Imagine being tasked with building a sales force that would sell the identical products as the competition, but sell those at a premium price. That was the opportunity I accepted when taking on an executive sales leadership role years ago.
In the ’90s, as Microsoft, Novell and IBM/Lotus became software powerhouses, they recognized the need to train users on their products. Without that training, there was a high risk of users being dissatisfied with the products and not purchasing future upgrade releases of them. Rather than train users themselves, they developed training channels. Individual training companies contracted with these software companies and delivered training on their behalf.
However, the software companies didn’t blindly let their channels train users. They created the course curriculum, certified the instructors on the courses, and set the PC standards for the classroom. In essence, the software companies regulated the classroom experience and marketed to users that they could attend any of the thousands of “authorized” training facilities for a fantastic learning experience.
While the software companies wanted to create a “ vanilla experience” for its clients, that was not the way their training channels approached the business.