How To Increase Your Training Course Sales With Online Booking
If you are a training company, chances are your main aim every day is to make sure you sell as much training as possible. Obviously you want to make sure all your courses are running smoothly, as well as ensuring you are producing the best training content possible, but sales are what keeps the wheels of any business turning. This is true whether you offer eLearning, classrooms based courses, or even a blended learning approach. If you’re looking for ways to increase your training course sales, using a great online course booking platform could be the answer you’re looking for. Let’s take a look at some tips to increase your training course sales with online booking.
1. Let’s Integrate
When you’re looking at course booking platform options, there are two main kinds on offer – integrated and non-integrated.
A non-integrated course booking platform will allow you to offer online course bookings, and maybe even take payment for them online, but that’s really where they stop. You’ll still have to do any work that is triggered by this sale, such as passing the lead onto your sales team, manually adding them to the course to make sure your class fill-rate numbers are correct, informing your tutors of any class changes, emailing the student with further details for the class, etc.
You may decide to go for the non-integrated version, because at least you will be able to offer your courses online, but it’s still going to mean a lot of manual work for you in the long run. A lot of this admin work can be avoided if you pick an integrated course booking platform instead.
Ideally, you want to integrate your website and your training management system, if you use one, with an online course booking platform to make sure that all the systems you use are communicating with each other, as this will make your life as easy as possible. Not only will it mean you don’t have to worry about making sure all the data is inputted separately into each system so nothing is lost, but it will also save you a lot of time as you won’t have to input lots of duplicate data every time you sell a course online.
2. Keep Your Customers Happy
Taking online course bookings isn’t just good for you – it’s good for your customers as well. If customers find your courses online, chances are they would rather book online than have to take the time to phone you and make their booking separately. According to eCommerce in the United Kingdom: Facts & Figures 2016, 92% of the British population are Internet users, with 77% of those users making an online purchase in 2015. With online sales growing at a rate of 16.2% in 2015, it’s clear that purchasing online is still growing in popularity, so it really would be stupid not to give your customers the option to purchase from you online!
You may lose some bookings if people don’t have time at that particular moment to complete the transaction, and then forget about it later. That’s why it’s so important to give them the opportunity to complete the sale when they first discover your business.
It also means you don’t need to worry about losing sales if you don’t have someone on the end of the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Taking online course bookings means your customers can always book with you, no matter what time of day it is, so you’ll never lose a sale just because it’s not business hours.
There’s also the added benefit that your customers will never be greeted with a busy tone if they’re trying to phone you while all your salespeople are already involved in other calls. Online booking means you can service as many customers at one time as you need to, and never had to worry about dropping a sale because your phone line was busy or unmanned when someone tried to call.
If you don’t offer online booking, you run the risk that a potential customer will just Google one of your competitors and purchase from them instead, rather than take the time out of their day to contact you by phone or email to make their purchase.
Keep your phones free for those customers who need to ask some questions before they commit to buy, so they can get all the information they need and complete their purchase in one go, and let everyone else purchase through your website. This makes life easier for everyone involved.
3. Never Lose A Lead
As we’ve mentioned above, you obviously want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to purchase from you so you never lose a customer, but it’s equally important to make sure you keep track of all your customers’ information as well.
Imagine if you took a booking over the phone, and sold a place on a certain course, but forgot to ask them for some important information, such as their email address or phone number, so you can send them follow-up information about their chosen course. With an online course booking system, this will never happen. You can decide all the information you need from a customer for them to complete their booking, and once they have completed the sale, all the information will be stored for you to view whenever you need it!
This is vital if you need to send customers further information on the courses they have signed up for, but it also means you have a record of all the people you’ve already sold to, so your Sales team can follow-up with them, or your Marketing team can have access to a ready-made list for some remarketing.
This also cuts down on duplicate data entry and wasting loads of time on admin, as everything will be automatically loaded into the system for you whenever a customer completes a purchase online, so you won’t have to lift a finger.
4. Configure Automated Communications
If you can integrate your Training Management System with your online course booking platform, it should make the communications side of your business a whole lot easier as well. Instead of having a member of staff manually send all the different types of a communications a student will need to receive, you can set it up so that everything is done automatically once they have enrolled on one of your courses.
Some of the best examples of using this feature are:
- When a student signs up for a course you can automatically send them their booking confirmation and registration instructions.
- At a set time before the course begins, such as a week before, you can send any final details to the student so they are all ready to go when the course begins.
- At a set time after the course finishes you can send a feedback survey to your students to see what they thought of the course.
- If the students has gained a qualification which is only valid for a certain period of time, you can send an automated communication to them just before the qualification is due to expire, reminding them to re-enrol with you.
Having these communications send automatically will save you a lot of time, and will ensure no important communications are ever forgotten.
5. Keep Courses Up-To-Date
Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, information can slip through the cracks. Maybe you’ve changed the time of a certain course, and while you’ve remembered to change the time on your website, you’ve forgotten to inform your tutors. This could spell disaster, as your students are going to be in the right place at the right time, but their tutor won’t be.
Using an online course booking system means that you should only have to update the information once, as your integrated website will automatically pull the most up-to-date data to display to customers. This also means that any tutors logging on to check the details of their upcoming courses will receive the new information too, as everything will be updated in real-time.
That means you only have to make changes once, and as everything is connected, all your systems will display the new, updated information straight away. This saves you even more time and prevents there being any mix-ups or confusion.
6. Keep Everything In One Place
We’ve mentioned above how integrating your website, a Training Management System, and a course booking system will make your life easier because everything will be in one place, but there are lots of different benefits to this, aside from just having to only input your data once.
Having all your data stored in one place means reporting will be a breeze. All your data such as course information, student information, financial data, etc. will all be in one place, meaning pulling together reports will be far less legwork. Rather than having to go hunting for all the information you need, which could be held with different people, or even hiding on someone’s computer who doesn’t even work at your business any more, you’ll be able to pull together exactly the data you need in seconds. Also, all the data will always be updated in real-time, so you’ll never suffer the embarrassment of pulling together a report using last month’s figures by mistake.
We’ve mentioned it a few times, but really think how much time that could save you - not just once, but every time you have to compile a report on any aspect of your business.
7. Don’t Stop There
While making the move to online course booking should help you improve those sales numbers, it’s important to make sure you don’t stop there. Think about how your Sales and Marketing teams can supercharge you course sales even further, by doing things like promoting your courses on social media, through marketing activities such as marketing emails and blog posts, and by using things like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising.
It’s important to do everything you can to make your courses easily accessible to all your potential customers, and that means being front and center when they start searching the internet for the types of courses they are interested in attending.
If you’re simple to find, and purchasing through you is quick and easy, this should give you the edge over your competitors, and you should start to see those course bookings increase!