Helping a new distributor during the “golden two weeks,” when those enrollees who close their first sales or distributor enrollments are most likely to become a high-earning, long-term member of a direct selling network, is the best onboarding investment. Bar none. It moves the potential sales rep toward confidently repeating the company’s sales process. Getting new enrollees to “work the system” from Day One with an organization creates the bond that drives network growth and improved revenue.
Distributors who start sales activities and close sales within 10 business days of enrollment will earn 71 percent more than a peer who takes just two weeks longer to make their first commission, an analysis of nine years of sales data by LifeVantage found. Direct selling trainer ServiceQuest reports that a 10 percent increase in distributor retention will produce 49 percent more revenue over 10 years compared to unengaged distributors.
The Gig Economy Group (GEG) platform and app eliminate all tool-centric training, providing easily understood functions to do one action at a time.
Machine learning tools can coach a newbie from their first moments with a direct selling company, but the most important action automation can facilitate is the adding of new prospects, initial messaging to those prospects, an established pattern for follow-ups and content sharing to build the prospect’s confidence in the salesperson, the company, and the trust relationship that will result in ongoing sales and auto-ship registrations.
McKinsey concluded that sales and marketing uses of Artificial Intelligence — the catch-all description that includes machine learning — will produce $1.4 Trillion to $2.6 Trillion in improved sales and marketing performance, with more than two-thirds of the value coming from enhancement of existing analytics. Your sales process, if mapped as part of machine learning adoption, is the raw material needed to increase revenue and retention.
The problem, or rather the reality is that 80 percent of new distributors never take any action. They either fail to take any action or get bogged down in trying to understand the company and the products or services they’ve signed up to sell. Without sales actions, there is no data to use when optimizing sales procedures.
First and foremost, direct selling companies must get new enrollees to start adding and working prospect relationships.
What’s Next is Step One
Focus new distributors on two necessary goals on their first day: 1.) Understanding their new company’s values, and; 2.) Adding and reaching out to their first prospects.
We’ve discussed how to map your onboarding process here. Let’s concentrate on the problem of getting people to act. Throughout any guided experience, whether it is delivering sales coaching or interpreting marketing data to suggest better selling steps, the “What’s Next” approach to app user experience is the most effective means of getting people to move through a sequence of activities to achieve a goal. During the first two weeks with a company, new distributors remain unsure about the company and its mission or processes.
Onboarding content that provides a clear, concise narrative about the values and mission of the company sets the stage for action. Then, the barrier becomes the complexity of the tools themselves.
Too often, apps require users to learn many tool skills and go about it by walking through many steps before allowing people to start using the tool for its primary purpose, such as adding and communicating with a new prospect. As apps grow more sophisticated, these learning processes become more complex, raising barriers to success for the distributor who needs to do simple steps in the simplest way possible. Consider the vast breadth of capabilities of Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop, which most users never need and will not explore without a specific context, getting their job done.
Artificial Intelligence apps have to stay focused on the human actions they support, hiding all complexity that will prevent an aspiring distributor from taking the actions necessary to close their first sale. The Gig Economy Group (GEG) platform and app eliminate all tool-centric training, providing easily understood functions to do one action at a time. For example, on their first day, a distributor is asked to enter one or more new contacts. There are no elaborate instructions, just an “action card” that suggests what to do and, with a tap of a button, the tool to do it in the simplest form possible.
But data entry is not the salesperson’s main interest or a reason to be enthusiastic about their first day on the job. The GEG platform ingests the new contact data, reviews the information, and immediately suggests recommended messaging and content to share in order to start the prospect conversation. After the distributor sends their first outreach message to a prospect, the platform monitors whether the content has been viewed, as well as any responses sent by the prospect, so that it can coach the new enrollee toward the sale.
For example, in the GEG-based LifeVantage App, the action card (see image to the right) is generated in response to a new contact entered in the app. Assessing the prospect interests entered (or not entered) by the distributor, the platform suggests a specific video program to share with the contact to begin the conversation. If the distributor accepts the recommended action, the app delivers suggested text to use when sharing the video in the next screen, which is part of the messaging toolset. But the distributor’s experience remains focused on their next step in the relationship rather than navigating between different tools.
In this case, AI smooths the technological overhead of a complex set of application capabilities, leaving sellers to emphasize their strengths, which are developing relationships, choosing the right words, and delivering the information a customer needs at exactly the right time. At the end of Day One, the distributor has seen three short onboarding videos and has at least one, if not the recommended five, prospects in motion. Those actions translate into commissions, which keep distributors engaged and eager to grow their business.
Selling is hard work. Make it easier for new enrollees to concentrate on their strengths instead of the tools they must use to grow their personal funnel and move prospects toward the close. What’s next should always be related to the state of the distributor-prospect relationship, not the distributor’s competence with a set of digital tools.