How to Sell Online Courses to Corporate Clients

Sell courses online to corporate clients

Selling online courses to enterprise clients

Course authors often ask me how to sell their courses to large companies. They don’t want to just sell one seat to their courses; they want to sell 100, 1,000, or even 5,000 seats. 

I tell course authors that selling to large companies is absolutely doable – and it is for you, too. Large companies have big training needs, and with the right material, you can get corporations interested in your courses. 

Selling dozens of course seats to a company is easy and can be run through your learning management system. But if you’re selling to a company big enough to purchase hundreds or even thousands of seats, they won’t want to put their people in your LMS system. 

Instead, they’ll want to put your course in their LMS system – and that means your big corporate client is going to want a SCORM file, xAPI (Tin Can) file for their enterprise-level LMS. 

But what the heck is a SCORM file or a Tin Can file? 


What are SCORM files?

SCORM stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model. 

SCORM is a set of technical standards for e-learning software products.SCORM standardizes the delivery of your content – creating your course as a SCORM file allows you to put it in any LMS system with the guarantee that it will look and act the same, regardless of the system you use. 


What is xAPI and Tin Can?

In comparison, xAPI or Tin Can is actually a further evolution of SCORM with more capabilities to communicate and pass richer data to the LMS system than SCORM does. 

The LMS system you choose and your overall reporting needs will dictate whether you use SCORM or Tin Can. For easy reading, I’m going to use the word SCORM interchangeably for both SCORM and Tin Can for the rest of this article. 


What is the best SCORM authoring tool?

SCORM files are normally made in an authoring tool like Articulate Storyline, Articulate Rise, or Captivate. These software tools allow instructional designers to make interactive courses with elements the learner can interact with, like games, knowledge checks, and videos. 

When your design is complete, you export a SCORM file that you can import into your learning management system. This makes it super easy to set up your course by simply uploading and importing a SCORM file into your LMS. 

It’s similar to uploading a Word doc to Dropbox. Instead of uploading 50 individual video files and arranging them in the LMS, you’re most likely going to upload a single SCORM file, and that’s it! 

I know for sure that your large corporate client will not take dozens of your videos and upload all of them into their LMS one by one. They are going to expect a SCORM file.

SCORM files give you interactive capabilities in your course to keep learners more engaged (because, let’s be real, hours of talking head video is just plain boring). SCORM standardizes the delivery of your course across multiple LMS systems and makes setup of your course in those systems quick and easy. 


How do you license SCORM content?

Now that you have your SCORM file and you just sold 1,000 seats to a big client, they’ll want to license your content for their LMS system. But you’re NOT going to automatically hand your unprotected SCORM file to your new client for their LMS system. 

You do not, under any circumstances, want to lose control of your content. 

I learned this the hard way years ago. I was super excited to sell to a large retail store chain. I thought we had a great working relationship, so when they asked for the original SCORM file, I gave it to them. 

BIG MISTAKE! They took that SCORM file and never paid the balance of their bill or the ongoing course licensing fees. And what’s worse, they ghosted me! 

I never heard from them again. I don’t want that to happen to you. 

So, how do you license your content without losing control? You do this with a course license management system. In this situation, you upload your SCORM files on a platform that you control. Once your course content is uploaded,  the system wraps your course file with technology that allows you to hand over your course files to your customer, so they can put it into their LMS system. 

And here’s the best part…you retain control over that content. 

      • If your client doesn’t pay their bill, you can turn off the course so they no longer have access. 

      • If your customer tries to put more people into your course than what you agreed to, you can set a limit on the number of seats. 

      • If they want to add more, they’ll have the option to buy them from you.

      • You’ll also get reports on the number of people who accessed your courses and what they did. 

    A course license management system or a SCORM file management system protects your content and allows you to safely pursue large corporate clients for those big sales. 

    It’s also very important to have an attorney advise you on structuring the licensing agreement for your enterprise-level clients to sign. Here are a couple of points to consider as you develop your licensing agreement. 


    How do I create a licensing agreement for my online course?

    First, consider the payment terms. You might have a difficult time getting 100% payment upfront from an enterprise-level company. But whether you sell to a Fortune 100 or a solopreneur, you must have a deposit. 

    You may want to ask for 30-50% of the project cost upfront and the remainder in 30 days. Your SCORM file management system protects you and pretty much guarantees payment since you can turn the course off at any time.

    Second, decide how you’ll want to process additional seats when your client needs them. It could be an online form, an email, or a phone call. Develop your process ahead of time so your enterprise client knows exactly how easy it is to spend more money with you. 

    Third, decide the length of time they have access to your material. Is it for life? Is it for a year? Is it for six months? I see a lot of licensing agreements that are for annual use. In this case, your charges renew every year to keep the income flowing. 

    I recommend making fresh updates to your course each year so your corporate clients see the value in continuing to use your material year after year. 


    Online course help and e-learning resources

    At The URL dr we help course authors create interactive SCORM courses and produce e-learning animation and video.  We also offer course license management systems to protect your content.

    Click here, if you’d like to test drive a few interactive courses to see the difference over a video course. 

    Also, be sure and check out my other videos, blog articles, and guides on how to pick the best LMS system for selling courses, how to plan and design an e-learning course, and more.

    If you have questions about creating interactive courses in SCORM files that don’t suck or how to license your content, contact me for a no-obligation chat. Here’s how to schedule with me. 

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    kim merritt instructional designer the url dr elearning company

    Kim Merritt

    The URL dr

    "Can I lend a hand?"

    Developing custom e-learning solutions with Articulate Storyline and Rise 360 allow our creativity to come shining through. Our e-learning course development services have been used by both Fortune 500s and small business. Unlike many custom e-learning development companies, 100% of our work is produced here in the US. Our instructional designers will help bring your course to life. Let’s talk about how we can work together.

    We’ll make your course look fabulous!

    Stressed about your e-learning course?

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    My team and I can handle all your e-learning and LMS needs, making the process of launching a course an enjoyable and easy experience. We’re here to help. Let’s discuss your project. 

    Kim Merritt, The URL dr