Getting started in direct selling is exciting. The new enrollee is on the receiving end of intense focus by sponsors and the company, but that quickly passes for practical and understandable business reasons. Then, the new distributor too often is left on their own with no roadmap for success. Personalized mobile apps can step in to extend the one-on-one onboarding experience.
During the initial days in a network, a sponsor may talk with the enrollee daily. Learning must deliver the enrollee a sense of purpose to ground new distributors in company mission, policy, and how they will be measured for success. In those first days, there are many policies to remember and sales actions to start growing the funnel of prospects. But within days, sponsors are on to their next recruit and often leave an enrollee to fend for themselves, long before the Society of Human Resources Management’s recommended minimum of 90 days of onboarding.
With an app in hand, enrollees can dig into a library of company learning, be prompted to start sales activities, and receive feedback and recognition based on their success. These activities can be monitored and reported to sponsors or management, allowing them to reach out with encouragement and individualized next-step guidance with a single tap.
Reinvent your onboarding experience by taking the time to associate content and sales process steps to measurable events in a smart sales platform.
A smart sales content platform can shepherd new distributors and provide reinforcement of learning and company best practice with automated recognition messaging. Sponsors can also receive updates about their enrollee’s activities and reach out when it will make the biggest difference, saving them time while accelerating time-to-first sale by their newest team members.
Assembling An Onboarding Library
When breaking down existing training content for ingestion into a sales automation platform, a crucial step in a company’s adoption of smart tools, content should be linked to identified next actions the new distributor can take to become successful using brand content and processes. Early users of the Gig Economy Group-based LifeVantage App describe the resulting experience as “like having a personal secretary reminding you to follow-up,” according to Jacqueline, a reviewer on the Apple App Store.
Begin by separating basic company knowledge, product introductions and product knowledge sequences, as well as initial sales actions and related sales skills videos. Address each group of content assets separately, always thinking about where in their onboarding the enrollee will engage with each type of content.
“Great job” is the most potent phrase for extending onboarding, and your company can send that message whenever a recent enrollee takes an important step. Action cards, such as the content sharing recommendation to the left, can be triggered based on distributor actions, prospect behavior, or company policy, giving guidance and encouragement.
Gig Economy Group’s action card interface, for example, can be configured to respond to activity with recognition messages (“Attaboy!”), related information, or the what’s next activity necessary to progress. Recognition, in particular, should be tied to:
- Viewing all of a video or an entire sequence of videos;
- Adding a contact;
- Sharing content or sending a message to a prospect;
- Following up with a prospect after a sales step, such as sharing media or a shopping cart, and, of course;
- Converting a sale or getting a prospect to increase their product interest.
The same triggers can be set to send the enrollee’s sponsor or a sales team member a message alerting them to how the onboarding is going.
As your automated onboarding evolves, take the time to return to the management interface to add new tracked events, such as a distributor’s lack of activity, difficulty moving a prospect along the funnel (signaled by repeated sharing without any change in prospect interest level), or positive results to spur the sponsor to communicate.
Reinforcing action, which more than 80 percent of new distributors fail to take, can dramatically improve early sales success. It’s also important to allow new distributors to decide for themselves.
“I love that you can delete suggestions [in action cards] since they aren’t always the right choice for a particular person,” wrote one Apple App Store reviewer, JudiPP, of the LifeVantage app.
When onboarding, and throughout the distributor’s relationship with a company, people want to know what to do next, not take arbitrary orders. Allowing people to experiment with their selling style is essential to their sense of efficacy, and the variations they introduce into the process is fodder for the smart platform to learn.
Sales and marketing leaders can use existing content and new data-targetted content production to create a genuinely inviting onboarding experience that creates a conversation between enrollees and their sponsors long after traditional welcome activities end. Well placed triggers in the onboarding and daily sales process can alert management and sponsors to distributors in need of help, or just a push toward activity.