Ultraceuticals Wins Platinum LearnX Award with Spoke®

We’re so excited to announce our client Ultraceuticals has won the prestigious Platinum LearnX Award for Best Blended Learning Model. Heather Vounnou, Ultraceuticals Global Education Innovator, officially accepted the honor at the LearnX Live 2017 Award Show in September.

In 2016 Ultraceuticals launched its UltraAcademy, a learning platform for skincare technicians, nurses, and doctors across Australia and New Zealand who prescribe and use Ultraceuticals products in their clinics and skincare centers. UltraAcademy’s blended model includes a series of baseline prerequisites, online workshops, short microlearning modules, in-person training, and an impressive rewards and recognition program.

When Vounnou was developing the strategy behind UltraAcademy, she knew she needed a learning management system with a modern, beautiful user interface to help her train, engage, and reward students. She also wanted exceptional customer support. She selected Spoke® as her LMS of choice.

“[Spoke Account Manager] Kiersten Hoffman was amazing. I never felt like she was telling me ‘Here’s the template, give us what we need.’ Her customer service was extraordinary,” said Vounnou. Vounnou was also impressed with Spoke’s constant innovation and upgrades based on client feedback, and features such as prerequisites, gamification, and news.

Since the launch of UltraAcademy, the blended learning model continues to receive 5-star ratings from the 2300+ students enrolled in the program across Australia and New Zealand.

“I look forward to working on the ongoing evolution of the UltraAcademy, striving to ensure that we continue to meet the demands of skin technicians, nurses, and doctors both within and beyond the borders of Australia and New Zealand,” Vounnou said.

“Working with Heather [Vounnou] has been a joy because of her intelligent feedback on our platform. Working with Ultraceuticals has helped us continue to innovate by challenging us to improve the way Spoke delivers training and ultimately helps people learn,” said Hoffman.

About the LearnX Impact Awards

The LearnX Impact Awards recognize and reward individuals, teams, and organizations who have used learning and supporting technologies to deliver value and significantly impact employee performance and business results. Previous winners of the Best Blended Learning Model category include Harvard Business School, National Australia Bank (NAB), and Medibank.

About Ultraceuticals

Ultraceuticals is the leading Australian Cosmeceutical skincare brand offering professional-grade products and in-clinic treatments, formulated to address major skin concerns such as ageing, pigmentation and acne to give customers their best-ever skin.

Meet Spoke®

Spoke is the modern social learning management system that connects training, communication, collaboration, and gamification to help you train, engage, and reward your teams. To learn more, watch our Meet Spoke video or request a demo.

8 Modern LMS Features That Drive Learner Engagement

On the hunt for a new learning management system and interested in modern LMS features?  Based on our experience, any LMS can host your training content, but an LMS with modern features lets learners take training into their own hands. This list includes 8 modern LMS features that will set you and your team up for success.

 

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1. SOCIAL AND COLLABORATIVE LEARNING

Community functions like discussion boards, content ratings, upvoting, and the ability to follow specific users make it easy for learners to collaborate with peers, instructors, and managers long after the training course has ended.

Educational researchers have been touting the benefits of discussion features in online learning for decades now because they allow participants to mindfully reflect on their peers’ contributions before responding—and this type of thoughtful collaboration may be one of the most important elements of effective online training.

Capturing and encouraging conversations that surround your business’ training content and best practices is a powerful way to help your team learn more efficiently and effectively. It also gives you insight into what training content is working (and what’s not).

 

2. INTEGRATED COMMUNICATION TOOLS

The “If you build it, they will come” approach doesn’t work in L&D. Not only do you need to develop great training—you also need an effective communication strategy to let people know there’s exciting new content in their LMS.

It’s more like: “If you build it, market it internally, give learners multiple ways to engage with it, and reward the effort, they will come.” 

That’s why one modern LMS feature on the rise is integrated communication tools. Integrated communication tools allow you to create training alerts on users’ dashboards, send email notifications and newsletters, display pop-up notifications, and even have a news portal where users can quickly see what’s happening in the company.

 

3. REAL-WORLD GAMIFICATION

Don’t think of gamification as a distraction. Instead, think of it as a way to hook learners and get them excited about training. We’ve seen real-world gamification drive results like a 5.5x increase in course completions and nearly a 2x increase daily logins.

Incentives like points, leaderboards, badges, and levels motivate users to engage with your LMS and increase their social capital. They also create friendly competition.

The concept is simple—show people their progress, reward their performance, and they’ll want to do more. Truly modern LMS platforms go the extra mile and allow users to trade in their points for real-world rewards like apparel and company swag.

 

4. BLENDED LEARNING

Blended learning occurs when the best delivery methodologies available for each specific learning objective are incorporated into a curriculum, according to ATD.

And based on our experience, to create a perfectly blended learning experience, you need to let the subject matter inform your modality, embrace learners’ constraints, and choose a learning platform that supports blended learning.

If a learning platform has modern capabilities, its LMS features should supports and encourage blended learning. How? Its user interface should make it easy to upload and complete courses across a variety of modalities—from ILT and VILT to eLearning and interactive learning guides.

 

5. GREAT CONTENT

You can have a platform with every learning management system feature available, but if you fill it with boring, uninspiring content, you’re not going to get very far.

Boring PowerPoint presentations don’t cut it anymore. Your employees can’t learn if they’re sleeping through their training. Training content that gets results is short, personalized, and engaging.

 

6. EASY TO USE

A modern user interface isn’t enough. An LMS with nice visuals can still be a nightmare for learners and administrators to use.

You want an eLearning platform that not only looks great, but is also well organized, easy to access and navigate, and just makes sense for users.

 

7. Integrations

From CRM tools like Salesforce to HR and recruiting systems, you have many software products you already use to manage your day-to-day. Who wants to remember another username and password?

That’s where integrations come in.

When choosing an LMS, consider features like APIs (application program interface) and SSO (single sign-on). APIs, SSO, and other integrations can help you work your eLearning platform into your workflow seamlessly.

 

8. Analytics to prove roi

It’s time to look beyond baseline reporting to help determine ROI. Course completion and pass/fail rates are a good start, but your LMS should deliver other valuable data and insights.

For example, track how popular and helpful discussion threads and resources are. Track course ratings and reviews. And merge your LMS data with other business results like VOC scores (Voice of the Customer), sales, revenue, how long it takes to get new employees up to speed, etc.

Armed with these analytics, you can identify training gaps. You can also see what content and formats resonate most with learners, and use all of these insights to inform how you design your next training module.

 

Put Them All Together

Think finding a single platform with all these LMS features is a pipe dream? It’s not. In fact, we call it Spoke®.

Spoke is a modern learning platform that combines personalized, social, and collaborative learning with real-world gamification and built-in communication tools to keep learners engaged.

How much more engaged? Compared to other leading platforms, companies using Spoke have seen up to:

  • a 5.5X increase in course completions,
  • 3.5x increase in logins, and
  • 2.5x increase in non-required activity

If you’re not seeing those results with your current learning platform, check out Spoke LMS.

 

What LMS Features Matter To Your users?

If you’ve completed your LMS requirements checklist, let us know which of these 8 modern LMS features made it to the top of your must-haves list. What other items did you prioritize? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Webinar: 3 Challenges That Limit Your Training Engagement (And What to Do About Them)

At ATD 2017, we asked people who visited our booth to share their top training challenges. When we compared notes, one thing was clear: everyone wants their training to be more engaging.

So, we returned from the conference and hosted a free webinar, 3 Challenges That Limit Your Training Engagement (And What to Do About Them). Good news: if you missed the webinar, you can watch the recording below. It’s conversational, informative, and full of actionable tips to help you engage leaders, learners, and SMEs like a rockstar.

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VIEW THE WEBINAR RECORDING

Follow along with facilitators David Williamson and Rick Lloyd as they share expert insights that will help you:

  • get leadership invested to create a culture of learning
  • engage tough SMEs to generate content that scales
  • follow up effectively to defeat the forgetting curve

After all, for a training program to stick, it needs the support of engaged leaders and subject matter experts. Watch the webinar, and find out how to align stakeholders across your organization more effectively to boost retention and create meaningful change.

Unleash Your Competitive Advantage at ATD 2017

The ATD 2017 conference is fast approaching, and with over 10,000 attendees, 400 speakers, 300 educational sessions and 400 vendors, it’s shaping up to be another incredible year. This year’s event is May 21-24 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. We’ll be calling booth #343 our home away from home.

During our time at ATD 2017, we’ll have one goal in mind – to help you unleash your competitive advantage. Here’s what you can expect from your friends at Unboxed – an unconventional conference experience is guaranteed.

ATD 2017

ATTEND DAILY MICRO SESSIONS

David Williamson, our Director of Content Strategy, will be leading daily micro sessions to share our research on the top L&D trends as well as how using humor can improve your training’s effectiveness.

There’s no need to register – just show up at booth #343 during the times listed below. Seating is limited, but if you have to stand we’ll have extra padding under the carpet to keep you comfortable.

Here’s the schedule:

2017’s Top Learning and Development Trends

  • Monday, 11:00am
  • Tuesday, 11:30am
  • Wednesday, 11:30am

Using Humor to Improve Training Effectiveness

  • Monday, 2:30pm
  • Tuesday, 2:30pm
  • Wednesday, 1:00pm

Oh, and of course we’ll have prizes. Tweet what you’ve learned from one of these sessions using the hashtag #unboxedtrends or #unboxedhumor, and we’ll pick daily winners to take home some cool Unboxed swag.

WRITE ON OUR BOOTH

As a training or sales leader, you face challenges every day. What gets in your way? What keeps you up at night? What do you wish you could change? We want to know.

So, come write on our booth. We’ll provide the purple and orange Sharpies. Simply stop by and share your top training and sales challenges.

After the conference, our team of experts will collect your inputs and host a webinar with recommendations on how to overcome those challenges. Don’t miss your chance to have your voice heard.

REFRESH WITH INFUSED WATER

Every day at Unboxed headquarters, our office manager, Bette, makes infused water to keep the team hydrated. We’re bringing that same refreshment to ATD 2017.

So, even if you don’t attend one of our micro sessions, or write on our booth (we can’t understand why you wouldn’t want to do both), you can at least stop by for something fresh to drink.

MEET THE TEAM

In addition to all the knowledge and fun above, here are the Unboxed team members you’ll get to meet at ATD 2017 and what makes them a little … unconventional.

Rick Lloyd

  • Dance dad
  • VP, Sales and Client Services
  • Has a bumper sticker on his car that says, “The older I get, the better I was.”

David Williamson

  • Still reads Judy Blume.
  • Director of Content Strategy
  • Has an overdeveloped sense of humor.

Kiersten Hoffman

  • Grew up in Toronto, Chicago, and Virginia – the proof is in her charming accent.
  • Spoke Account Manager
  • Prefers Star Trek over Star Wars.

Caleb Keiter

  • Collects crazy socks.
  • Marketing Manager
  • Likes his tea hot and his bourbon neat.

 

JOIN US

Needless to say, we’re excited to experience the largest L&D conference of the year. And of course, to meet you.

Want in? There’s still time. We have free expo passes. Use invitation number 9984.

Already registered? Add us to your conference agenda and come hang out at the Georgia Aquarium during networking night.

Whether you’re attending or not, join the conversation on Twitter by following @unboxedtech and using the official conference hashtag #atd2017.

See you in Atlanta!

8 Funny Sales Videos That Will Have You ROFL

At Unboxed, we understand sales can be an exhausting and sometimes daunting profession. So, let’s take a break from the hustle and bustle and get a good laugh in. Here are 8 funny sales videos that will have you ROFL (That’s rolling on the floor laughing, in case you were curious.)

 

Sales Therapy

Sales Therapy by SalesMesh takes a humorous look at the long-standing relationship between sales professionals and their CRM. This hilarious power struggle comes to life when the two parties discuss their problems in a therapist session.

 

 

Sales & Marketing Alignment is Easier Than You Think

In far too many companies, sales teams don’t expect marketing to deliver qualified leads, and marketing teams don’t believe sales will follow up with them anyway. Watch as SalesForceUK depicts this all-too-common scenario by showing that marketing and sales don’t have to be best friends, but they can create alignment around common goals.

 

 

Monster Tips: Nailing the Handshake

Short. Simple. Sweet. This video by Monster comically shows all the wrong ways to shake hands in a job interview. We think the same rules apply when sales reps meet prospects and customers, too. Well done, Monster.

 

 

 

Sales in Real Life

Sales isn’t always everything it’s dreamed up to be. In our very own funny sales video, a sales professional works his way through the tough, sometimes awkward, and daily struggles in sales.

 

 

A Conference Call in Real Life

If you work in sales, you’re no stranger to conference calls. While more convenient than jet-setting across the country every day, there are so many things that frequently go wrong. See if you can relate to these common conference call woes in Tripp and Tyler’s funny video A Conference Call in Real Life.

 

 

Sales vs. Marketing Dodgeball

When your sales and marketing teams can’t stand the mere mention of the other, have them battle it out with a good old fashioned game of dodgeball. At least, that’s what Lattice Engines suggests. The following is based on one hot and humid afternoon where the struggle for who was right reached an all-time high.

 

 

Selling is Tough – Office Space Humor to Get You Through the Day

Let’s face it, selling can sometimes be tough. In this funny sales video, Sales Scripter pokes fun at all the scenarios sales people are confronted with in a style similar to the movie Office Space.

 

 

S*** Sales People Say

Sales people often get caught up saying cheesy things to make a sale. Check out Betts Recruiting’s hysterical interpretation of S*** Sales People Say.

Hopefully, this list of funny sales videos lightens your mood and helps you refocus your energy back on what you do best, which of course is closing sales. Come back and visit us whenever you need a lift in your day or want to burn some calories ROFL.

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