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Benefits of Extended Enterprise Learning

How to Increase Channel Sales Revenue with Extended Enterprise Learning

Here we look at how to increase channel sales revenue with extended enterprise learning, whether that’s via franchisees, resellers / affiliates, distributors or even your existing customers.

If your company has a sales team, it’s common to focus your efforts as a manager on equipping your employees with the strategy, knowledge/skills and assets they need to maximise new business. However, few companies operate in isolation and there is often an extensive network of partners that could work better to help you sell more of your products or services.


That network potential is known as the Extended Enterprise....

What is Extended Enterprise?

Extended Enterprise is a term coined by Chrysler in the 1990s to describe the collaboration between a company and its supply chain to gain competitive advantage. Since then, it has broadened to encompass a company’s entire network of collaborative relationships from suppliers to logistics, retail partners and end-users or customers.


Paying attention to the entire extended enterprise (sometimes referred to as the ‘Value Chain’) allows managers to see opportunities to improve efficiency, elevate sales and maximise profits.


The concept can be applied to any 3rd parties who can directly influence the success of a business. So, by fostering more collaboration at all levels outside your own company, potential partners can be leveraged beyond them just performing their main role (i.e. doing the bare minimum).

Ways to Increase Channel Sales Performance

Here are 5 ways to increase channel sales performance that can be adopted by any marketing or business development manager with a network of partners:

1. Measure performance frequently, and from the outset

Before diving straight into a new programme of activities to boost revenue, it’s important to measure existing performance so that you can see what partners and tactics are seeing progress over time.


Establish your current baseline, then track changes consistently so that you can see patterns across activity and new business generated.


Sharing performance data with your channel partners will build trust as it will show you are invested in their performance, and will help both you and them to see what is working.

2. Incentivise channel partners

Your internal sales team is likely compensated based on business development performance. However, suppliers and logistics providers may be doing business with potential new customers. Give them a strong reason to think of recommending you - don’t limit revenue incentives to traditional sales channels, such as retailers.

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3. Provide assets that communicate your brand and sales messages

Sales teams are always provided with marketing materials that communicate the latest messaging to reinforce your unique selling points and branding. However, external partners are not always given the same benefits.


By viewing every member of the extended enterprise as part of your team and as a potential salesperson, you’ll naturally think to give them all the latest materials and insights.


In the world of web hosting for example, affiliate schemes are extremely common. Website hosts often provide affiliates with a login area containing a knowledge hub of sales advice and a wide range of adverts for use on an affiliate’s own website.

4. Create bite-size learning content

If it’s your own sales team, it’s their job to study and absorb your new, 50-page product brochure. If it’s your logistics provider - they’ve got their day job to focus on and an in-depth manual will be too daunting.


Be selective and give them some bite-size learning materials that will allow them to further their knowledge of your products and services to the level where they can be a good advocate for your company.

5. Communicate proactively

Don’t just hand over new learning materials and expect the new business to start rolling in. Check-in regularly with all aspects of your extended enterprise and make sales performance a key part of the discussion. Not only will it show partners that you are serious about their sales potential, but you’ll learn about what aspects of your extended enterprise learning content is working for them. Maybe affiliates love it, but suppliers find it cumbersome. Listen, learn, tweak and repeat.

So, if you think following the 5 principles above might work for your company and your existing or potential channel sales partners, how do you make communicating and sharing knowledge and assets with them easy? That’s where an extended enterprise learning platform comes in.

Extended Enterprise Learning Platforms

The extended enterprise learning platform creates an environment for sharing knowledge and best practice, and making the latest materials available for your channel sales network wherever and whenever they need it.


Also known as an Extended Enterprise LMS (learning management system), this platform should make it easy to add or update partner training materials with little to no duplication of effort across different internal or external user groups.


Here are some of the key features of the best extended enterprise learning platforms:

Centralised Management

Whoever creates and distributes your knowledge and sales materials for your internal and external audiences should be able to do so via a single user area.


A multi-tenancy LMS enables you to create different user experiences for different types of external partner, such as suppliers, franchisees or distributors without being distracted by irrelevant training pathways or materials. You can even create a unique ‘tenant’ area that is set up with your partner’s branding (or co-branding with theirs and yours) to make them feel at home.

Community and Collaboration

Rather than handing over some learning materials and leaving partners to get on with it, you can really increase channel sales revenue by offering ongoing support and, if appropriate, allowing a level of interaction across user types. This can lead to knowledge-sharing that breeds new ideas, collaboration and synergies.

IT System Integration

You don’t want an extended enterprise learning platform to be yet another piece of software to get to grips with and that adds another layer of logins and admin duplication. A good extended enterprise learning platform will integrate seamlessly with your existing IT systems.


While ensuring data security, system integration will allow user data sharing with HR system for internal staff and your CRM for channel sales partners for example. Single sign-on (SSO) eliminates the hassle of logging in and out of various systems with various passwords.

Powerful reporting and analytics tools

If you’re rolling out an extended enterprise learning platform to help boost channel sales revenue, you’ll want data on how it’s affecting performance across each part of your partner network. A good platform will give you reporting and analytics tools that give you actionable insights across geographies and partner types.


Find which content is not getting looked at to understand what is not engaging partners. See which partners are driving the most new business and align that with their use of learning and sales materials to then use them as the benchmark for best practice.


This information will help you to turn extended enterprise learning into a machine for driving new business via channel sales - whether that’s from existing partners and distributors or leveraging the potential of your supply chain.

Centralised Management

Whoever creates and distributes your knowledge and sales materials for your internal and external audiences should be able to do so via a single user area.

Can we help you to increase channel sales revenue with an extended enterprise learning platform?


Get in touch with us here at imc Learning for an informal discussion about your needs and performance goals.


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