Even top salespeople benefit from a robust onboarding process when they join a new company. Google should know; after all, they have some of the best salespeople in the world.
When new salespeople (new Google employees are called Nooglers) arrive at the company, it's up to the Google Sales School team to ensure that they have the training and product expertise they need to successfully represent the organization. With the number of salespeople growing quickly, the team needed to find new, more efficient ways to ensure that each new sales hire got the individual attention and feedback they needed. To do that, the Google Sales School team would need to create a personal, collaborative and interactive onboarding program that could scale across sales teams and different markets.
The stakes were high: If new employees weren’t properly ramped up into the organization, they were more likely to leave. Worse, without the high-quality training required to represent Google, the quality of sales pitches could suffer, which would be bad for Google’s reputation and bad for their bottom line.
Eduflow’s collaborative learning platform has helped Google to create a centralized and consistent onboarding program. Peer review, group discussions, and pitch evaluations all provide opportunities for interaction and personalized feedback throughout the onboarding process. Thanks to Eduflow, Google has been able to efficiently scale up its virtual training program.
Sales training lives and dies on calibrating, practicing, and perfecting your pitch. Nooglers needed to learn collaboratively to practice pitches, share frameworks, and give each other feedback. This peer feedback was vital for fine-tuning their sales skills. As the team strove to onboard more and more Nooglers, this level of individualized training became more complex to execute. The team needed a way to help Nooglers learn from each other and receive individual feedback without creating a logistical nightmare.
“Google wants to ensure customers have a consistent experience when working with sellers,” says Leah Schachar, Google Sales School Global Lead. Without a centralized, consistent onboarding program, managers and teams are forced to spend a great deal of time individually ramping up Nooglers. That’s time that high-value managers could spend contributing to the company in other meaningful ways.
To address this, Google Sales School was looking for a tool that would allow salespeople to engage in a scaled, peer-to-peer social learning experience. Enter: Eduflow.
In January of 2020, Google Sales School began running trials of a new onboarding curriculum using Eduflow’s peer review and feedback flows. Google uses Eduflow flows inside their sales training courses to facilitate multiple touch points for collaborative learning. Among them:
- Pitch practice: Nooglers submit their recorded video pitches for certain Google products. They then use the peer-review function to review each other’s pitches and provide feedback. This helps each new salesperson strengthen their skills and product knowledge.
- Frameworks: Nooglers use templated frameworks to walk through specific sales scenarios and common objections and get practice and feedback on how to respond.
- Reflections: Nooglers use the Discussion Activity Feature to share their thoughts on various sales-related topics. Online discussions give them a chance to employ higher-level thinking skills to reinforce and retain more information. Nooglers can see how their whole cohort responds to a prompt versus just a few peers, leading to greater organizational transparency.
Not only do these activities help Nooglers fine-tune their sales skills, but they also stress the importance of giving and receiving peer feedback.
On the program’s last day, Nooglers schedule a one-on-one meeting with their manager (or another evaluator) for a live role-playing session. This is a chance for Nooglers to demonstrate what they’ve learned and get specific tips and feedback from their superiors.
In the past, the administrative work of organizing these assessments fell to the coordination team. They had to assign evaluators and schedule assessments manually. Together, Google and Eduflow developed a built-in feature to streamline this process. Nooglers can invite the evaluators within Eduflow, taking a massive load off of the admin team.
Eduflow also helps the assessment sessions flow more smoothly. The manager uses a rubric, or assessment tool, to score the session and gives live feedback to the Noogler. After the meeting, the manager/evaluator enters the score and feedback in Eduflow so that the Noogler and the manager have a record.
The Noogler can go back and review feedback anytime they need to. The Mastery Team also has a copy and can track scores in aggregate globally. Now Google can track training performance across countries and departments.
Though the Google Sales Training team has only been using Eduflow since January last year, it has already made a difference in the onboarding workflow. When the COVID-19 shutdown struck, Eduflow helped ease the transition from a fully in-person onboarding program to one that was completely remote.
The first cohort of the new design was supposed to launch right as COVID-19 hit the United States. Suddenly, all training needed to pivot to virtual. While Google was already planning to use Eduflow, they wound up incorporating its functions much more heavily than initially planned. “The impact of using Eduflow has been the ability to scale activities and milestone assessments in a time when face-to-face interaction is impossible,” Schachar says.
Eduflow’s team was there to help aid the quick transition. “I’m grateful to Eduflow’s team for their responsiveness in meeting our needs when it comes to developing features and functionality,” Jodie Bennett says.
Although it’s early days—the nonpilot program didn’t officially launch until August—things are going great so far. “Our highest-level needs are being met,” Bennett says.
Because of how well the skill-assessment programs have been going, the Mastery team leadership, like Shannon Wasiolek, Global Director: Skills and Onboarding, is considering integrating Eduflow experiences across a variety of other skill-based approaches to assessment.
Most importantly, the Nooglers have taken to the training program seamlessly. “The best part is that Nooglers generally aren’t saying anything about Eduflow, other than they appreciate the opportunity to hear from their peers,” Bennett says.