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featureed image Published 2021-01-27, by Kellie Auman

Virtual Training: Saving Money, Making Money, or Both?

Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, we were fans of Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT). Use of virtual/remote instructors for training and certification had been growing, but when the coronavirus hit, remote training became a necessity. Now more companies are engaging in VILT, and the question becomes: is there ROI on VILT? Can it pay for itself?

The answer is absolutely. This Richardson's article has some good numbers to back up what we've been saying for awhile now. VILT makes a lot of sense, and doesn't have many downsides as long as you have instructors who can work within the format.

Four Ways VILT Saves - Or Even Makes - Money

1. Reduced travel costs

In 2019, businesses in the US spent over $330 billion dollars on travel. Travel expenses are a huge portion of many companies' balance sheets, and anything that reduces them is going to be a good thing. Virtual training means your instructors never need to leave their home or office, entirely cutting out airfare, hotels, per diems, and more. Those cost savings alone are likely more than enough to justify the embrace of VILT, and they're savings that will continue year after year even after the coronavirus goes away and normal travel can resume.

The cost savings, in turn, can be easily reinvested into initiatives which more directly benefit the sales pipeline, or otherwise improve the operation. It's simply a better use of resources.

2. Less waste of salespeople/partners' time

Have you ever known a salesperson who enjoyed taking classes and seminars? Probably not, particularly if those seminars are happening during the workday when they would otherwise be making sales. VILT allows for more flexible class scheduling and gives partners/salespeople more options in how they engage with training. This helps improve their own bottom line, while also improving your relations with them. Low-impact virtual training can be a selling point when bringing in new sales partners or staff.

3. Training sessions can be repurposed or even monetized

Virtual training doesn't necessarily have to be live. Streams of training sessions can be captured, recorded, and archived for future reuse. This can be a great source of content for your website, YouTube channel, or other public-facing outlets. Or, it can also be monetized! Online training platforms allow you to turn your training sessions into a revenue stream, such as including them in paid partner certification programs, or making them available to overseas tech consultants/freelancers who want to become certified support agents.

A well-produced series of training videos could continue making money and driving partner participation for years to come.

4. Cost of inaction will only grow over time

Industry trends are clear: we are steadily moving towards more virtualization and more use of smart technologies to improve workflows and pipelines. Just as traditional phone calls are quickly being replaced with Facetime, Skype, and Zoom, traditional in-person seminars are also quickly falling by the wayside. They just don't offer enough benefits to outweigh the huge costs associated with setting them up.

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