Onboarding: The importance of properly training and motivating new starters
The economic success of a direct sales company is directly linked to the number of its active distribution partners. The topic of Active Retention/Activation is therefore, in addition to winning new distribution partners, an important and recurring task in direct sales.
We call this onboarding. The aim is to inform prospective entrees, to integrate them, and above all to lead them to their first successes in the company. In addition to winning the lead, the process also includes the interview and the first training sessions and competitions. It is important that all this is prepared and carried out very thoroughly. However, from our consulting practice we know that, instead, this often happens randomly and uncontrolled. This is usually the case if the process is missing the crucial interaction needed between the parties involved in the process: companies, freelance consultants, and executives in the field.
A structured and well-planned activities plan – in terms of content as well as time – is therefore central to the first (motivational) successes of the new starters. An interview, in which the basis for the first activities is discussed, situational guidance, the provision of product information, support with the first steps (e.g. contacting potential hosts, booking parties and hosting them, sales talks and closing techniques) and, above all, a well-structured training programme, are all essential for a successful start. The time these first steps take can range from roughly a few weeks for a sales representative to 10 months for the development of a manager. It is important that this career development begins as early as possible, so that the necessary competence can be built in time.
In companies where everyone, who is motivated, can pursue and hopefully fulfil their dream of independence, a career, and a good income, early and substantial initial successes are important. This is essential to keeping the turnover rate low, and to developing more successful, satisfied and thus loyal sales partners and managers, who in turn contribute to the company’s long-term success.
Unfortunately, in my experience, many direct selling companies neglect the onboarding process and the training for their new starters – leaving both the company and the starter at a disadvantage. Commons reasons can be the lack of an onboarding programme or limited motivation. In any case, turning a blind eye to an insufficient onboarding process will lead to high staff turnover at an unnecessarily early stage, thus ultimately hindering the company’s development and sales growth.
An improvement of just a few percentage points can already help all those involved earn much better.
Until next time!
Björn Tiebing, Die Direktvertriebsberater