Spend any time in “Reseller Land” and you’ll quickly realise that the way IT resellers view each other differs substantially to the way competitors size one another up in other industries.  We have a lot more peers or partners than we do rivals.  Having said that, the IT industry is not unlike all industries when it comes to one fact; the more training your team has, the more likely your company is to succeed.

In Reseller Land we are always on the lookout for training opportunities.  There are a number of sources that offer great experiences outside of getting Microsoft Certifications or University degrees.  These provide ongoing, real word experience and on-the-job training; and don’t have to cost an arm and a leg!

Vendor Product training – Most distributors and vendors have regular product training on offer.  We’ve had many occasions where our suppliers have offered tailored training to suit our team, at our office!  The only thing we’re asked to do is make the time for it (and of course, hopefully sell more product).

System training – Whatever we can learn about the Line of Business (LOB) systems we use daily gives us an advantage, whether it’s unlocking the capabilities or gaining efficiencies through better utilisation.  We are constantly encouraging the vendors of our LOB systems when it comes to training; dive deeper into the software so that we get more out of it.

Utilise any online resources your Vendors provide, you might be surprised at how detailed training videos can be.  Inspire staff to spend ½ hour a week brushing up on new skills.  This goes for software packages such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Creative Suites or whatever your teams are using; you’ll get more out of them if they get more out of their software!

Coaching – It may seem logical, but your seniors are going to have knowledge that can help more junior staff succeed.  Create a forum where employees are encouraged to train each other.  Hold training sessions after hours and throw on some dinner.  Get staff used to presenting their thoughts and ideas and teaching each other.

Peer groups – The concept of the Peer Group is growing in the IT Industry with many SMB Business Owners joining HTG Peer Groups.  This is an association designed specifically for leaders who want to share and collaborate with other leaders in their industry.  Peer Groups help leaders to grow; it makes them pause and consider their own personal goals and objectives.

We’re sure that these sorts of opportunities are not limited to the IT Industry.  What vendor training programs are on offer in your industry?  What online resources could you encourage your staff to check out?  Can you get more out of your LOB systems?  Have you checked out Peer Groups, or thought about starting one?