Backbase is on a mission to help build banks people love. They create apps for financial institutions, a service that is becoming more and more important in our increasingly online world. The Dutch company has field offices worldwide, where sales reps meet with banks and financial companies to demonstrate how Backbase’s custom-made software can improve customer experience and satisfaction.
As the team grew, Backbase realized they needed to scale up their sales training to make sure reps were meeting their high quality expectations. In February 2020, Barry de Leeuw launched the Field Enablement Department to ensure every rep has the tools they need to be effective at their job.
Barry wanted to build the field reps’ knowledge base and find ways to ramp up new reps more efficiently. His programs were primarily in-person, but he wanted an online tool to enrich and reinforce in-class knowledge.
Eduflow was that tool. Backbase uses Eduflow to bolster their hybrid training program by offering supplemental resources, and the ability for reps to peer review each other’s sales pitches. Ease of use and review functionality made Eduflow an essential component of Backbase’s sales training program.
Barry wanted a tool that could do more than distribute information to trainees. He wanted software that could act as a channel for communication and exchanging resources—a structured way to set sales reps comprehension—something more impactful than a simple quiz.
The company already had an in-house training portal, but it didn't have the functionality that Barry needed. It only allowed for one-way communication between instructors and trainees. The ability to review and track employee progress was missing. "If you want people to watch a video or look at a slide deck, you can just send them a link," says Barry, "But there's no way to know if they engaged with the content."
It was time to start looking for external solutions. There was just one problem: Barry needed to ramp up his training programs now, but buying an enterprise-level learning management system involved many internal stakeholders and evaluations. The process could take a year or longer. "I needed a tool to roll out content towards our field representatives," says Barry, "but I wasn't going to be able to all of a sudden get an LMS in place." Barry needed a way to get his program up and running sooner rather than later.
To find a software option that wouldn’t break the bank, Barry partnered with Lara Cochrane, a learning program manager at Backbase. Together, they discovered Eduflow.
Eduflow’s peer-review and instructor-review features made it a great choice as a back-and-forth communication channel. With Eduflow, Barry could push reps to turn theory into practice by recording their pitch sessions. They would then receive feedback from their instructor.
For her part, Lara appreciated Eduflow’s simple setup and ease of use.
Even better, Eduflow was significantly more affordable than most enterprise solutions, which allowed them to bypass the internal purchasing process. “I needed a tool that I could get signoff on quickly,” says Barry, “Eduflow’s cost was below the threshold where I didn’t need to get manager approval.”
Backbase uses Eduflow for two purposes: to onboard new sales reps and to train existing agents. In both cases, Eduflow is one component of a hybrid learning program that blends in-person sessions (or synchronous video training, thanks to COVID) and online reviews.
“It’s more of a support tool than it is an actual self-led tool,” says Lara of Eduflow. “The program runs for about a week. We run daily sessions for about two hours. When it’s done, the same content is already sitting inside Eduflow ready for them.”
New sales reps record themselves practicing their sales pitch during the onboarding process, and they receive feedback directly from the course instructor. They can use this expert advice to refine their pitches. “Instructor feedback is really valuable because they’re the source of truth,” says Lara. Positive feedback from an instructor can provide validation and improve the sales rep’s confidence.
This process is vital, not just for the employees but also for the instructor, who gets a window into how students perceive their teaching materials. “[Instructor review] allows you to see how well they consumed the content,” says Barry.
In the future, Backbase intends to incorporate more peer feedback opportunities into their courses. Peer feedback is more efficient than instructor feedback because each person only has to give detailed feedback on one other person. “It’s very convenient to have other people review each other,” says Barry. “
Not only do the reps benefit from receiving peer feedback on their sales technique, but they also get the chance to observe other sales reps in action. “If you share the same information with ten people, everyone’s going to consume that differently,” says Lara. “[With peer review] they get the opportunity to cross-pollinate by seeing other people’s pitches.”
Feedback on the program from sales reps has been positive. “Overall, we’ve been receiving only positive feedback,” says Barry. “It’s well-received; people find it easy.”
Eduflow’s interface fades into the background, allowing students to submit assignments and receive feedback effortlessly. “I don’t think one person has asked us how to use Eduflow, and I think that speaks for itself,” says Lara.
The sales enablement courses are having the desired effect: boosting sales reps’ product knowledge and confidence.
The key to that confidence? Active collaborative learning. Trainees have the chance to engage with the learning materials by creating pitches. As a result, they are more engaged than they would be with passive lectures or reading.
“I always try to put myself in the shoes of a learner,” says Lara. “If all you want me to do is watch a video and then watch another video and then watch another video, I’m going to be bored, and I’m going to disengage pretty quickly. So I refuse to build something that is going to make someone bored after two hours. I want them to get as much out of it as they can.”
Thanks to Eduflow, nobody is getting bored on Barry and Lara's watch.