Before using the Docebo Learning Platform, instructor-led Training (ILT) was scheduled using Google Docs and there was no centralized destination for e-learning resources for the sales teams.
“There was no platform at all to record or track or monitor training,” says Natealine Judie, Director of Operations and Training for Learning A-Z.
“Sales reps were complaining about the amount of training, yet at the same time, we knew some people weren’t attending any of the sessions, but we didn’t have a way to track and monitor any of that.”
Alongside this, the sales teams weren’t satisfied with the content and training they were receiving, prompting a full review of what was working and what wasn’t.
“There were a lot of complaints around lack of knowledge building and skills training. To me, the only logical way to rectify that was to launch a survey and it was pretty extensive.”
“Feedback is really important in our organization. I knew I would never launch anything without having their input and making them feel like they were really part of the creation.”
Following internal audits and surveys, skills gaps, and learning delivery issues were identified, which gave the training team a clear understanding of how to rebuild their onboarding courses for future employees.
Learning A-Z used the insights from its audit to develop a training program that would prepare new sales hires to enter their territory armed with the skills to successfully communicate with customers. The program was also designed to give new hires the confidence that Learning A-Z would provide ongoing training to keep developing them.
The program is a four-week course that covers company culture, sales tools/techniques, Learning A-Z’s products, and the education industry. The last week is dedicated to mentoring/coaching and preparing hires to take over their territory. To maintain enthusiasm and interest, each area is broken into smaller chunks so the new hires can synthesize information and see the connections among the areas of learning.
A blended learning approach, consisting of e-learning combined with traditional, face-to-face courses, was chosen as the most effective way to deliver the program. The Docebo Learning Platform became an integral piece of the training puzzle to house and distribute courses and content, and to facilitate a modern, easy learning experience for new hires.
This e-learning destination became known as the University of LAZ and new hires were shown how to use and navigate the platform before starting their onboarding program.
E-learning activities include quizzes, games, downloadable handouts and then there are Instructor-led training (ILT) sessions that support those e-learning efforts.
The course outcomes allow the trainer and sales manager to identify individual levels of comfort with foundational product knowledge skills, internal systems, and other areas of focus for mentoring/coaching.
The University of LAZ was unveiled to the wider company at the Global Sales Meeting with a launch video talking about the new learning platform and how the program will work to ramp up new sales hires more effectively.
“I think that was actually my most proud moment,” says Judie.
“After the video and demonstrations, the owner and founder spoke to me and said they were not aware that we had this platform or had launched a new strategy. They were completely overjoyed and overwhelmed and are now trying to find a way to roll it out for other divisions and business units.”
Since implementing the University of LAZ for onboarding new Field Account Executives, Inside Account Executives, and Inside Account Specialists, Learning A-Z has so far seen the following results:
80% of new hires from all three sales divisions have met or exceeded their second-quarter goals. The inside account specialist team also saw 90% of their new hires meet or exceed their mid-year goal.
The new sales executives improved their ability to address customer needs, deepened their product knowledge, and increased the number of product demonstrations presented to customers.
Renewed excitement for learning
By establishing the relevance of product knowledge as a critical tool for sales success, new hires are now comfortable with on-going independent learning to increase product and industry knowledge. As a result, Learning A-Z is seeing growth in the number of employees in all areas of sales participating in webinars and completing e-learning courses.
The onboarding program established a mentoring/coaching program to support new hires as they develop their pipeline and engage customers, developing supportive relationships among the sales teams. Also, the relationships with other departments, such as marketing and sales operations, has decreased the number of mistakes or missed opportunities because the new hires were better prepared to partner with these departments.
“Once word started to spread about this new program, other departments wanted to be a part of it, and asked, ‘How can I create new courses for the sales team?’, ‘Can we create onboarding programs for the marketing department?’ So adoption spread throughout our entire organization.”
Expanding on the initial success of the program is the next step for Learning A-Z and that includes leveraging Docebo’s mobile app, Go.Learn, for salespeople on the road.
“Mobile is really important to our field sales team, and they’re asking for it, which really makes you smile! They’re reaching out to me saying that when they’re driving, they want the ability to listen to a course in the car.”
It’s this emphasis on actively including learner feedback in the process which Judie believes will be key to improving the program going forward.
“If you want a new course, or if this course isn’t meeting your needs, or if we can improve it in any way, then let us know. It’s only going to grow and get better if you let us know what you need.”
The success of the sales training program has also sparked a renewed emphasis on delivering effective onboarding and Judie says they are now looking to expand the platform’s use and reap the rewards organization-wide.
“Our VP of HR has reached out to me to say, ‘Hey, how can we use this platform or create some sort of onboarding for any associate in any of our business units?’ So we’re just at the beginning. We’re just at the tipping point, but I suspect in a year or two that my story will have expanded.”