Grant Broadcasters started in Dubbo, NSW in 1942. Dubbo, for those who stay securely on the eastern side of the mountains, is a country city known as the "Gateway to the West." Dubbo is the last stop before you get to red dirt and drought-blown plains and the literal Bogan Shire. You should click that link. I'm not being derogatory. That's the actual name of the area.
So from the Gateway to the West came Grant Broadcasters, an Australian radio network. From one station in country New South Wales, and with the same commitment to localism in each of the communities it serves, over the years Grant Broadcasters has grown to 52 stations in nearly every state and territory in Australia. This growth meant the company was faced with a challenge when it came to the professional development of its sales teams. - how do you create a cohesive learning program; how do you impart the same information and level of training, to a workforce that is spread right across the country?
To fix this problem, Grant Broadcasters implemented a simple tool: Yarno.
I recently spoke to Steve Anderson, the Group Learning Manager at Grant Broadcasters, about how and why they use Yarno.
Why did Grant Broadcasters choose to use Yarno?
Steve: "The company was looking for a program that could help them deliver the sort of professional development they needed in the online space. The nature of the company means that it's spread all over Australia, meaning the workforce we're dealing with is diffuse; it's really widely spread. The primary aim was to deliver learning that is relevant, effective and easy to access to that workforce in a cost-effective manner. It makes a lot of sense in the 21st Century to deliver the sort of learning that we want via an eLearning platform like Yarno.”
What has been the response?
"The response has been really positive. I would say the majority of people within our company, like people in other companies, want to develop as professionals. But at the same time, they don't want to be weighed down with something that's going to take them away from their everyday roles. The good thing about Yarno is that we've been able to incorporate professional learning into their routines. And that's been received really positively because it's something that people really want."
How do you use Yarno?
Currently, Grant Broadcasters uses Yarno in two primary ways:
First, as part of their onboarding process. Whenever a new account manager starts at a Grant Broadcasters radio station, they go through a four-week onboarding process. Where Yarno has helped them in this process, Steve said, is ensuring that the same information is given to all new employees, regardless of which station they join.
“With media sales, there's a lot of information that doesn't change - the basic principles of the sales process don't change. But the way those basic principles are expressed can change from place to place. Given that we are all part of one company, the delivery of this onboarding program through Yarno has allowed us to provide these account managers with a solid introduction to the world of media sales. Whether they're in Launceston, whether they're in Cairns, whether they're in Wollongong, they're all going through this process with exactly the same language and they're exposed to exactly the same fundamentals. So that standardisation of the onboarding process has been really important."
The second primary way Grant Broadcasters uses Yarno is through professional learning for the wider sales team using the information contained in their digital learning library, which is complemented with burst campaigns.
"Once a month, we engage the entire Grant Broadcasters sales team in learning around a specific area of their role. For example, last month, it was all about dealing with sales objections. The topic was about understanding how and when and why these objections might arise. The month before we looked at the rise of online advertising because that's a really big challenge for traditional media. So, we have some microlearning campaigns in Yarno that are based on the online advertising space, and how to address the challenges it poses. Each month there’s a different topic that the sales teams around the country are encouraged to engage with. They can review the topic information in the learning library, and then we deliver them a burst campaign of questions around that topic."
What makes Yarno engaging?
At the end of every Yarno campaign, all learners receive an email which asks them, on a scale of one to ten, how likely they are to recommend the Yarno platform to a friend. You've all seen that kind of email. It's a very popular way of gauging customer loyalty. For our Grant Broadcasters campaign, 72% of learners gave us a 9 or 10 (out of 10) when asked this question. I asked Steve why he thinks we've been getting these scores.
"I think the scores are an indicator of how relevant and how usable what we’re doing with Yarno actually is. If it was irrelevant to their day-to-day roles, if it was full of information that just meant nothing to them, if there was nothing in there that was going to help them in their day to day sales conversations, it would be a waste of time for everyone.
"The other thing is usability. I mean, Yarno is a very user-friendly platform, And that's the thing that strikes me every single time. Whether it's an account manager who's been in the game 30 years or one of our new account managers just coming on board, they find it incredibly easy to use."
Usability and relevance: the gateway to engagement.
Courtney is the face behind the Yarno blog. She’s our fact-finding expert, Instagram connoisseur and the only person we know who can write 1500 words and fix a fence in the same half hour.
You might also like
You don't know what you don't know, until you know...ya know? Unless of course, you have Yarno to tell you.
Before worrying about how to make training fun, we need to answer one important question: why are we training? What is the desired outcome?
Enter: the decision template. My one stop shop approach to emboldening everyone at Yarno to make their own decisions (so I don't have to).