About the Organization:
Bluebeam Software develops and sells software for PDF creation, editing and collaboration with significant market share in the architecture, engineering and construction industries. The Pasadena, California-based company sells its products directly and also through resellers and distributors.
Realizing that the best way to sell a product is to effectively show it, the company has long invested in training for its resellers across the country so they can become influential and knowledgeable product experts. The problem was, live trainings and even hour-long webinars were hard to schedule among its resellers. Salespeople often couldn’t find time to travel and even getting them to attend an hour-long call could be difficult. As well, there weren’t always enough rooms to accommodate the trainings in a timely fashion. To bring some needed flexibility to its existing training program, the company deployed the Mindflash eLearning software in 2011.
“Our goal was to get the resellers excited to go through the training,” says Aaron Courdy, Channel Manager for Bluebeam. The company decided to approach its new online learning program primarily through video content, and segmented the content across three levels of expertise. Tier 1 training is a crash course overview consisting of “everything you need to know to sell the product,” Courdy says. Tier 2 provides an in-depth training on how to use the software while Tier 3 delivers information on applying the Bluebeam software to distinct verticals.
As an incentive, Bluebeam awards gift cards, electronics and other prizes to resellers for completing various phases of the curriculum. That strategy has helped immensely in getting the new training program off the ground, Courdy says. “People say, ‘I can do this on my own schedule and I get a gift card afterward? That works for me.’ ”
So far, around 2800 external salespeople have completed the Tier 1 trainings, and on average, those individuals have doubled their sales as a result. Resellers that have gone through every level to complete the Tier 3 training have shown a remarkable 400% business growth. While Bluebeam staff spent about 200 hours upfront creating the video-based trainings, Courdy says now the program is basically running itself with very little overhead. He expects the time and savings benefits to only grow over time.
Bluebeam still offers live classroom trainings and webinars as part of its training program, since the personal touch is critical for building relationships with its partners, according to Courdy. Yet adding Mindflash to the mix of training options is much more efficient – Bluebeam can train more people faster and it’s also saving staff countless hours previously spent scheduling meetings and tracking completions, he says. The trainings in Mindflash are available on demand, so no scheduling is needed. The software automatically sends and tracks invites, individual progress and individual completions.
Bluebeam created the video series for resellers, yet now, its own tech support and internal salespeople are using the online trainings. The company’s training staff has just updated the modules, which Courdy thinks will help increase participation across the board. “Mindflash has been a phenomenal tool to get our resellers excited to learn about our product, the interface is very easy to use and navigate and it’s getting better all the time,” he says.