Article courtesy of Deidre Moore, Qstream.

Matt Garfinkle is Learning & Development Manager with Euler Hermes, a subsidiary of Allianz and the world’s leading credit insurer with more than 6,000 employees. We recently spoke to Matt about his success with Qstream, and the important lessons learned.

Euler Hermes is an insurance company selling trade credit insurance, which is essentially insurance on accounts receivable. So, it’s a specialized and unique type of coverage.

I like to say I’m an army of one. I am part of the HR team and the sole manager of learning and development for our company. Sales is a significant focus area for me, but I’m a resource for the larger company, as well. I often seek out subject matter experts in different areas and either work with them to create training that I will deliver, or partner with them for training that they deliver directly to our sales force.

I first learned about Qstream through my direct manager. Qstream was personally recommended to her and she asked me to investigate it as a solution that would not only reinforce learning, but also help us identify gaps in our training programs so that we could address those gaps more thoroughly.

We looked at other solutions, but it was clear that Qstream was the right choice for our company. I liked the interface best, particularly the mobile interaction. I also liked the leaderboard and the flexibility and real-time nature of the diagnostics behind it. Qstream just did a better job of presenting a clean interface and a really simple process for us to use. Given the scope of my role, time is limited, and Qstream is very, very simple to manage.”

Making the Transition from Paper to Electronic Policy Delivery

“In the past, our agents would deliver a large paper binder to the customer, documenting all the details of their policy, and review it in great detail. Given the growing technology preferences of our customers, as well as the operational cost savings of moving away from paper, we recently decided to convert to eBinders and deliver policies electronically with access from the cloud.

To communicate this process change and the associated follow-up steps to our sales team, we partnered with our marketing team to host a one-hour training webinar. Post-training, beginning in August of 2016, we piloted Qstream for our Southeast sales region. The pilot was very contained by design, with the intent to prove the concept and document the learning.”

Sales Learning Reinforcement with a Dose of Competitive Spirit

“Out of the gate, the response was great. Our reps appreciated Qstream’s ease of use, and the fact that it did not interrupt their day. The anecdotal feedback was equally positive, and they clearly valued the reinforcement of the training.

In early 2017, we rolled out eBinder company-wide, with a very similar approach: a training webinar followed by a Qstream to reinforce the content. The results of the Qstream showed us where we needed to place more emphasis. There were a couple of questions that were answered incorrectly more frequently than we would have liked. So, we worked with the marketing department to improve the webinar delivery. We saw that it was clearly useful to drive learning, but it’s also a great tool to understand the efficacy of training.

It also proved very instructive for our regional sales managers and regional vice presidents. Previously they would not have known what to reinforce, or what their agents didn’t understand, and Qstream provided a way to quantify that. And the fact that we had 96% engagement, as well as a 20% improvement in knowledge proficiency, was equally powerful.

An important learning for us, and one that we will apply for future Qstreams, was the power of the leaderboards and competitions for engaging our teams. We were surprised that across the board, for both managers and reps, the sense of competition the program sparked. It was really incredible and far outpaced the time and effort that was required to build the content and administer the Qstream. The spacing dynamics and repetition, combined with the fact that it took just a few minutes a day, definitely encouraged the reps to stay with it, and that’s where the learning happens.

Even on a personal level, I was surprised at how often I was looking at my Qstream manager dashboard and refreshing it. There was this instant gratification in seeing people answer questions and watching participant names move up and down the leaderboard – it was a clear indication of who was engaging and who was stepping back a little bit. Our team is quite diverse. We have very experienced salespeople and some that are much earlier in their careers, but whether they were 25 or 65, Qstream appealed to everybody across the age spectrum – it was amazing.

I knew Qstream had gained a foothold in our company when, in a meeting with our regional VPs to discuss a new concept, one of them said to the group, “We should do a Qstream on that.”

Customer Service That’s One Step Ahead

“I’ve loved working with the Qstream services team*. I quickly learned to rely on their expertise because they have made my life so easy in a few distinct ways. Number one, from a process perspective, everything was very prescriptive. They always explained where we were in the process, what was coming next, when it would be ready, and what was required after that.

Second, they provided great insight into what I should do to improve our content and what I should expect to see from my audience based on their institutional knowledge, having done this for so many other customers. That understanding of what’s to be expected and what to do in situations when things don’t go as planned was incredibly helpful.

Lastly, they were so responsive when I needed help or had questions — within an hour in most cases, they would get back to me. As the internal sponsor of this new technology, the services team gave me great confidence that my questions would be answered and that everything would be handled quickly.”

What’s Next for 2017

“We’ve already written five new Qstreams that will be rolled out this year for a variety of business purposes. One will focus on some new CRM features, including a geo-mapping tool that we’re adding to our Salesforce.com instance. We’re also making changes to our core policy offering, affecting about 95% of the policies we write. This will require not just a process change, but also a core product change, so we’ll be utilizing Qstream’s reinforcement and retention capabilities for that, as well. And the last new set of Qstreams we’re planning will focus on supporting our new agent training and onboarding programs.”

* Validity Group’s Global Qstream Services team supports all our Qstream clients across Asia Pacific & Japan.