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PepsiCo saves £500k with a mobile-first learning solution for international salespeople

PepsiCo is the second largest food and beverage business in the world with products distributed across more than 200 countries and territories. Having expanded from its namesake product to 22 brands, PepsiCo includes notable brands such as Quaker, Walkers and Tropicana.

The Challenge

PepsiCo has over 13,000 frontline salespeople spread out across Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. Almost all of their salespeople use their own device and are in regions with poor Wi-Fi and data access. This meant the solution had to enable eModules to be completed offline via an App. 

Upwards of 95% only speak their local language with only a basic understanding of spoken English. Therefore, the platform needed to support 15+ languages and be intuitive for learners. 

Historically, sales and induction training was delivered face-to-face which carries a high cost in terms of travel and absence from work for such a large population, so the platform needed to offer 24/7 access to learning anywhere in the world, at the point of need. 

PepsiCo also need to assess sale capability frequently and assign learning to support development.  

The Solution

PepsiCo selected Totara to meet the challenge for its robust and scalable open-source solution and worked with Platinum Alliance Partner Accipio, who are specialists in complex and large implementations for major brands. 

PepsiCo Totara Learn homepage

Accipio deployed and customized a Totara Mobile branded app to provide learners with offline access to learning at the point of need, which synced to the learning platform periodically. 

The main platform has a comprehensive suite of sales training and is translated into 15+ languages for over 13,000 platform users. Each country has their own landing page and further localization. The platform has different pathways for different types of learners and markets around the world. 

PepsiCo Totara Learn catalog

Assessing sales capability and offering learning to support this is key to the platform’s success (i.e. learning and performance). To manage the end-to-end capability assessment, Accipio built a diagnostic tool which enables supervisors to provide iterative feedback and assign learning to complete. Totara’s flexible open-source nature and learning towards performance management, as well as learning, made this possible. This uses machine learning to recommend content based on areas of weakness and pulls out hidden strengths and blind spots. 

To generate excitement and global uptake by making training their training, PepsiCo hosted a competition to recruit local champions to narrate learning in their local markets, and also developed a process to localize courses by training markets to use templated Storyline modules. This process in addition to making bite-sized courses, kept costs down and made learning quicker to develop and deploy. A microlearning approach reduced internet usage and storage challenges for their learners, but it also meant that PepsiCo could meet the needs of their on-the-go learners by ensuring learning fit their schedules and could be put into practice in the field.

PepsiCo Totara Learn courses

The Results

As a result of this initiative to use technology for sales and induction training, PepsiCo has a new learning strategy which is supported by their mobile-first and microlearning approach and enables their learners do the theory in their own time and the managers focus on coaching and certifying in the field. The mobile-first strategy has helped enable almost 400,000 eModule completions. Almost 2,000 learners have had sales capabilities benchmarked over the last year through the diagnostic tool, which has informed one-to-one discussions and coaching.

The platform has delivered significant cost savings and PepsiCo estimate this would be well over £500,000 in learning platform costs alone. Each market benefits from a shared learning platform, with their own tailored dashboards and content which are translated into their own language. The previous face-to-face training approach (up to 10 days per person) required absence from the workplace and travel costs for 13,000 people so digitizing the offer through Totara has delivered massive efficiencies and millions in cost savings. 

With Accipio and Totara Learn, PepsiCo was able to adapt to specific learning needs, and as a result, new solution has revitalized training and become an effective blend in which learners could practice learning in the field while being supported and assessed by their managers.

It is estimated that over 80% of PepsiCo's front-line population have completed vital compliance training (Train, Coach & Certified). This is a great achievement given the mix of people, markets and nature of the business. 

Additionally, the learning platform is for the front-line workers across Europe, and a huge percentage are not PepsiCo employees. This means they do not necessarily have PepsiCo email or internet access. The learning platform has enabled PepsiCo to still deliver training to these hard-to-reach people, which is why the offline app has been so successful. 

“What we like about Totara Learn is its chameleon like ability to constantly morph to our ever-changing demands. As a result we have not needed to look beyond Totara as it has delivered on our needs to solve for 20+ countries, embed competency assessments and integrate an app, all without batting an eyelid. This is an exciting chapter in a bigger part of a story. We’re looking at where we go with this in regards to improving quality of content and adding additional functionality to make it that much better of an experience. Having never done learning like this before, it’s helped us completely change our thinking and approach.” 

Jeremy Hoyland, Sales Capability Director, PepsiCo

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