ROCHESTER, N.Y., July 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Since 2018, Ardent has served as a valued learning partner to Kia America, Inc., designing and delivering product and skills training, digital tools, and resources for Sales Consultants in U.S. dealerships. To demystify the truths and myths about learning ROI, an independent observational study was conducted from March to September in 2021. The study found that Sales Consultants who engaged with training and learning resources sold up to 16 more vehicles and scored up to 9 points higher in Sales Experience surveys over the 7-month study period.
The ROI study* focused on 3 elements of Ardent and Kia’s sales training approach:
1. VIRTUAL INSTRUCTOR-LED TRAINING (VILT)
As constraints on in-dealership training emerged, Ardent developed virtual instructor-led training (vILT) sessions to support Sales Consultants through their learning journey in the same immersive fashion they design ILT or hybrid training. Through dynamic facilitation and a learner-centric approach, Ardent and Kia aimed to create a stimulating training environment that addresses specific learning needs and maximizes Kia’s investment.
The facilitation team builds close relationships with dealer and regional personnel, gaining valuable insights on which topics are needed most. New model training is developed in sync with Kia’s release schedule and when vehicles will be in dealerships, ensuring the right sessions are delivered to each dealer, exactly when they need it.
What does the data say?
- Sales Consultants see a 2-point increase in Sales Experience survey scores for every vILT session they attend
- For those in their first 2 years on the job, they see an increase of 1 vehicle sold for every vILT session they attend
2. VIRTUAL PERSONALIZED COACHING (VPC)
Taking learner’s needs and challenges, and dealership dynamics into consideration, Ardent and Kia developed a personalized coaching experience that produced immediate positive results in sales performance. The coaching was designed to closely follow the four main KPIs tracked in the Sales Experience survey, and gave Sales Consultants an opportunity to work closely with an experienced coach in a 1:1 or small group setting.
By delivering coaching in the virtual environment, Kia and Ardent were able to reach a much larger audience than would have been economically feasible if done in person, without compromising on the personalized quality of the experience.
What does the data say?
- Tenured Sales Consultants (4.5+ years) saw the biggest benefit from coaching, selling an additional 16 vehicles over the 7-month study period after attending one coaching session
- Less experienced consultants (0 to 4.5 years) who attended one coaching session saw an average increase of +10 vehicles sold
3. KIA PRODUCT PRESENTATION CENTER WEBSITE
In 2020, Ardent built an all-new, fully responsive website to take Kia’s product reference guides to the next level – replacing the interactive PDF versions that were used in previous years. Called the Product Presentation Center or PPC, this product knowledge website provides easy access to detailed specifications, vehicle walkarounds, technology spotlights, and competitive comparisons for every model and trim that Kia offers.
Understanding that product-related knowledge continually evolves, Kia and Ardent decided in 2021 to expand the PPC with learning centers covering a range of emerging topics like EVs, Driver Assistance Systems, and Delivery.
What does the data say?
- Every 2 visits to the PPC are associated with a 1-point increase to Sales Consultant’s Sales Experience survey scores
- Consultants who visit the PPC on average 3x/month see the biggest change in their survey scores
- Recency in PPC visits matters – users with no more than 22 days between visits benefit from higher survey scores than those who visit the site less often
Kia America and Ardent Learning have taken a Learning & Development approach that puts the learner at the center of every decision, while maximizing Kia’s investment in training, and minimizing the time that Sales Consultants are off the sales floor. By developing training sessions and resources that are tailored to fit the specific needs of learners, Kia and Ardent have been able to deliver a significant positive impact on sales performance.
*As an observational study, the data was analyzed without the researcher affecting the results or manipulating any variables beyond what is necessary for data cleaning. Simply put, analysts observed what happened, recorded what they saw, and tested for statistical significance. All data points are presented with 95% statistical confidence.
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