Sales enablement & operational excellence at India’s largest B2B marketplace, A RapL deployment story
The B2B eCommerce platform is revolutionizing the market for small manufacturers, farmers, and brands. It provides a comprehensive platform for selling various categories of products, including food, FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), electronics, lifestyle, general merchandise pharmaceuticals and the like.
This B2B ecommerce platform has achieved remarkable success in selling over 1.7 billion products over 22 million orders in 2022. It had an impressive repeat purchase rate of over 89% in the essentials category. The platform has sold and shipped around 320 million biscuit packets, 210 million beverage units, 125 million namkeen packets, 85 million noodle packets, and 36 million chocolate packets, in addition to 430 million personal care and 210 million home care items.
With over 3 million retailers and thousands of sellers on the platform country-wide, this B2B eCommerce platform has become a vital tool for small businesses looking to succeed in the highly competitive market. The company’s focus on restructuring their business model and cost efficiency is a testament to their dedication in achieving profits while providing unparalleled services to their customers.
Behind these impressive numbers lies a critical factor that cannot be ignored – a talent development strategy that takes into account strong platform sales skills, as well as a methodical onboarding process for new vendors. To achieve these numbers and increase revenue year on year, the platform has invested heavily in training and equipping their large and distributed workforce with the relevant skill sets.
The success of the platform depends on the sellers’ knowledge of product categories, their value proposition, incentive programs, and more. Ensuring efficient operations is not just about the sellers honing their selling skills, but also about vendors understanding how to use the platform, get onboarded, and ensure smooth cash flow. Therefore, the significance of training and skill development cannot be overstated when it comes to achieving success in the competitive B2B eCommerce market.
People forget nearly 90% of what they have learnt within just 7 days, unless the concepts are reinforced. That’s why employees swamped with documents, presentations, and classroom sessions are not likely to learn much.
However, time constraints make it difficult to reinforce vast concepts.
What can you do instead? Arm your employees with one concept at a time. Studies show the human attention span is only 8.25 seconds, so keep your training concise.
RapL is your software for that.
Despite the impressive growth and success of the B2B ecommerce platform, it has its own challenges. Here are some key challenges faced by the company:
- Lack of a digital training platform: Prior to RapL, there was no proper training platform for frontline staff. This led to inconsistent, ad hoc training, with regional sales managers often handling training in addition to other responsibilities. As a result, training was merely seen as a tick-box requirement, rather than a productivity goal.
- Cost of training: Without a digital training platform, training was an expensive affair. Instructors traveled across the country at different times to ensure the training of their frontline staff. The problems with this mode of training were not just cost and time, but the lack of visibility into the content absorption and retention levels of the frontline staff.
- Vendor management and onboarding: Effective vendor management and onboarding are crucial for the success of any eCommerce business. It helps increase efficiency, reduce risk and costs, and achieve a higher ROI. However, a lack of streamlined processes can lead to incredibly long working hours and higher costs. This challenge is not unique to this B2B eCommerce platform, but is commonly faced by other major eCommerce players.
- Awareness of SOPs: The vendor’s lack of knowledge about standard operating procedures (SOPs) impacts the overall efficiency and productivity of businesses. There was no repository of information where vendors could learn about business-critical SOPs, such as debt recovery process, capital credit collection, incentive programs, and fraud monitoring.
Overcoming these challenges required a collaborative effort to invest in the right training and management tools to streamline their operations. By recognizing the challenges and working to overcome them, RapL stepped in to help this B2B eCommerce platform grow and succeed in the eCommerce marketplace.
Overcoming challenges: The path to growth
Challenges are what make life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
– Joshua J. Marine
To overcome the challenges faced by the B2B eCommerce platform, several solutions were implemented to improve operations and increase productivity. One such solution was RapL – a microlearning tool that enhances the productivity of individuals.
Let’s take a closer look at how RapL helped overcome these
challenges. Personalized AI driven training – RapL offered personalized AI-driven training to suit the learning needs of FOS (frontline staff). The mobile-first training model was highly convenient, as the platform can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. The training model consisted of scenario-based questions and utilized spaced repetition techniques to ensure effective learning, retention, and application of information.
Microlearning model that understands the learners confidence level to categorize them into different learning benefits
This approach was highly effective, as FOS could learn, retain and apply the relevant learning to their work. With personalized training available on-demand, FOS had the flexibility to learn at their own pace and schedule. Thus, they were better equipped to tackle their challenges at work and perform their job duties more effectively.
A selling skill microlearning module
- Reduced TAT for onboarding -RapL played a crucial role in reducing the turnaround time (TAT) for vendor onboarding, a major challenge faced by the B2B ecommerce platform. The platform implemented test modules specifically designed for vendor registration training and usage of the seller’s system. This helped break down the large amount of onboarding material into smaller, understandable pieces of content. With analytics, the platform determines who was engaged in the onboarding process and who was not. This streamlined process gave direction to the Customer Relationship Managers about the onboarding process, and also resulted in a significant reduction of Turnaround Time (TAT).
The reduced TAT not only made the onboarding process more efficient and easier for vendors, but also for the B2B platform itself. With the onboarding process now streamlined, the platform could allocate its resources more effectively, thereby increasing productivity and reducing costs. As a result, decreased number of tickets and emails were received by the Channel Relationship Manager (CRM), who was responsible for resolving vendor onboarding issues. This allowed the CRM to shift their focus to relationship building, and improve the overall customer experience.
Test modules for Vendor Onboarding
Various topics on Onboarding for sellers
- Progress-driven approach – Managers and leaders were able to monitor the progress of the team and identify areas where most staff required retraining. The platform offered visibility into the performance of the team, including the best performers, which groups or teams were performing better, and other key metrics.
Org level group report
The platform also enabled managers and leaders to correlate the learning curve to the selling skills of the frontline staff. This tied in with top learners being top revenue generators. This helped them identify areas where staff needed more training, and tailor the training program to address specific gaps in skills or knowledge.
Furthermore, the platform provided valuable analytical insights that helped managers and leaders make data-driven decisions. For instance, it was observed that vendors who viewed reference documents were better equipped to answer questions, indicating the importance of providing reference material to support learning. RapL’s progress-driven approach helped managers and leaders make informed decisions and take action to improve the performance and productivity of frontline staff, and better outcomes for the B2B ecommerce platform.
Comprehensive dashboard that provides managers visibility on training
The gamification aspect of the platform helped foster healthy competition among vendors, as well as frontline staff.
Topic x User Leaderboard
- Increased efficiency – The implementation of RapL led to a notable improvement in the performance of frontline staff. It was observed that those who completed and mastered the training topics generated higher revenue compared to their peers. The staff’s enhanced knowledge on product categories and their unique selling points (USPs) allowed them to sell more effectively, resulting in higher revenue.
Moreover, scenario-based questions facilitated better product pitching, cross-selling, and up-selling, resulting in higher productivity and revenue generation. By improving their understanding of each product category, their trade-off points and USPs, the staff served customers better and provided them targeted product recommendations.
- Analytics – RapL offers one of a kind of actionable insight dashboards that help organizations with strategic decision-making inputs. With RapL reports, leaders and managers 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?
Exploring the content and delivery method of microlearning solutions
Creating and maintaining up-to-date training content is a significant challenge for many organizations. It requires extensive research, time, and resources, making it a time-consuming process. Moreover, keeping the content fresh and relevant is a constant challenge, as information changes rapidly and becomes obsolete too. Learning and Development teams must keep their content updated to ensure that it remains accurate and useful to their audience. Failing to do so, can lead to outdated training content that is no longer relevant or useful, harming the organization’s competitiveness in the long run. At RapL, we understand these challenges, and our team of industry experts curates content specific to your needs to ensure delivering valuable training to your teams.
Here are some topics that the vendors and FOS were trained on
Retail learning modules
Training and skill development: The secret to unlocking success for a B2B eCommerce platform.
From starting with a pilot model of 200 users in Tier 3 and 4 to expanding to 3000+ users across the country, this is a story of an outcome driven solution.
- Sales enablement and communication are made accessible and streamlined for frontline staff based on regional language
Language barriers were removed by enabling front line workers to learn in their native language
- Enhanced visibility into the improvement of frontline staff and their engagement with training content over time
- Personalized field coaching sessions for front-line managers to improve skills
- Smooth onboarding process for new sellers and familiarization of platform
- Deployment of over 140 topics to aid learning and development
- Improved category-specific knowledge leading to better closing of deals
- Over 2200 scenarios mastered for enhanced problem-solving skills
It is very user friendly. The login creation process is simple. The UI is constantly upgraded to enhance the experience of the learners and admin. As an admin/monitor, we have access to ready analysis on multiple fronts (user/role/assignment). This helps in TNI and saves a lot of manual work that one would have to do to review and analyze the data. Uploading the content is so easy and manageable.
– Quality assurance and training
From having no training tools to going mobile-first, the B2B eCommerce platform approach to training has undergone a significant transformation. They realized that physical training sessions were no longer sufficient for the modern-day workforce, and a new approach was required. The adoption of a mobile-first training solution enabled this platform to provide a more personalized and effective learning experience for frontline staff and vendors. The new solution not only saved time and resources, but also allowed the company to scale its training program and improve the productivity of its workforce.
The bite-sized, on-demand nature of the training has allowed employees to learn at their own pace and convenience, leading to better engagement and retention of information. The incorporation of multimedia elements and gamification has also made the learning experience more enjoyable and motivating.
The implications of this success are significant for other retail B2B aggregator platforms and their employee training programs. By adopting a similar microlearning approach, companies can provide their employees with more effective and efficient training that can be completed in shorter periods. This can lead to reduced costs, improved productivity, standardization of knowledge and better customer service. There is no wonder that this B2B eCommerce platform saw 45% QoQ growth. Well, at least now we know that knowledge was never the problem.
Furthermore, the use of technology in learning management systems and mobile applications can provide a more streamlined and accessible training experience for employees, regardless of their location or schedule. As the world moves towards digital transformation, technology integration into training programs will become increasingly important to remain competitive, attract and retain top talent. If you are interested in evaluating your organization and unlocking its potential, please contact us at www.getrapl.com
Dear reader, thanks for being with us all the way till the end. We suggest 2 things from here
1. Speak to us if you want a microlearning strategy deep-dive: Microlearning is extremely effective, if approached sensibly. Microlearning is the answer to today’s shortening attention spans and we know how to make learning successful via microlearning. Drop your context here and we shall partner with you for the rest.
2. Lap up more content: We have written some intense literature on how microlearning is the superglue between people and successful business operations. Access all of it here.
Ah, microlearning for managers – the hero of continuous learning! For those who want their teams to work…