Revenue: Sales Training for Every Career Stage. The guide provides best practices for designing training programs that improve performance at every stage of a seller’s career.