An e-Commerce story of Training, Retaining and Accelerating a Massive Seller Workforce
Udaan is a B2B trading platform that brings together manufacturers, traders, retailers, and wholesalers on a single platform. A major chunk of their front-line workforce is on contract. To stay relevant and competitive, this frontline workforce had to be perceived as ‘product champions’, but managers felt it was impossible to train this massive workforce on the wide range of products Udaan handles. Also, sellers had no access to a platform where they could be trained and have a repository of information for their daily activities.
The traditional route of an LMS would have been counterproductive; this frontline workforce is always on-the-go, and a desktop interface would not have worked in rhythm with their professional lifestyle. In addition, dumping clunky product collateral in PDFs and PPTs would not serve their learning needs. This workforce was best trained with a micro-course strategy, where each significant byte of product information was devised into a short course. Course notifications were fired daily via a mobile app every day, ensuring that training could be done from anywhere at any time, within 5 minutes daily. A repository of reachable information was available for both sellers and the frontline workforce on demand.
Udaan shipped 260mn products in 2021. The sheer scale of operations warrants an equally strong sales and distribution capability that delivers key product and platform USPs to the frontline workforce in a way that they can digest and apply at work. Easier said than done in an environment where millions of products are sold monthly over the platform. Prior to RapL, Google forms were circulated to understand and assess the knowledge of the workers. However, this was extremely inefficient and yielded no fruitful results. It was crucial for the frontline workforce to be knowledgeable about the new product and service offerings.
The list of challenges affecting Capability Managers at Udaan are:
- No track of learning engagement: With Google Sheets as the central agency, it was impossible to interpret and analyze data. Managers did not have robust answers to the specific knowledge gaps across the workforce at the individual or group levels.
- Content that did not stick: Sales Capability content was offered as PDFs and PPTs, which isn’t the stickiest format for the blue/gray collared frontline workforce.
- Device Incompatibility: For a perpetual on-the-go learner audience, desktop learning is a source of friction.
- No Insights around Peers: The workforce had no way to look up peer performance. The essence of community learning was amiss.
- One size fits all learning journeys: Since there was no way to track knowledge gaps at the individual and group level, the workforce was fed a one size fits all learning journey without due consideration of different needs.
Sellers were onboarded on the platform and trained through a central repository of information. Ownership and accountability for driving and meeting the training needs of employees were put into place. Champions from the customer’s side were identified and deployed to ensure the use of the learning tool. The frontline workforce had a repository of information that enabled them to pitch to the customers. It was accessible and portable, which enabled them to be productive in their jobs.
Here’s how RapL mitigated learning challenges at Udaan
- Sticky Content: Udaan made sure all product information was broken down into its atoms and drip-fed as RapL micro-courses. These courses were bite-sized in their texture and format, with no course more than 5 minutes. Scenario-based assessments followed these courses that were hammered into the learner’s mind via constant reinforcement if they got it wrong in the first attempt.
- Delivery via a light-weight mobile app: All courses were delivered via a lightweight RapL mobile app. The user interface, actions, tabs, font and the workings of the app were geared to suit the gray collared sensibility.
- Ground breaking insights: The Udaan team broke new ground on their capability development process via RapL Analytics. With RapL reports, they could answer questions like
- Who has the strongest and weakest grasp on any specific product?
- Which team is the strongest and weakest across different product lines?
- Which are the specific topics where an individual needs help?
- Which are the specific topics where a team needs help?
- Dense usage of the app-driven by community leaderboard: A community leaderboard kept the community engaged in the learning process from Day 1. Progression across stages was accompanied by virtual goodies and badges that everyone in the community could check out. Folks were rooting for others and helping peers level up.
- Personalized learning journeys: RapL made the pipe dream of personalized learning journeys come true. With data and evidence-backed insights, each learner was subjected to different learning journeys. The app accounted for specific product-knowledge gaps and surfaced related content till a learner mastered the specific subject.
The perfect tool for training the seller ecosystem for building capability at scale.