Customer Venta-Luftwäsche GmbH | Solution E-Learning Consulting | Year 2022
Venta-Luftwäscher GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers of humidifiers, air cleaners and air washers in Europe, based in Weingarten (Germany). In 1981, founder Fred Hitzler revolutionized the market with the concept of using water to humidify and purify the air indoors, which is often far too dry and contaminated with pollutants. The idea is simple: Pollutants are bound by water, thus they can be reduced naturally. While this vision remained unchanged, the company has grown steadily and now has over 120 employees.
The AirTreatment market is predominantly online, but in addition to the web store and numerous online partners, Venta is also expanding its physical sales activities in the key market of electronics retailers. While the company achieves high online sales figures, it couldn’t achieve the sales goals via their electronics retail partners.
One problem the ventilation experts identified is that retailers often lack the necessary expertise around the topic of ventilation. So they couldn’t provide customers with the needed advice on ventilation. The result is that retailers tended to recommend brands they knew from other categories, even if these companies can’t compete with Venta’s experience and quality. Venta’s products were therefore rarely promoted in stores and received little attention from consumers. This is why Venta wanted to position itself as a market leader and this, the best choice when it comes to humidifiers, air cleaners and ventilation in general.
It’s important for Venta to provide retailers with the best support whenever possible. The company offers product training for sales staff to ensue this – until 2021, these trainings were exclusively held on-site. This was not just costly but coordinating and scheduling with different stores proved to be a challenge. As a result, they couldn’t provide training at a broader scale and train everyone equally. This put Venta in a disadvantageous situation as the company’s product portfolio is very comprehensive and requires further training.
If that wasn’t enough, along came the Corona crisis in 2020. While the demand for humidifiers, air cleaners and air washers increased, training staff on-site was much more difficult. So Venta decided to digitize its product trainings in order to be able to train the sales staff efficiently and to fully skim off increased sales opportunities and new markets.
In order to make the right content available at the right time for its retailers in the German-speaking market, Venta digitized its entire product training process. In addition to an explainer video to boost its brand awareness and product trainings, Venta is also using a LMS to deliver learning content to retailers all around the globe. Depending on their needs, stores can either integrate the content into their own LMS or access the Venta learning platform directly.
The learning content serves two objectives: The first is to strengthen the Venta brand and the second is to put the products in the spotlight and to highlight their key selling points. While the purpose of the film “Introducing Venta” is to strengthen the brand, the course “Product Training” is the perfect way to present the Venta products: Sales staff can familiarize themselves with the product range and learn more about the relevant selling points. The training highlights the “Made in Germany” quality label and emphasizes the differences between the individual products. Besides providing training on the existing product portfolio, this also allows Venta to provide thebest possible assistance for future product launches.
The course “Product training” consists of several units, each unit revolving around a different product family. Learners can expect a mix of different learning formats in each unit. Each format has a duration of about 2-7 minutes – true to the micro learning approach. This doesn’t just keep sales staff motivated but also focuses on the most important features and selling points of each product. Each unit is structured as follows: A short and playful learning nugget introduces the product and provides the basic information about it. Directly after, sales staff can apply what they’ve learned in a simulated sales situation – once again in the form of a short learning nugget. Finally, learners can download the most important information: a fact sheet on the respective product containing all key information, plus an overview of all the devices. The goal therefore is to always have the relevant information at hand and they can refresh their knowledge at any time.
„The product information must be conveyed in an accessible way and not like a strict training course. With a twinkle in the eye , without technical jargon and using everyday language - so that the sales staff can overzeal the consumers easily. In other words, the products should be explained as simply as possible. We managed that very well with the structure of our trainings. At the beginning there's an informal part and then follows a section where the learners can practice with real life examples. One such situation for example: A customer comes into the store and the salesperson learns how to guide them in a desired direction.“
Julia Söns, Marketing Communications Director at Venta
The switch to digital training comes with several other advantages: The company can now produce consistently high-quality content that is always in line with the corporate design. Learners can also access all information at any given time and refresh their knowledge as needed. Venta uses the youknow Learning Management System to distribute its learning content. This enables them to provide retail partners with access to product information but also use the platform to train its in-house staff. Digitization has also brought economic benefits: Venta can now measure and evaluate the direct impact of the product trainings on the sales performance. This enables them to optimize the trainings to achieve even better results. Another benefit is the ability to quickly – and cost-efficiently – adapt trainings for international markets.
Due to the very positive feedback on the introductory film as well as the product trainings, Venta is already planning the next steps in the digitization process. For 2022, the company plans to create English versions of its current trainings, including French and Spanish subtitles. Venta is also planning to create learning nuggets for other products from its portfolio.
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Ulrike Meissner, Sales Manager