As our customers continue to thrive and reap results, we’re excited to tell you all about our latest customer success journey: say hello to the good people at iamsold.
We spoke to Dan Milne, Customer Success Manager at iamsold, to catch up on his experiences and achievements with Thinqi so far.
iamsold, part of the iamproperty Group, is the largest residential auctioneer in the UK and pioneer of the Modern Method of Auction (MMoA). They work with a network of around 3,000 estate agents as an expansion of their business, enabling them to provide auction services to their clients to help them grow.
They offer a comprehensive range of end to end auction services, meaning estate agents can tailor the offering to their client's circumstances and preferences. From bespoke online auctions to live auction events, they work with partners to find the best route for each client.
This is why it’s so important that iamsold has a solution in place to help their partners understand the auction proposition and how it works.
Time to think smart.
As Customer Success Manager for iamsold, Dan Milne’s role is to help drive the outcomes for the company’s partners. “It’s about understanding exactly what our partners want from our service and how they can achieve their goals,” he says. “Much of that comes down to the learning and development side of things. It’s about giving them the knowledge and the confidence through the different aspects of learning and resources to create the kind of auction success that they crave.”
So what was preventing iamsold from achieving that success?
Lack of engagement with online learning
“Before using Thinqi, we’d used very substantial Powerpoint presentations that would sometimes take up to three hours to deliver in a classroom environment,” says Dan. “This was okay face-to-face but from the facilitator’s perspective, it doesn’t really work virtually. Were the delegates actually learning and retaining anything from those presentations? I’m not so sure.”
Over the past year, as a result of the pandemic, L&D teams have scrambled to get their programmes online as teams suddenly went remote. However, this ‘lift and shift’ approach to content migration has been all too common, with many L&D teams discovering that what works in the classroom isn’t necessarily viable in the virtual environment. As the demand for online training looks set to increase, the skill of virtual facilitation has proved a major headache for organisations like iamsold who have had to transition almost overnight.
“It’s too easy to skip a Zoom or Teams session, or switch off from an online learning module. Engagement was always our number one challenge,” Dan notes.
Frustrations with the old LMS
Prior to using Thinqi, iamsold were using a very basic learning management system (LMS). Although this was cost-effective and able to host videos, it offered very little else in the way of features. In light of the rise in personalised, adaptive delivery that’s so intrinsic to modern learning, this fell short of being able to fully accommodate learner needs and expectations.
This LMS also sat independently from iamsold’s main platform, meaning partners had to remember different URLs and login credentials each time they needed to access the learning resources. With so many partners logging in on different portals, this made access difficult and did little to motivate learners to log in.
Lack of remote support and heavy admin
Previously, there was also no way of continuously supporting iamsold’s learners who were accessing their old LMS. There’s a preconceived notion that coaching only occurs face-to-face; however, assuming the role of coach in L&D provides a way to support and encourage learners throughout independent learning journeys and can be done virtually with the right collaborative tools in place. Unfortunately, the old LMS fell short of this.
Reflecting on his experience, Dan says: “It was all manual checks to see if they’d completed the learning, or manual enrolment and scanning of CSV files to track results. You need to be timely with your actions with coaching and feedback, and this just wasn’t possible with the setup that we had. We weren’t able to contact and speak to our learners, or have any sort of connection.”
Cue Thinqi, the learning system behind iamsold’s ‘Success Hub’ platform.
So, what was it about Thinqi that made it the right fit?
According to Dan, it was the learning-first philosophy that stood out against the competition. “It felt like you put learners first when it came to the platform features,” he says. “I’ve got an L&D background and this impressed me from the outset.”
It wasn’t just Thinqi’s platform and pedagogy that hit the mark – the people also made the right impression.
“I had a good vibe from Dan and Nick during the consultation when we explored what our requirements were,” says Dan. “This was important for me because I knew that as a business we’d require a fair amount of hand-holding to get us started with this. We’ve dipped our toe in the water with our previous LMS, but never quite taken the leap like this. We knew it was a long-term investment, so it was really crucial that I knew I was going to be working with good people!”
Thinqi’s advanced reporting and analytics tools enabled iamsold to evaluate learner data at a more granular level. This was key for overcoming the difficulties experienced with having to manually check learner progress and informing future learning initiatives.
To avoid the dreaded ‘death by Powerpoint’, Thinqi enabled iamsold to provide a richer, blended experience for their partners. Dan has enjoyed being able to easily create, customise and bring certain pieces of content to the fore using Thinqi’s Digital Library feature. With the help of rich data insights and reviews, iamsold can take a more evidence-based approach to their content by identifying the resources learners are engaging with most and rating most highly.
Finally, to avoid any disengagement caused by multiple logins and difficulties accessing the platform, a single-sign on (SSO) feature was enabled so learners could log in and engage with the platform with a few simple clicks.
Drumroll, please...here’s a list of iamsold’s achievements to date.
Soaring rates of engagement: over 300 new users and 1,000 logins in 8 weeks
To celebrate the launch of the Success Hub, Dan set up a competition using the Assignments feature called ‘Test Your Auction Might’. This incorporated a series of playlist quizzes to test partner knowledge, with a cash prize used as an incentive. By providing insight into how the platform works through a fun launch activity, this successfully created a buzz from the get-go.
“Switching on the SSO is clearly having a massive impact already,” says Dan. “It’s been launched properly for around 8 weeks now and in that time we’ve had around 300 new users and 1,000 logins. This goes to show that by making the platform easy to access, our partners not only logged in to complete that initial assignment but have returned regularly as well. That’s a massive win for us – we just weren’t getting that kind of engagement before.”
5-star content and improved relevance
Already, Dan is seeing how Thinqi is helping to better understand partners’ needs.
“We’re still very much in our infancy with it, but I can see long-term how Thinqi is going to help us understand our customers’ needs better,” he says. “As someone who’s worked in customer success, that’s a really important piece of the puzzle. It’s already helped us shape relevant learning content rather than just guessing at what people need. We’ve so far had about 55 5-star reviews of our content, which demonstrates a real appetite for certain topics and helps us promote the content people find most relevant.”
Deeper insights for powering up performance
Having access to the data we have through the markbook has been a bit of a revolution for iamsold. Through the quizzes and the markbook, they are now able to baseline that level of knowledge across the network and across each part of the channel. Through this, individual learning needs can be pinpointed to support learners on their ongoing journey. It is now easy to identify what content is going down well, an insight which will inform future content and help us to shape iamsold’s strategy.
These deeper data insights also helped identify learning needs that might otherwise have been missed on the surface. In the key account manager teams, there were partners completing the quiz that wouldn’t previously have been thought of as having any particular learning requirements. However, these revealed themselves during the needs analysis quiz.
“This isn’t about just targeting those who we knew could do with a little more support,” says Dan. “It’s also about getting more out of those who we initially didn’t realise we could get more out of.”
As a result of top-level data insights such as users, views and assignments completed, iamsold are also now able to evaluate long-term how these factors are impacting on sales performance from their partners.
A platform that grows with the business, every step of the way
While it’s important to select the right features and meet the right budget when sourcing a learning system, the importance of great customer success should never be overlooked. The unique set of challenges of any organisation should always be addressed by both the technical solution and the people behind it.
This is exactly why Dan was assured he’d made the right choice with Thinqi.
“The support that we’ve received is second-to-none - the personal touches along the way have made it a pleasure and you’ve given us confidence that we’ve made the right decision,” he says. “It’s more of a partnership – we wanted a platform that we could grow with and I feel like we’ve got that.”
After all, great digital transformation requires great customer support.
With notable results so far already, what’s next for iamsold and Thinqi?
“We’ve now got a partner L&D plan which Thinqi is very much a central part of,” says Dan. “The next stage is to pick up the Virtual Classrooms feature and use that to deliver the learning. I really think this is going to provide our partners with a much more interactive and engaging experience than they would have just using basic meetings features on Teams and Zoom. Personally, I’m focused on providing our partners with memorable learning experiences – using Thinqi’s features will no doubt help with that.”
Further to this, Dan has also been in communication with his L&D business partner to discuss how the platform can be used to support internal staff. By making internal staff advocates of the platform, Dan hopes this passion for learning will inspire the same attitude in iamsold’s partners.
Thinqi and iamsold: building an organisational culture that never stops learning.
Want to see how Thinqi’s cutting-edge features can make for a smarter workforce? Request a demo and one of our friendly learning experts will only be too happy to chat with you about your requirements. #ThinkSmart