eLearning ROI: 4 Benefits of Online Training + How to Prove Its Value

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Paula Naba ·

Aug 09, 2022

As a professional, you’ve probably received plenty of questions about eLearning ROI (return on investment) and if your online training program is working. 

You want to help them understand how the initiative can pay for itself with increased brand awareness, reduced expenses, increased revenue and a host of other metrics important to the company’s bottom line.

That may sound difficult, but with a learning management system that incorporates tracking and reporting functions, it doesn’t have to be. 

Below, we’ll look at 4 eLearning ROI metrics, but the big picture to keep in mind is that a successful online training program grows from a clear vision of the business outcomes you want to achieve. So the training program should focus on them and track the hard data needed to demonstrate that what you’re doing is helping the company.

Common Business Outcomes

  • Increasing conversion rates
  • Decreasing time to value (TTV)
  • Increasing product adoption
  • Boosting retention 
  • Ensuring compliance 
  • Increasing revenue 
  • Improving satisfaction 

Online Training ROI Metrics to Consider

  1. Increased Service Excellence

By giving learners training when and where they need it, you enable them to be successful. 

Uber and Shipt deliver 100% mobile training because they know that's how their contractors consume information. They focus on their defined target learner and craft their training to be perfectly tailored to their audience

Even more, Uber and Shipt have had phenomenal success because when their contractors are on the go, they know how to assist their customers while upholding company and safety standards. They learn about important values and best practices through training that enables them to be excellent brand ambassadors, which in turn, helps grow revenue.

Ultimately, you want to help your learners know how to excel at the service they’re providing even when out in the field, so metrics that track improved response times or lower cancellation rates help demonstrate ROI

  1. Operational Efficiencies

Name an operational goal for your organization — attracting more talent, decreasing onboarding time, getting new hires in the field — and you’ll realize the key to reaching these goals is through training. 

Accessible content helps people get comfortable, feel confident, and grow into their role quickly. 

While Compass Academy was conceived to assist with training agents in the field, it’s led to a new discovery: Recruit more top-tier talent. 

In addition to doing 1:1 product demos, strategic growth managers can share academy content directly with recruits to let them explore the value Compass provides and how its platform can directly impact their businesses. 

To motivate talent to continue making contributions to your business, you need to make them feel like there’s room for growth. Companies that offer plenty of professional development opportunities are showing that they encourage career advancement. In fact, ​​76% of employees want opportunities for career growth. This need has grown recently in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goals summarized above can be measured using the following metrics. These are measured by your team, department, or business as a whole:

  • Volume of new applicants 
  • Time to onboard new talent
  • Retention rates 
  • Time to productivity 

To gather feedback from employees, it’s important to create surveys to capture:

  • Satisfaction of the topics covered 
  • Relevancy of the content 
  • Skills developed post training
  1. Revenue Retention

The ultimate success of an online training initiative is measured in increased renewals. One common metric is gross revenue retention. 

Instructional videos and brief learning modules influence renewal rates by imparting fundamental knowledge to your customers. Ultimately, online learning demonstrates your commitment to helping customers succeed.

Today, at Bonfire, 100% of implementations use its academy. This minimizes time-to-value (TTV), allowing Bonfire to onboard customers quickly and realize the platform’s benefits. Through quicker time-to-value, customer renewal rates increase and gross revenue retention is maintained.

Since it’s more cost effective to retain customers than to acquire new ones, training that keeps them engaged and successful retains revenue and reduces churn. 

  1. Reduced Support Costs

Expenses associated with support services are also definitively and measurably impacted when you introduce a training program.

By enabling your customers and workforce to become more knowledgeable, the number of inbound tickets decreases significantly. 

Once adequately trained, your customers have less need to reach out for guidance from your support staff.

SPS sees each engagement with SPS Training Center as a support call that’s been avoided. SPS bases this perception on the premise that as it trains and educates its customers, they become more knowledgeable and find greater value in the platform. They become more self sufficient and confident using the product and less reliant on SPS’ support teams.

And it’s easy to calculate this impact. If your support ticket total was 990 in the month before you launched the training program and 500 after, you can directly tie the training to the reduction in support costs. That all filters down to the ROI calculation.

How to Measure eLearning ROI 

With the four metrics to prove the ROI of your online training program in mind, you can set up reports in your LMS to continually measure the business impact

LMS reporting is highly likely to give learning managers a headache, yet good reporting is one of the most important features in a learning management platform.

Case in point: Brandon Hall Group research has found that reporting/analytics is the number one challenge presented by customer training.

Part of the problem may be that learning administrators don’t know what data to pull from their LMS.

Multiple Course Analysis Report

 

 

Which learners are engaging with the most courses? Who’s actively accessing course content with the highest engagement percentages? Which courses have the highest completion rates?

Learner participation is probably one of the most common reports pulled from LMS software. Pulling up a report showing engagement percentages across courses will show you which courses are most popular and have the most learners actively engaging with them. Having this information gives you direct insight into which course are most valuable for your learners to achieve success.

This kind of report is invaluable to a sales team who may want to see how engaged their customers are with your training. Using an LMS that integrates with a CRM like HubSpot, you can also track the relationship between learning and sales. 

Do customers buy more after training? This data can tell you.

Course Completion Report

 

What if your learners aren’t completing your courses when they should be? Pulling up a course completion report can show you which learners haven’t finished certain courses.

While this information is useful for sales or customer success teams, it may be most useful for channel sales directors or channel marketing managers who are using the LMS to administer certification programs for channel partners and vendors.

As we’ve previously discussed, channel partners may feel they’re too busy for the training you’re offering. This LMS data can tell the channel sales director who hasn’t been taking it and who’s currently uncertified.

Single Course Analysis Report

 

Which course content is more popular? Are more people engaging in different parts of courses versus others?

By pulling this report, you can see where your instructional designer should be spending their time updating existing courses and making them more attractive to learners

This can also tell you which courses are unengaging for learners and should be archived. This can also be an indicator of how well your content achieves behavioral changes and knowledge acquisition in your learner base.

Optimize Your Program and Measure Along the Way

A good training program will render key data about who’s engaging with the content, how learners are progressing and how fast, where they struggle and whether they’ve actually absorbed the knowledge.

There are many ways to measure the ROI in a way that matters for your business goals, but some of the metrics above — proficiency, efficiency, earnings and support costs — are a great way to get started. 

At the end of the day, your training improves your bottom line in all kinds of ways, some of which can be hard to find. The more you look and the more value you discover, the more complete your training ROI will become.

If both ROI and training are important to you, we'd love to help.

Get started today! Book a demo with us and let us know how we can help you prove the ROI of your training program.  

 

About the Author
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Paula Naba

Paula Naba heads CX at Northpass. Aside from being a customer advocate, Paula is an outdoor enthusiast. She loves spending time outside with her family and labrador.

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