Training expert service.

Edmunds supports its mobile sales team with online learning delivered through Adobe Learning Manager.

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Established

1966

Employees: 650
Santa Monica, California
www.edmunds.com

Reaches mobile sales force on any device

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Objectives

Stand out in a competitive market through new services

Keep sales staff up-to-date on technology to help connect with dealerships and car companies

Deliver effective training in a cost-effective manner to sales staff across the country

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Results

Reaches mobile sales force on any device

Ability to publish training videos in less than an hour

Integrates with Salesforce

Close to 100% course completion rate


“Adobe Learning Manager had all of the features that we needed, but ultimately what made the decision was our respect for the Adobe brand.”

 
Lance Wilcox

Curriculum Manager, Sales Effectiveness, Edmunds, Inc.


Top services for 20 million visitors a month

Modern consumers are more likely than ever to do in-depth research online before making a big purchase — whether they are shopping for a new phone or new house. And when looking to buy a car, millions trust Edmunds.com. From its start as a newsstand publication in the 1960s, Edmunds has made a name for itself as a one-stop site for car shopping needs. Consumers can look through the data, reviews, and advice from top Edmunds experts, and then connect with local dealers to make purchasing a new vehicle a simple and smooth process.

 

“Edmunds stands out in a highly competitive marketplace with our reviews, expertise, and services that make it easy for our 20 million monthly visitors to compare information and find the car that fits their needs,” says Lance Wilcox, Curriculum Manager, Sales Effectiveness at Edmunds, Inc.. “But the pace of change is staggering. There’s a constant need to evolve and add.”

 

The first line of contact for dealerships is the sales team. Edmunds sales representatives must provide expertise in automobile trends, fast and efficient communications, and high levels of knowledge about tools such as Google AdWords and Analytics to help dealers market their stock effectively. By investing in sales representatives and keeping them well-trained, Edmunds can help provide dealerships with valuable service that goes beyond what the competition provides.

 

With more than 160 sales representatives located around the country who spend most of their time on the road driving between dealerships, traditional training is a challenge. It can be costly — both in terms of money and opportunity cost — to fly everyone to the Santa Monica, California headquarters for regular in-person training sessions.

 

Edmunds uses online distance learning programs to reach staff more effectively. For years, the company used the Cornerstone learning management system (LMS) to power its courses, but creating new learning content took time and training. The company decided to move in a different direction with a next-generation LMS that could help Edmunds disseminate more content with greater speed.


“I can just edit a video in Adobe Premiere Pro and upload it to Adobe Learning Manager. It’s automatically output in a SCORM-compliant format without any effort on my part.”

 
Lance Wilcox

Curriculum Manager, Sales Effectiveness, Edmunds, Inc.


Choosing the Adobe solution

Edmunds needed an LMS that was user friendly for learners, administrators, and designers. It also needed to support video content and mobile devices to reach busy sales representatives. After looking at several LMSs, the company decided to work with Adobe Learning Manager.

 

“Adobe Learning Manager had all of the features that we needed, but ultimately what made the decision was our respect for the Adobe brand,” says Wilcox. “We trust Adobe to keep working and improving the product for years to come. We use Adobe Creative Cloud apps to create our course content, and we knew that everything would integrate well if we stayed with Adobe.”

Learning videos across any device

With Adobe Learning Manager, Wilcox can easily create new content for sales staff. “We primarily use video content, as it allows us to create meaningful training quickly,” says Wilcox. “I can just edit a video in Adobe Premiere Pro and upload it to Adobe Learning Manager. It’s automatically output in a SCORM-compliant format without any effort on my part. I can tag, upload, and publish a video in under an hour.”

 

Learning content at Edmunds can be broadly divided into three categories. In-house training videos use video capture and voiceovers to show sales representatives how to use internal platforms and tools that will boost their productivity. For example, the MapAnything app for Salesforce allows sales representatives to map dealers in their territory and visualize performance.

 

In best practices videos, Edmunds interviews successful sales representatives about their tips and techniques. Reviewing these sales strategies helps representatives connect with dealers and improve their numbers. Finally, Edmunds leverages content from Lynda.com (now part of LinkedIn Learning) to expand the course library with training in digital marketing and other general topics. By understanding how to leverage tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Ads, sales representatives can work with dealers to increase their marketing reach.

 

“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel,” says Wilcox. “By pulling readily available content into Adobe Learning Manager, we’re able to expand our course listings without a lot of effort and save years of work building up our library.”

 

Edmunds currently has more than four hours of its own content available — as well as thousands of hours of learning from the Lynda.com library — allowing new hires to get a handle on tools and improve their skills so that they can quickly start delivering expert service to dealers. Using the Fluidic Player, learners can view course content on any device, from a laptop to smartphone, without needing any extra downloads or plug-ins. Edmunds will soon be rolling out the Adobe Learning Manager app to boost mobile adoption rates even further. 

 

“Sales representatives spend most of their time on the road, so mobility is essential for learning,” says Wilcox. “We’re developing more content with non-essential visuals so that sales representatives can listen to it like a podcast and get insights and strategies while they’re heading to their next sales meeting.”


“By pulling readily available content into Adobe Learning Manager, we’re able to expand our course listings without a lot of effort and save years of work building up our library.”

 
Lance Wilcox

Curriculum Manager, Sales Effectiveness, Edmunds, Inc.


Improving learner participation

Before Adobe Learning Manager, assigning and tracking learners could be cumbersome. Now administrators can quickly create custom groups, assign learning plans, and email notifications to the group from the administrative dashboard. Administrators can also pull reports and monitor usage on an individual or group level. With these reports, Edmunds can demonstrate training investment by gathering stats around course completion and total number of hours trained.

 

Improved tracking for learners also expands training possibilities. When Edmunds held a course on Google AdWords, trainers employed a flipped classroom where learners were required to take a Lynda.com course to gain a solid background on the material before participating in the in-person training. This method allowed trainers to maximize in-class time and save thousands of dollars. In the next year, Edmunds also plans to start offering certification to learners who complete required courses, delivering additional motivation for continued learning.

 

Accessing courses is equally easy for learners. Sales representatives can access their dashboard through Adobe Learning Manager integration with Salesforce, a tool that sales representatives already use every day. The dashboard allows learners to see all assigned and available courses in one location, which encourages greater involvement.

 

“We have people taking training that isn’t assigned to them,” says Wilcox. “I think it’s a result of what I call a push and pull: Learning Manager makes it easy for us to push content to learners, but also easy for learners to pull training when they need it. We’re seeing close to 100% completion rate on courses, which is something we never had before.”

 

Adobe Learning Manager is currently used by about 90 learners for specialized leadership training and other non-sales development, but Edmunds plans to expand use of Learning Manager as an LMS for all types of training and skills.

 

“Adobe Learning Manager isn’t your father’s LMS; it’s an LMS made for the 21st century,” says Wilcox. “By supporting our sales team, we’re supporting greater engagement with dealerships and better services for our millions of customers.”

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