Scaling Training To Support a Fast-Growing Startup
June 4, 2021
Webgility helps online retailers connect their eCommerce platform (think Shopify or Etsy) to their accounting software (like Quickbooks). The connection automatically transfers data from one platform to the other. So, accountants and small business owners can eliminate busywork and focus on what's important: their business.
Soon-Chul Choi, COO of Webgility, describes the company as a fast-growing startup, reporting that the company is “bringing in hundreds of new customers every month.” And to support the swelling customer base, frontline managers are consistently hiring more customer-support and sales reps.
But before Trainual, the challenge was finding a way to scale the training. “We'd basically do 1-to-1 training with Google docs and Google sheets,” Soon-Chul told us. “Everything was everywhere, and that doesn’t scale.”
Webgility also had large subsidiary teams working out of India. And because the company is headquartered in the US, it was impractical to train the subsidiary team in-person. So, it had to be done remotely.
Soon-Chul realized the training hiccup was a barrier to even faster growth. "I was at a point where enough was enough," he told us. "We needed to get some sort of training program in place for our new hires.” But he didn’t know where to start.
A moment to refresh and revamp
When the company moved its sales office from San Francisco to Scottsdale in 2019, Soon-Chul saw it as an opportunity. They could begin fresh and build a more robust training regimen for future new hires.
He remembered a while back that a sales rep mentioned an onboarding tool called Trainual. He started his research there and didn’t see a reason to keep looking.
“The pricing was very approachable,” Soon-Chul explained. “But I also felt like Trainual was really simple to use, and at the same time robust enough for a growing company like ours.”
He quickly decided that Trainual was the right tool to scale their training. And started getting his team on board with it.
Scaling training while saving money
Soon-Chul tasked his Sales Manager and Customer Success Manager to implement Trainual. “They focused on sales and customer success training, and it took them about a month.”
But immediately after it was built, Soon-Chul started onboarding new hires with their Trainual. “That really got us off to the right start,” he told us.
In less than 12 months, the startup has grown its in-house team from 25 to over 40 people. Soon-Chul says that’s incredible growth for a Series-A startup. And with Trainual, each new hire was able to train at their own speed.
Every dollar counts in startups, so Soon-Chul is happy with Trainual’s ability to keep training costs low. And because he no longer has to rely on in-person training, he can implement training across teams with one online system.
This makes training super easy and affordable. And in the process, Webgility has scaled their team faster without sacrificing the quality of that training. So, the sales reps are better set up for success. “The sales team has had record sales quarter over quarter [since using Trainual],” he reports.
An unexpected use for external teams
Once Webgility streamlined their training, something else happened: COVID-19. But unlike many other startups, Soon-Chul says the pandemic actually helped their growth.
“A lot of retailers needed to get online and start selling online.” And as a result, the company signed strategic partnerships with BigCommerce and Intuit. These partnerships required Webgility to hire more employees on their subsidiary team.
That’s when Soon-Chul saw another opportunity to use Trainual: he would streamline how Webgiligty shared knowledge with their external teams operating out of India, too.
“We started using Trainual to support our partnerships because it’s so well organized.” Anyone on the subsidiary team can go into Webgility’s Trainual account, take the tests, get the badges, and know everything they need to know. All before they start selling partnership products.
Remote access to complex software training
While the pandemic created new business opportunities for Webgility, it also created new challenges for their subsidiary employees.
“COVID is rampant in India, so they are working remotely as well.” But thanks to Trainual, the startup hasn't had to slow its training or implementation. Even on their India-based teams.
Instead, they brought on 50 new subsidiary employees (in addition to the 15 in-house employees) with trackable, self-guided training.
Before Trainual, the company would be forced to stall training, slow growth, and potentially lose out on new opportunities. But now, they are prepared to withstand any training challenge - even unprecedented ones.
Why Trainual is made for startups
With a year of Trainual under their belt, Soon-Chul and his team strongly believe it’s the best training tool for startups and growing businesses.
“The right leaders will help you scale exponentially. But once you hire the right people, you need to have the right training tool in place to make that happen.”
For Webgility, Trainual is that tool because it streamlines their knowledge transfer and aligns teams.
“If every team is not functioning at their peak in a startup, it brings the rest of the company down and slows growth,” Soon-Chul explained very matter of factly. “But if all of those teams are aligned with Trainual, the growth goes up and to the right.”