At eNyota Learning, we focus on solving business problems, provide value, and make clients happy. Our secret to success is simple—a good product always speaks for itself.
As a learning software provider, we are often challenged to work on projects that ask for more than what we normally do. Many times, such projects are passed—in the interest of the greater picture—but sometimes, a project comes along with a set of requirements so unique that we just can’t let it go.
And one such project required us to develop a mobile application that could: train sales representatives, while also enabling managers to improve their leadership and coaching abilities.
It may sound simple, there are many applications designed to train people on a variety of skills, it isn’t uncommon.
However, training was just one aspect of this application. The other aspect required the application to capture data that could determine the competency levels of both the manager and the sales representatives, by monitoring the post-training workflow.
Basically, an application that rolls out training and determines the competency of the learners by studying if processes are being followed, the data being collected would also determine a manager’s effectiveness as a coach!
About the client and the problems they faced
As with projects of such nature, there is a strong need for driving the product development decision. In this case, the client was a well-known retail consultancy firm based in Australia. Their passion for sales and they want to increase their client’s profitability is what drove them to take this decision
As an organization with 18 years’ experience as a retail consultancy, they were well aware of the challenges this industry brought with it.
For one, the retail industry kept facing an increase in competition from online retail. To further add to the problem, constantly changing demographics and buyer patterns were slowly becoming a reality. And the biggest problem was employee attrition rates which would soar in the upper 60% margin. Needless to say, traditional training approaches were not yielding any positive results.
The Actual Problem
Companies investing in their retail sales services were failing to achieve their sales targets, only 15-20% of the store managers were able to retain their training, and managers were just unable to coach or mentor their regularly rotating staff.
A solution to this problem was needed, and so our client whose name cannot be disclosed chose to invest in a modern training solution which they would use for all their retail clients. It was the best decision they took.
How did we solve their problem?
First and foremost, after a good round of deliberation and consulting within the team taking on this project, we decided that the only way this would work was if two applications are created, one for the manager and one for the sales representative, but the trick is that they would behave as one.
Remember, along with training their staff on sales techniques, the application also had to train the managers on being good coaches. To further it, post-training data on both the activities were to be collected and processed to determine each of the learner type’s competency levels.
Keeping the complexity of the task in mind, a single application with dual sided for each learner, seemed like a better plan. Furthermore, since the manager’s competency reports would depend on how good a coach they were to their sales staff, both halves of the application had to have the capabilities of communicating with each other, sharing vital data between them seamlessly.
Manager’s Side Application
For the manager’s side, the application first focussed on storing managerial training courses, after all, only a well-trained manager can coach their staff. Hence, the application was loaded with training content like leadership skills, problem-solving, effective communication courses, and team handling.
Along with developing a mechanism to track if these courses were being activated and successfully completed, a special manager competency tracking mechanism was also created. But, for this managerial competency reporting feature to work, the sales staff side of the application was very important.
Sales Staff Side Application
The sales training side offered five 10 minute modules—Welcome, Understand, Advice, Close, and Thank. An additional module on addressing customer complaints was also provided, making it a complete package. The application tracked when a module was presented to the sales staff, when they activate it, and how soon they complete it.
Firstly, it made sales reps confident, there was no doubt. They had the power to ask their managers for training, and the managers had to oblige in order to secure good ratings for themselves. The electronic recordkeeping aspect, which kept track of the number of requests for training sent and the requests fulfilled, meant that no manager could evade their obligation to train. Furthermore, both the manager and the sales staff could access their respective training content whenever needed.
Data was tailored for management viewing on the basis of seniority. An area manager could view the performance of all stores in their area, while the territory manager received data on all the cities within their territory.
“Needless to say, the application was a success! Our client reported that their clients were seeing an increase in sales by upwards of 15%. Furthermore, detailed reports showed where a lapse in training occurred. The product was a great success only because the needs of both the types of learners—managers and sales reps—were kept in mind; good amount of thought that went into the execution; finally, the strong foundation on which the product was built”.
eNyota learning has been in the space of eLearning technologies for more than 12 years. For this project, we chose to build an application that could replicate as much of what an LMS does. With the ability to monitor the actual outcome of training. As an experienced eLearning provider, we have worked on countless such projects, the client in this case study is just an example of one of the more interesting projects we undertook for the retail industry. As of now, there is no industry we have not ventured into, and as new technologies become a reality, we continue to learn and adopt them.
If your organization would like us to help formalise and create a productive working environment through the use of eLearning, reach out to us and we will be more than happy to help out.