Whether your business focuses on the sale of on-demand online courses, live workshops, or a hybrid of both, there is an opportunity for you to make an impact and grow your business by selling these courses to corporate and business clients. Given the events of the past two years with the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have realized the benefits of acquiring quick, micro-learning, self-study online courses, and you can tap into this opportunity.
In our recent Thinkific Plus webinar series called Level Up with Thinkific Plus, we chatted with Sarah Cordiner, one of our long-time Thinkific Experts about strategies she uses to sell B2B courses to ASX listed and Fortune 500 companies around the world.
Sarah has worked in the B2B space in Government and corporate for the past 14 years. She has lots of experience delivering corporate training and has personally acquired and delivered over $8 million worth of training projects to businesses and government agencies at all levels.
Here are some highlights from the insights she shared with us that will help you sell your training courses to organizations and businesses.
The difference between creating and selling B2C vs B2B courses
When selling to individuals, you sell to the direct end-user or student, also known as B2C. In the B2B (Business to Business) world, you can be much more creative in customizing how you sell and deliver your course, and what additional value-adds you can offer your prospective students.
If you’re looking to sell your courses to corporations, this may include 2 different selling paths:
- Selling to individuals within the company who purchase and take the training themselves. This works well for companies who have an education or skills-upgrade allowance for each employee.
- Selling the company bulk licenses that they can distribute to their staff.
A key difference between creating a B2C course vs. a B2B course is that when you are selling directly to course takers, they are ok with generalized training not personally catered to them. With B2B course sales, there is an expectation that the course content and delivery will be contextualized to the organization’s needs. This may include reskinning your course in their branding, adding administrative users to use analytic reporting, and offering certification options upon completion of the course.
You may also need to change generic examples given in your course content to organization-specific ones. For example, instead of saying, “When your team gets a call with an angry customer…” you would instead change that to, “When your team gets a call from a customer complaining about slow internet…”. This contextualization helps them relate to the content and understand the concepts deeper.
How to connect with high paying clients
After you have a basic course or training prepared, you need to find the right corporate clients to pitch and sell it to at scale. First, identify a niche or industry you would like to work with and look for organizations in that field. Then, create a list of all potential organizations you could approach. It’s also important to think about what geographical areas you want to work in. If your course offering is 100% online, then the sky’s the limit, from a geographical perspective, unless you have any regulatory considerations.
When you’ve shortlisted ideal client organizations, ask yourself these questions:
- What specific problems do they have that my course will solve for them?
- Who has authority over decision-making (e.g., Training manager, HR, Workforce Development Manager, or Head of Training?)
- How can you best engage with them? (e.g., social media, phone, email, networking, snail mail, RFPs, job sites)
To attract your target audience, you can also consider speaking at conferences or doing short free talks or workshops on your topic to networking groups or associations within your target niche and pitching your course to attendees at the end of your event.
Remember, when selling courses to other businesses, the HR or Training manager you connect with is your client (the individual students within that organization are not your client).
How to write a training proposal for B2B clients
You will be writing many proposals for corporations and businesses when selling your courses and training in a B2B context. Sarah has a great easy-to-follow format you can follow for writing proposals:
- Cover page – Be sure to include your logo and the logo of the company you are pitching
- Contents page – If your proposal is longer than a couple of pages, add a table of contents so the reader can skip to the relevant parts as they vet you.
- Introduction – Focus this section (and most of your pitch) on your prospective client and their needs. Reference their pain points, business objectives and why your topic solves these critical problems for them in the easiest, most cost-conscious way.
- Scope – This section is more about you and what you offer. Be sure to tell them options for purchasing your course (if you have multiple tiers or add-on services). This is also where you include information about your company and areas of expertise, and share any relevant case studies.
- Proposal – This will be your written offer.
- Benefits – Focus on the benefits and expected outcomes for the client and individual employees.
- Course Curriculum – Include a summary of the course content and learning objectives, including the delivery formats.
- Options – If you offer any add-ons or other options with your courses or training, include them in this section.
- About the Facilitator – Include bios for all key course facilitators.
- Terms and Conditions – Be sure to outline what is included and not included with their purchase. This should also outline their commitments, your commitments, payment terms, membership renewals, and any other information your legal team requires.
- Signatures – Place your signature and room for the client’s signature if they’re ready to sign with you.
- Contact details – It’s good to have this information summarized on the last page, and possibly in the footer of each page too for easy access.
Be sure the entire proposal is professionally designed and clean, and is submitted in a PDF format not as a Word doc or within the body of an email. Throughout your PDF document page numbers, footers, and your signatures should be included.
How to package and price your offering
There are many considerations for pricing your training and courses. Every business and industry will be different, so there is no one-size-fits-all pricing to use. To price your training and courses, it helps to research what others are charging for similar courses, and take that into consideration.
It’s also important to consider your qualifications and experience. If you have proven results sharing this system or training, you can generally increase your prices in exchange for your expertise. The delivery method of your training or courses will also impact your pricing too. Generally, an in-person all-day workshop will be much more expensive than the same content created once, uploaded into an online course platform like Thinkific, and repeatedly sold to different organizations.
Another way to price your training is to have a per “head” rate, with bulk discounts for bulk or unlimited users. Here’s an example Sarah shared where she implemented the “per head” rate for the sale of one of her courses:
- Individual registrations for $97 each
- Bulk discounts for 10 users for $77 each (total of $1,540)
- Bulk discounts for 50 users at $57 each (total of $2,850)
- Unlimited users within the organization for $5,500 per month
Are you ready to build and sell your online courses to businesses and organizations?
Sarah shared many great tips and advice on selling your B2B course in bulk to organizations willing to pay top dollar for your training. Your next step is to take your course and look for ways to customize it and make it appealing to these organizations by applying the insights provided in this article.
When you sign up for a Thinkific Plus plan, our team specializes in helping you organize your online courses to personalize and sell them to B2B clients so you can grow and scale your business. We provide you with the platform and the know-how to help you up-level your training programs and experience.
If you’re ready to make the switch to Thinkific Plus, book a call with our Solutions team and get started today.