All Manufactures know that they need product training 

Everyone needs to get up to speed on how to use specific products. Every product is a little bit different and getting distributors and contractors to really understand a product makes them more likely to spec it into a project. Also, increased product knowledge will decrease customer service time that manufactures spend with existing customers.

Existing product trainings are done face-to-face, but there are a few problems with face-to-face product trainings.

  1. Face-to-face product trainings are expensive for both the instructor, especially if he’s traveling, and the students. The students have to take time out of their day to go to the training. Missing work in the construction industry is very expensive.
  2. One person can ruin a training. In face-to-face trainings, strong personalities or a single member that has less experience than other students can significantly decrease the value of the training to rest of the students. In an online product training, those people can easily be controlled by the instructor and they won’t impact the other students learning.
  3. In-depth technical training are actually better online. We’ve taught people how to design Net Zero Energy Homes, in a 100% online course. If we can teach people how to design amazing homes online, you can do a product training.
  4. It’s hard to get 1-on-1 time with every student in a face-to-face training. In online trainings you can address everyone’s questions and schedule 1 on 1 time with everyone with weekly office hours.
  5. In a face-to-face training, it’s hard to tell if everyone is understanding the material. In an online product training, you can track who is completing the assignment with the progress bar, and you can also create quizzes for each module to make sure students are learning the material.

Why every manufacture making energy efficiency or renewable energy products should build a product training on HeatSpring

  • Get in front of 6,000 solar PV, solar thermal and geothermal alumni and all new students.
  • Get in front of 33,000 newsletter subscribers and 10,000 monthly online magazine readers that are all extremely interested in products and working in the renewable energy business.
  • HeatSpring is great at marketing and we’ll get your name out there. We write in numerous industry publications, like Renewable Energy World, Cleantechies, Greentech Media and Alternative Energy Stocks. Click here to see our press page. 
  • Get direct connection with contractors that are signed up for your course in two ways. First, you’ll get all the students contact information so you can follow up with them after the course. Second, you’ll have direct contact with all the students on the course wall during the course.

Why is Heatspring Building a Product Training Library?

  1. We receive a lot of questions about products, and frankly, we don’t have enough time to answer them, but we want to be a resource to our students and readers.
  2. Our readers, students and alumni want to keep up to date with the best products that are hitting the market.
  3. By helping our alumni and readers more and more people will trust Heatspring. This is good for our brand.

How do we know it works? SRECTrade’s Product Training is an Example

SRECTrade is a perfect example of a product training that we offer. I’ll use them as an example of why we (HeatSpring) created the product training, what specifically a product training is comprised of, and why it’s awesome for SRECTrade’s business.

Why did we create it?

Everyone on the east coast is trying to figure out the SREC markets. Thus, we were spending a lot of time answering questions about SRECs and writing about them. It was clear that offering a free product training course would be very valuable.

What exactly is in the course?

Here is a quick 3 minute tour of what the inside of a product training looks like, and how the student sees the course once they are inside of it. 

How many people take the course?

As you can see, every 1 to 2 months, we get around 50 people in the course. For SRECTrade, these are all their customers, contractors looking to learn more about SRECs.

What is contained in a course?

1. First, there are modules. Product trainings tend to have two to three modules. Here is what a module looks like:

2. Within each module, you can upload video presentations, PDFs, downloadable tools, quizzes. Whatever you use for existing product trainings can be used in an online course. 

Here’s an example of what a video would look like once the student clicks on it.

3. We’ll create a sales page that can have a introduction video and will also go over what the course will cover, the instructor, and when it will be. You can see the example from SRECTrade in this video:

4. The course wall. The course wall is where all the discussion happens with the course. This is where you’ll have direct connection with each student and have them introduce themselves and answer any questions that they have during the course.

Watch the video above to see the course wall in action, here’s a picture of what happens in a course for student introductions.

Who should create a product training?

We’re building our product training for many categories

  1. Solar PV: Module manufactures, inverter manufactures, racking manufactures, software product, other tools related to the sales, design and installation of the product.
  2. Solar thermal: modules, storage tanks, pump packages, controls, software.
  3. HVAC: Any equipment and products that contractors use to install air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps.

What we need from you to create a product training

If you’re interested in offering a product training, here’s what we need from you.

  1. One single product. You can upload a product training for one single product.
  2. Up to 1 hour of video. These can be split into many videos. Video is a nice to have, but it’s not required.
  3. Up to 5 supporting resources. These can be PDFs, tools, or presentations.
  4. 1 or 2 quizzes that are either multiple choice or true/false. Students and instructors need quizzes to make sure that students are learning the material.
  5. A picture and bio of the instructor. The instructor should be the person who is best able to answer the questions from the students. These are most typically, a) a sales or marketing manager or b) the a training director.

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