How to Develop Training Materials That Get Results [& Free Templates]

Adelina Karpenkova
January 11, 2023
min read
December 4, 2023
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Learn how to develop training materials that get results with our free templates. Create effective employee and customer training with our step-by-step guide.
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You’re getting down to updating or developing your company’s training program. What are the things you must know to save time while creating top-notch training resources? 

This guide covers the different types of training materials, the step-by-step process for training materials development, and key KPIs to measure their success. Read on to learn how to develop training materials your audience loves.

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TL;DR: How to develop training materials

  • To create effective training materials, distinguish between internal and external resources and understand the best learning format for your audience.
  • Have a standard action plan for updating or creating new training materials.
  • Measure the performance of your training program by defining key performance indicators (KPIs) for each module.
  • Follow a cost-effective strategy by identifying goals, repurposing existing resources, automating the process, testing materials before rollout, and publishing them in a centralized knowledge hub.
  • Continuously update your training program based on feedback and measure its effectiveness using internal and external training KPIs.

Ty‎pes of training materials

First things first. What are training materials?

Training materials are any resource created to educate end-users. They can be split into two categories:

  • Internal training materials.
  • External training materials.

… which in their turn, are split into many more types of training materials.

Internal training materials

1. Employee handbooks: A comprehensive guide to policies and procedures that provide employees with details on the company's expectations and regulations.

2. Employee manuals: A comprehensive guide to employee rights, responsibilities and company policies on topics such as safety, attendance, dress code and performance.

3. Job descriptions: These provide employees with an overview of their roles and responsibilities and define their performance expectations.

4. Training videos: These videos provide an in-depth look at topics related to employee development and job performance.

5. Online training courses: These courses are designed to help employees learn and develop new skills in a self-paced environment.

6. Training workshops: These workshops provide hands-on training and allow employees to practice new skills in a collaborative environment. 

7. On-the-job training: This type of training allows employees to learn as they work and allows them to develop their skills in a real-world environment.

External training materials

1. In-app education: This training includes interactive in-app workflows, tooltips and product tours.  It’s most effective for customer onboarding and new feature adoption.

2. Training manuals: These manuals provide employees with step-by-step instructions on using products and services and addressing any customer inquiries. Users can typically access them in a customer-facing knowledge base.

3. Training videos: These videos provide an in-depth look at topics related to digital customer service and sales and how to use products and services. These are usually a part of your knowledge base.

4. Webinars: These are one-off instructor-led video sessions on specific topics.

5. Online training courses: These courses help your customers learn and develop new skills in a self-paced environment. HubSpot’s Academy is a good example of a branded online training course.

6. Training workshops: These workshops are designed to provide hands-on training and allow customers to practice new skills in a collaborative environment. This type of training is good for educating high-ticket clients and customers.

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Ho‎w to develop training materials in 8 steps

When you develop a training program for internal or external use, no wonder you get overwhelmed by the amount of work ahead. Follow this step-by-step process to streamline your training materials development.

Step 1. Identify the key goals & objectives of the training material

Take the time to identify your learning objective clearly. What skills, knowledge and attitudes would you like the learners to gain from the experience?

Try to be as specific as possible—the answer will help you understand what you need to develop and why you’re doing it. And the better you understand your purpose and the target audience, the more targeted and effective training materials you will create. 

Step 2. Decide on the type of training materials

Once the learning objective has been identified, you can specify a type of training that works best for this purpose. 

To do so, it helps to break down the topic into several smaller modules and think of the future structure of the program. Will you manage to create training videos for each topic, or does it make sense to focus on text-based guides? You’ll be able to answer this question when you know what topics you’re going to cover and how deep you want to dive with your content.

It’s also good to talk to your employees—if you work on internal training materials—to discover their preferred learning styles and choose the type of training content accordingly. 

Step 3. Gather the resources needed to create the training materials 

You don’t have to start from scratch. It’s very likely you already have a bunch of relevant resources, like videos, articles and visuals, that you can repurpose for your training program. 

Make a list of blogs and knowledge base resources that you published earlier and think of where they could fit in your training materials. For example, if you want to produce a video course, you can use your older blog posts to create scripts for your videos.

Step 4. Automate the process with documentation tools

Use Scribe to develop training materials in seconds

‎When possible, automate the process by using tools like Scribe. This process documentation tool will follow any online process and create step-by-step guides, complete with screenshots and captions, saving you hours of work.

With Scribe, you can create customer and employee onboarding materials, document new standard operating procedures (SOPs) or create troubleshooting guides in seconds. All you need is to turn on the extension and perform the desired action, and Scribe will document the process for you.

Use Scribe's generative AI to add titles, descriptions, additional context and redact sensitive info. Add custom branding, edit screenshots, include helpful tips and more. Share through a quick link, PDF export or embedded in any of your favorite tools.

Here's how Scribe user Ross Stevenson is creating how-to guides with Scribe.

Whether you're developing onboarding programs, skill-building modules or compliance training, Scribe has you covered.

Step 5. Test your training materials before the rollout

Share the resulting training materials with stakeholders, subject matter experts or a test audience sample to collect their feedback before the launch. Doing so lets you see if your content is intuitive enough and spot any discrepancies early.

Step 6. Publish your training materials where the target audience can access them

You need a centralized knowledge hub where you can locate all your training materials. It can be an external or internal knowledge base, a company intranet or a learning management system (LMS). 

You can also use Scribe Pages to publish your training materials and manage all your Scribes from one place. 

How to set up Calendly - How to develop training materials

Step 7. Measure the effectiveness of your training materials

When you plan training for your organization or clients, you expect to gain tangible business outcomes. Therefore, it’s important to set the goals and KPIs before your training materials go live and start measuring the effectiveness of your initiative after end-users complete their education.

Below you’ll find examples of KPIs that you can use to measure the effectiveness of your training materials.

Step 8. Continue to update your training program

You can pinpoint areas for improvement based on the intermediate results of your training efforts. You may need to add more detailed content, remove redundant modules, add more visuals, or even change the type of training materials.

Luckily, it’s easy to update training materials. With universal updates, when you make edits to one Scribe, it will be updated everywhere you've used that guide.


10‎ training materials examples & templates

1. Training manual template

A training manual is a versatile tool for trainers in any industry or organization. Use Scribe's training manual template to create a comprehensive guide to help trainers deliver effective training programs.

2. Training needs assessment template

‎A training needs assessment helps you identify and address skill gaps, improve employee performance and align your training with the business' goals. Use this training needs assessment template to maximize the effectiveness of your employee training and development efforts.

3. New hire onboarding guide template

‎Onboarding is an essential tool for any organization that wants to create a positive onboarding experience for new employees. This new hire onboarding guide template can help you provide a structured and consistent onboarding experience for new employees.

4. Standard operating procedure (SOP) template

‎SOPs are essential for ensuring consistency and quality in operations, as well as for ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Use Scribe's SOP template to create clear, concise, and consistent standard operating procedures.

5. New-hire training template

By providing new employees with a clear understanding of their responsibilities, you can increase job satisfaction‎ and reduce costs and time.

This new-hire training template helps you give new employees the resources, tools and knowledge they need to perform their jobs effectively.

6. Individual employee training plan template

No two employees are the same. A customized learning and development plan ensures that employees receive the support they need to succeed.‎

Use Scribe's individual employee training plan template to create customized learning and development plans, provide tailored support and improve job performance.

7. Sales training guide template

‎Provides sales professionals or teams with the skills, knowledge, and tools they need to sell products or services effectively. Scribe's sales training guide template can be tailored to various sales roles, including inside sales, outside sales, business development, and account management. 

8. Product training template

Scribe's product training template to create a comprehensive training program for a new product or service. Use the free template to outline the product's key features, benefits, use cases, the target audience and their needs.

9. Customer service training manual template

Map out critical processes and procedures for your customer service team, making it easier for new team members to get up to speed. ‎Use this free customer service training manual template to develop an effective training program for your customer service team.

10. Client training template

‎Create a comprehensive training plan for clients with Scribe's versatile client training template.

12‎ KPIs to measure your training material

Let’s split the training material KPIs by target audience.

Internal training KPIs

You need to measure internal KPIs for training to see whether your training materials are worth the investment. 

1. Training experience satisfaction

You can always ask your employees about their experience with your training program. Training experience satisfaction uncovers how employees perceive training and development and gives you a better idea of how you could improve the learning experience if needed.

2. Score results

Run post-training tests to see how employees have perceived and remembered the content offered in the course. For instance, if the pass rates across the team or organization are too low, it may indicate a poor training program.

3. Digital adoption

Employee training is often focused on adopting new business software. If you create training materials to drive digital adoption in your organization, you should measure software adoption post-training to see whether you’ve reached your goal.

4. Employee satisfaction 

Internal training also helps to increase employee satisfaction and engagement. Measure your employee satisfaction pre-training and post-training with the help of employee surveys, questionnaires and one-on-ones.

5. Impact on employee performance 

It’s likely that you expect your new training materials to impact the employees’ performance. This can be determined by measuring productivity, efficiency or product quality changes.

6. Return on investment (ROI)

This KPI measures the cost-efficiency of the training materials. You can calculate it by dividing the monetary outcomes of implementing or updating training by the costs invested in the initiative.

External training KPIs

Very few companies actively measure the effect of their external education programs and are able to tie these metrics to business outcomes. In fact, only 25 percent of businesses measure product adoption and around 30 percent of companies monitor customer retention to assess the impact of their external customer training materials. 

Here are six customer training KPIs that you should measure to assess the impact of your training materials on your business.

1. Training completion rate

This KPI measures the level of engagement of the customers during training. You can determine it by looking at the number of questions asked, the amount of participation in activities and the feedback provided.

2. Product adoption

This metric helps measure the rate at which customers use the products and features taught during the training. It’s a good indicator of how effective the training materials were in teaching customers how to use the products/features. 

3. Training engagement

You should also track the level of learner engagement during training. You can measure it by looking at how learners ask questions, participate in activities and share feedback.

4. Customer retention

One of the biggest benefits of an external training program is increased customer retention. It’s best to track your customer retention before and after introducing new training materials. This way, you can see the real impact of customer education.

5. Customer satisfaction 

This KPI measures the overall satisfaction of the trainees with your product and the training materials. This can be determined through surveys or interviews. Similar to customer retention, you need to compare customer satisfaction levels pre-training and post-training to measure the impact of your training materials.

6. Cost efficiency

You need to measure their cost-efficiency to justify creating and maintaining your training materials. You can calculate this metric by dividing the increased revenue by the cost of developing the training materials.

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10‎ benefits of employee & customer training

Employee training benefits

Customer training benefits

Summing up 

Whether you’re building an external or internal training program, the process is more or less similar. No matter what kind of training materials you work on, you should establish a consistent action plan and follow it whenever you need to make updates or create new resources from scratch.

Using automation tools to create training materials will save you hours of manual work. Use Scribe to create engaging step-by-step guides for any digital process in seconds. You can share your Scribes through a team dashboard or create Scribe Pages to create complete training materials filled with different Scribes, captions, images and videos.

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