November 6, 2018
eLearning at Leviton
Over 100 years ago, family-owned Leviton made mantles for gas lights during the Edisonian era. Now they produce more than 26,000 products and are the largest privately-held manufacturer of electrical wiring equipment in North America. Nine out of ten homes in North America have a Leviton product in them. Fielding an effective external salesforce is central to business growth.
Training, they believe, is the key factor in making their external salesforce effective. “Product training is central to how we go to market. We know that the difference between one of our products being recommended over a competitor’s could be something that was learned from training,” says Jill Cherveny, Manager, Technical Training & Development in Distribution.
Prior to Cherveny’s arrival at Leviton, online training was delivered from a homegrown program that only housed core product information, had very limited reporting capabilities, and wasn’t truly a learning management system (LMS). They knew they wanted to do more to prepare their internal and channel partner sales teams, so Cherveny was charged with overhauling Leviton’s eLearning efforts.
Cherveny took stock and went into action—electing to take advantage of BlueVolt. “I did my due diligence. After reviewing more than 50 LMS options, BlueVolt stood out as the right solution for us,” says Cherveny. Leviton’s priorities in selecting an eLearning solution included: ease of use for learners and admins, a simple process for sharing courses with channel partners and reporting to tie learning behaviors to business results.
BlueVolt kept pace with Leviton’s desire to quickly launch their new online university by working with Cherveny to establish and execute on a three-phase plan.
- Phase one: “With BlueVolt’s amazing support,” Cherveny notes, “a decade of data was sifted through, so all the good data could be migrated over to BlueVolt.” Next, the university was populated with existing courses. “I accessed the reports available in BlueVolt to analyze early results and shared the reports to get traction with management,” says Cherveny. “Our ability to show an immediate increase in course completions earned a big thumbs up.”
- Phase two: Leviton identified a new set of courses with internal sales and channel partners in mind. “We focused on the essential information channel partners needed in order understand and differentiate our products,” says Cherveny. Concurrently, Leviton was able to immediately reach a wider set of learners because of the BlueVolt Ecosystem: an integrated network of manufacturers, distributors and trade associations who benefit from sharing courses with each other. “Since BlueVolt also hosts the online universities of IMARK and Affiliated Distributors – two buying groups for which Leviton is a supplier – we started placing our courses in front of learners that were not previously available to us,” says Cherveny. Courses were also made available to retail partners such as Home Depot and Ace Hardware.
- Phase three: Utilizing the data within BlueVolt, Cherveny will focus on understanding learner preferences. “We want to transform courses into engaging educational experiences,” says Cherveny. “We want to get more creative by blending best practices, interactivity and knowledge checks all while making them shorter and accessible on the fly.” Cherveny and team also are taking advantage of more features BlueVolt offers such as CRM integration, multi-language publishing, and eCommerce.
“Today, if sales are not where expected in a particular area,” notes Cherveny, “the question from management now includes ‘Has everybody taken the product training?’ Product training is now no longer recommended but mandated.“ This is due in large part to the ease of accessing the training by the sales force and partners, and the easy rapid course development and reporting tools in the system for admins. “Channel partners and external learners can take courses any time on any device,” says Cherveny.
Since launching on the BlueVolt platform, Leviton has grown course volume by 256%, course enrollments by 780% and course completions by 412%.