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The Challenge

Intuitive Surgical had recently held a Remote Competency Training Program for sales and services reps, where they launched new core messaging for their DaVinci product. The company spends a significant amount of time and money on these training events, a cost which includes pulling reps from selling activities. Unfortunately, as time goes by, knowledge retention can drop off substantially without intervention. Studies show that in as little as 30 days, 79% of what we learn is forgotten. Management wanted to be sure the new messaging was being practiced and applied in sales conversations and that their training investments did not go to waste. “We are all about learning theory at Intuitive Surgical. Qstream has some wonderful learning science attached to it. I can see the thoughtfulness to the product design and other elements,” says Intuitive Surgical Learning Technology Manager Hydie Pavick-Navarrete. “It’s a must-have post-training for that learning retention.”

The Solution

Surgical has been a Qstream client since 2015, using our scientifically proven microlearning and knowledge reinforcement solution to ensure sales reps retain critical information post larger training sessions for success in the field. Over the years, they’ve achieved a 30% increase in knowledge retention and performance, a 91% engagement across learning challenges and a 95% final proficiency on material. Hydie and one of the company’s commercial learning managers put their heads together and came up with the idea to host a product pitch contest using Qstream’s video scenario question feature. This would incentivize sales reps to practice using the new messaging while allowing managers to select the gold standard that all others could follow. The contest created actionable coaching opportunities and managers were able to leave constructive feedback on their direct reports’ videos. “Facilitating a collaborative environment is very important for our team and this was a great way to get multiple people across departments involved,” Hydie says. The video product pitch Qstream was sent to 700 sales reps and participation was optional. Participants were given guidelines and rules and asked to record and upload a video of themselves delivering the new product pitch as they would during a real sales scenario.

The Results

A total of 426 videos were submitted and reviewed by managers, who selected 90 semifinalists. The VPs then picked 5 winners and 1 honorable mention. “The winners exemplified clear core messaging and creative deliveries,” Hydie explains. The winners were selected based on the following criteria: core messaging clarity and creativity of delivery. She says the organization was blown away by the creativity the contest generated. Sales reps thoughtfully delivered their product pitches via scenarios that featured their partners, kids and pets. One of the winners even played both himself and the doctor he was selling to.

“We had 60% engagement,” says Hydie, who is thrilled with the results. “We’re a very large sales force and it’s not always easy to entice reps to participate in this sort of thing because they have lofty sales goals. So it was great to see them get excited about the video contest. And most importantly, now we have examples of what great looks like for delivering our core messaging for future trainings.”

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