In previous blogs we introduced the concept of training (Get on the Right Track with Training) and provided tips detailing how to train your colleagues/employees (Training Day). In this blog we will take it one step further and explore real-world training scenarios from VoiceComm. Sandy Ardery, Director of Strategic Planning, VoiceComm, was kind enough to share her insight into the programs she has successfully conceptualized and implemented.
“We ran a promotion for seven weeks that was supported with a learn-to-earn program for Amcomm,” said Ms. Ardery. Learn-to-earn programs typically entice sales personnel to learn about a product or other sales-related protocol via some sort of incentive (“the earn”). Ms. Ardery continued, “Seeding products in the sales consultants’ hands when possible is a great way to help them advocate for the product as they can wear it with their device or use it on the floor while speaking to guests. The guests are looking at the consultants as the expert and what better way to present a line than actually seeing it being used by the expert. Everyone who completed the training received a seeding product of choice.” Ms. Ardery makes clear that the seven week promotional period is far from arbitrary. “We selected running a promotion for seven weeks as it takes 28 days to make any practice a habit. We set weekly prizes for top sellers and offered an end of promotion prize for top sellers as well. The great execution of the client and the backing they had offered, we were able to increase sales by 100% from the seven weeks prior. We packaged the entire promotion on a customized landing page in which the details to the promotion is captured for easy access and direction to how to win, what you win, etc.”
There are tried and true characteristics of a successful training program as well as regular challenges you will face. One interesting challenge revolves around the ever-changing demographics of sales personnel. “As the demographics change in the sales consultant world, we have to continue to be creative and offer new ways to drive awareness and excitement around product launches,” Ms. Ardery said. She continued “VoiceComm and Apex Communications ran a promotion to help ensure stores were demonstrating and aware of a demo over-the-head speaker. We set up a hashtag dashboard on their personal landing page to capture all pictures of the consultants rocking out the new headset in the store to see who received the most likes for a prize. In conjunction, we ran a training and a sell-to-earn (similar to a learn-to-earn program, but with the amount of sales being the main qualifier to earn) promotion as well. This created a fun, interactive way for all the stores in one platform utilizing social media to drive competition.” This example catered to the millennial demographic with a fun, easy to grasp way to ignite sales and enthusiasm.
Another notable hurdle Ms. Ardery has encountered is in regard to maintaining focus and seeing a program through to a successful conclusion. “Today, the sales consultants are pulled in so many directions with so many initiatives from the carrier, handset manufacturer, accessories, handset protection, trades— the list just goes on.” This issue is not exclusive to this space; in this connected world we all fight for time, space and attention. But there are ways to overcome this obstacle. Ms. Ardery offered insight into conquering this issue. “The challenge is to keep focus with the sales consultant to ensure the initiative we have created is not lost with all the different initiatives that may be thrown at them during the promotion and keep the excitement level up. We have utilized many different tools to help communicate to the sales consultants on the floor. Landing pages, email blasts, conference calls, RQ, direct mailer through weekly orders, and product launches.”
We hope this blog as well its companion pieces give you the insight you need into the risks and rewards of training your colleagues/employees. Ms. Ardery offers a wonderful concluding thought to this series. “It takes an army to ensure this works all the way around. One can design the best and the greatest promotion, but if the communication or accountability to execute is not pushed, the promotion will not execute to its full potential.” These words of wisdom are applicable to everything we’ve covered over the course of the last 10 weeks. Stay tuned for our next blog and be sure to share, sell, and enjoy!