Are Direct Sales Companies Leaving Billions on the Table with Weak Onboarding?
6 min read
Direct sales companies aren’t exactly open about how successful their onboarding processes are, but it’s clear from our 10+ years working with these companies that unoptimized onboarding is resulting in billions of dollars of lost sales each year.
This is due to:
1. Delayed start: Sellers that don’t complete onboarding as fast as they could
2. Poor productivity: Sellers slow to reach their selling potential due to ineffective onboarding
3. Lost sellers: Potential sellers that bail out because onboarding didn’t work for them
Key metrics are different for each company we work with, but using external numbers, we estimate that ineffective onboarding is costing the industry between 5 and 10% revenue or up to $3 billion each year in the US alone!
From working with top companies in the DS and D2D space, we have identified key pieces missing from most seller onboarding. Spoiler alert: most DS seller onboarding isn’t personal, isn’t engaging, and isn’t optimized.
When onboarding isn’t personal
What happens in the first hours and days of the seller journey is everything. The challenge is that what one person might need to hear is completely different from what another might need. If you were talking to a recruit about your platform, wouldn’t it help you close them if you knew:
- Are they looking for a job or a side-hustle?
- How much selling experience they have and are they open to new approaches or do they want to stay in their comfort zone?
- How much product/category information do they need?
- Do they need all the details up front, or do they need to see the forest for the trees before they dive into the details?
- Are they more motivated by competition with the best or fear of failure?
- ...and many other questions.
If your pitch would change based on these answers, shouldn’t your onboarding process respond as well?
Paul Adams, Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing at SUCCESS Partners, says most companies don’t provide enough guidance for new people during their first weeks in the business. Adams says,
Most field managers offer some onboarding support, but they seldom execute the way HQ would want them to. With automation and technology, Direct Sales companies can create and sustain powerful personalization in their onboarding, embedding skills and good habits early.
ConveYour’s adaptive learning solution offers simple, flexible rules that unfurl information just-in-time. Questions at early stages create dynamic learning segments that receive tailored modules with the right content. Drip automation keeps each bite manageable and keeps the new seller from getting overwhelmed.
It’s time your onboarding didn’t just back-up the truck, or provide too little guidance or tools. Getting it right requires a personal approach.
When onboarding isn’t engaging
Myth: Onboarding that’s a little boring or overwhelming makes sure that we have driven, persistent people selling our product. We don’t want this to be too easy.
Fact: The best sellers have options. If your onboarding isn’t engaging enough for them to ‘get it’, they will look elsewhere.
There are a lot of Direct Sales organizations that take an old school approach to recruiting and seller development. Even if the team responsible for onboarding is highly creative, they might be battling an old myth.
Learning format, experience and delivery are crucial to maximizing the impact of your onboarding training. Engaging experiences can double the recall from training, and transform your impact metrics.
Seller engagement best practices include:
- Dripping out content in bite-sized chunks
- Leveraging various quiz formats and engagement types
- Gamifying training to drive healthy competition (maybe you’ve heard: salespeople are energized by competition)
- Delivering training reminders and links via text message--90% of text messages get read
- Low-friction experiences: no app to download, no password to remember
Highly-engaging learning experiences reduce the time it takes to get the first sale, make sellers more effective and less likely to bail out! That’s why ConveYour offers a rich toolkit of easy to create learning experiences that can drip out transformational content using personal text messages.
When onboarding isn’t optimized with data
Amazon conducts hundreds of experiments on every page of their website 24/7. You’ve likely personally been a guinea pig in thousands of data-driven optimization tests yourself over the years.
If Amazon had to onboard thousands of new sellers, do you think they would create static, one-path-for-all onboarding? Not a chance! They would gather metrics at every step and drive experimentation to keep improving the sales yield their onboarding could drive.
By creating experiments like Amazon, you can find out if one video performs better than another, or one training lesson gets the job done better than the others. Over time, you’ll be able to continually improve key metrics.
Once you have detailed analytics on your onboarding path, you can add artificial intelligence to intelligently recommend training using the same performance data.
Our flexible analytics platform allows Direct Sales organizations to continually improve the metrics like seller retention, time to first sale, and skill adoption.
Personalized learning, maximum engagement, and data-driven optimization might sound like buzzwords to some. But, the simple reality is that these approaches are exactly the same ones used by smart sellers with their clients. They personalize the pitch, deliver an engaging experience, and continue to get better by measuring outcomes. It’s time your organization applied these same approaches to your onboarding training.
ConveYour is the leading provider of onboarding training solutions for Direct Sales companies. We’ve honed the toolkit and our consultative services to maximize revenue from new sellers.
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