Zero Motorcycles: Enabling the partner network and increasing sales volume with just-in-time training
March 1, 2018
Founded in 2006, Zero Motorcycles is the world leader in electric motorcycle sales. The company serves both the consumer and the fleet markets in more than 30 countries.
Keeping more than 250 dealers up to date on how to sell and service the company’s electric motorcycles required a team of regional managers who traveled throughout the year to deliver in-person training. Yet frequent dealer staff turnover, as well as the rapid addition of 30 new dealerships in the last year alone, made Zero Motorcycles’ in-person training method unsustainable.
“Our dealers are selling other high-end motorcycles, but they’re combustion engines. Because we sell electric motorcycles, our sales proposition is very different. A lot of education needs to take place prior to a sale,” said Peter Herman, manager, sales operations and analysis, at Zero Motorcycles. “But our existing training system wasn’t enabling our partner network. For Zero Motorcycles, this resulted in a smaller mindshare and lower sales volume.”
Zero Motorcycles began the search for a new partner training solution, one that would enable the company to reach an expanding number of dealers with consistent, standardized, just-in-time training. “We discovered that Cornerstone for Salesforce would enable the scalability and flexibility we needed to make training sustainable,” said Herman. “Cornerstone was also very cost effective and supportive of our growth path.”
To encourage dealers to use the new Cornerstone platform, the company rolled out an incentive program. “Incentives are the best way to drive adoption with your partner community,” said Herman. “We engaged dealer staff by linking sales spiffs to training completion. In four to five weeks, we more than tripled engagement with Cornerstone.”
Since implementation, feedback from dealers has been overwhelmingly positive. “Our dealers value the flexibility of Cornerstone,” said Herman. “They also appreciate that the training is available at any time, which makes it easier to answer customer questions faster.”
Created a more knowledgeable dealer base. With just-in-time access to training, dealers are better informed and thus able to sell more inventory. “Our customers are already very knowledgeable about our motorcycles, so dealers need to have just as much—or more—to gain the customer’s trust,” said Herman. “With Cornerstone, dealers have access to training at the moment of need. In conversations with customers, they can appear smart and well trained. And that translates to better sales volume.”
Achieved a 90 percent training adoption rate. Dealers now have access to Zero Motorcycles’ training anytime, anywhere. “Dealers are very protective of their time. With Cornerstone, they can learn on the weekends, in the evening or in the morning,” said Herman. “We have a 90 percent adoption rate among the dealer sales staff.”
Made training scalable and efficient. With Cornerstone, Zero Motorcycles can deliver training immediately to all dealerships, with one tool. “It doesn’t matter how many dealers are watching our training,” said Herman. “One person can prepare changes, track issues and reach out to dealers who are falling behind.”
Standardized training. Prior to Cornerstone, it was difficult to ensure that all 250 dealerships received the same training. “We’ve learned that some of our regional managers weren’t strong trainers,” said Herman. “With Cornerstone, all dealerships see the same training. We’re much more consistent in our training and our branding.”
Increased transparency. With Cornerstone, it’s easy for Herman and his team to track and report on training. “We can access real-time engagement reporting on both the sales and the services side of the business. This enables us to contact dealers who might be falling behind and make sure new dealers have access to training right away.”