VitalSmarts Australia & New Zealand engages corporate trainers to help employees learn to communicate effectively about high-stakes topics in a corporate setting, as well as providing training products and materials.
VitalSmarts ANZ is the licensee for Crucial Conversations, a corporate training course for helping organizations foster open dialogue around risky and emotional topics, by helping team learn the skills needed to both speak and listen productively and cooperatively. Teamwork and better decision-making thrive in an open environment of collaboration, where employees at all levels know their voices will be heard.
As part of its marketing process, VitalSmarts Australia / New Zealand runs a series of training events every year, to show businesses around Australia and New Zealand how useful Crucial Conversations and other VitalSmarts products are at helping employees at all levels of an organization learn to communicate and collaborate effectively within the organization.
VitalSmarts found it difficult to keep track of all the data and automate the processes for each event.
Before finding WORK[etc], VitalSmarts used a CRM program that didn’t suit its needs.
“The CRM program we used before was really limited in terms of its ability to be able to coordinate data and also limited in its ability to be able to cater for our specific needs,” said Geoff Flemming, general manager of VitalSmarts ANZ.
“We run a lot of training events as part of our marketing of Crucial Conversations and other programs, and in order to do that, we had to use products like Constant Contact, or Mail Chimp, or others to market it. Then, through a very convoluted process, we had to get the data back into our CRM, and then get that same data back out again,” said Flemming.
The biggest challenge for VitalSmarts was to make sure every member of the organization, at any level, could access all the data they needed about the company’s various training events.
It was particularly complicated because VitalSmarts Australia / New Zealand works with a virtual team, with representatives all over Australia and New Zealand. Flemming knew they needed a smarter, cloud-based solution.
WORK[etc] turned out to be exactly what VitalSmarts Australia / New Zealand needed to run their business. Its all-in-one functionality meant that the VitalSmarts team could get the information they needed, when they needed it.
“With WORK[etc], we find it just does the whole thing for us,” said Flemming. “It does all the event campaigns. We build all our email lists into the platform. We track all our costs and revenue for training programs in WORK[etc], and because of our virtual team, we’ve now got different people around Australia and New Zealand, and also we’ve got a team up in the Philippines. Our team members can all access the data at various different administrative levels for what they need.“
After implementing WORK[etc], VitalSmarts Australia / New Zealand was able to expand their operation and bring on a team of employees working in the Philippines, confident that those team members would be able to access the information they needed, when they needed it.
“There are four of us all together that use WORK[etc] every day,” said Flemming. “That would be myself, my partner Gerry, and our two people in the Philippines. We get leads in every day from different marketing sources. All those leads get added in to WORK[etc], and then they get attached to various different tags, depending upon what industry they’re in, what state they’re in, and any other information that we want to include — for example, if they’re part of some major corporation that we’re targeting.“
VitalSmarts ANZ hired its two virtual assistants in the Philippines through a virtual assistant contracting firm in Davao City. The company was looking for remote employees with good computer skills and a great attitude, who could structure their own work days, be proactive, and speak up when necessary.
“I flew to Davao City and ran a two-day training intensive,” said Flemming. “We recorded this into 25 training modules and uploaded to YouTube as our training library. We connect every day and have an online project management system to set tasks and accountability.“
VitalSmarts uses WORK[etc] not only to streamline the company’s daily workflow and connect with remote employees, but also to organize larger projects ahead of time.
VitalSmarts was also able to plan out and automate in the space of a month their entire marketing process for a year, a feat that would have been “impossible with our old system,” said Flemming.
“Apart from probably taking two or three times as long, ultimately, we could never have mapped it out the way we map it out now because of the convoluted and complex process of the way calendars and things worked in our previous system,” said Flemming. “You really couldn’t lay out that sort of stuff. It was just not possible to do.“
VitalSmarts Australia / New Zealand runs an average of 60+ marketing and training events a year for their customers, and each event requires its own marketing campaign: emails, PDF flyers, landing pages, etc. “For each event, we’ll market out beforehand, six weeks, four weeks, and two weeks,” said Flemming. “If you multiply 60 by four, there’s 240 events — 240 individual events that now have to be scheduled within WORK[etc].“
Because WORK[etc] is so accessible, any employee who needs information about any of VitalSmarts’ events knows exactly where to find it. VitalSmarts ANZ will do refresher training on WORK[etc] every couple of months to make sure everyone is on the same page.
“So we can actually start planning in October, and by November of this year, we can effectively have our whole marketing campaign planned out for 2015,” said Flemming. “What that means is, for our event administration people, they’ve got their daily activity pretty well down pat by the 1st of January.”
“They know pretty much every day what they have to do around making sure our event happen: checking that email campaigns for each individual marketing event go out on the right dates, monitoring the bounces and the emails, making sure supplies get shipped out, etc.“
“Will some of the dates change? Yeah, of course they will, because for different reasons, we might need to add something or remove something, but overall, the whole thing is set,” said Flemming.
With WORK[etc], we find it just does the whole thing for us. It does all the event campaigns. We build all our email lists into there, and because of our virtual team, we’ve now got different people around Australia and New Zealand, and also we’ve got a team up in the Philippines. Our team members can all access the data at various different administrative levels for what they need.
— Geoff Flemming, General Manager, VitalSmarts Australia / New Zealand