Incentive Program Can Revolutionize Training Process through Phones

With online training tools that effectively engage channel partners, you can encourage them to thrive in a mutually beneficial relationship with you.

By Steve Damerow

As seen in North American Builders Magazine

You already know that your dealers, contractors and other channel partners are using smartphones. Considering that average users check their smartphones about 150 times a day, according to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ research, they’re probably glancing at their screens every time they enter or exit their vehicles, sending quick texts throughout the day or checking sports game scores, answering online quizzes and playing Facebook games during their breaks. But what if you could motivate them to take your online training quizzes during this quality smartphone time? You could not only promote product knowledge and increase sales, but bolster sales reps’ and partners’ confidence in their skills and expertise so that they can grow within your organization.

Why Online Training Is Needed

It’s proven that sales reps who receive ongoing training are more successful in their role. According to SalesForce data, “continuous training can yield up to 50 percent higher net sales per rep.” In order to turn your internal salespeople, distributors, dealers or contractors into confident evangelists for your brand, you need to increase their knowledge of your differentiators and confidence in your products or services. Successful training not only helps you meet your sales goals, it allows you to retain valuable partners.

According to B2B International research, up to 50 percent of companies go five years without partnering with new product suppliers. Dealers and contractors are selective about who they do business with, which makes relationships with channel partners all the more important.

With online training tools that effectively engage channel partners, you can encourage them to thrive in a mutually beneficial relationship with you, reducing the chance of losing their business.

While they help you increase sales and grow market share, your training can help them develop their skills sets, utilize their talents and introduce them to opportunities to become team leads, regional managers and sales operations overseers.

More Effective and Engaging Training

One of the problems the building industry faces is a lack of time available for training. Contractors’ work hours, for example, are often spent in the field, completing projects, inspections or installs. Very likely, they don’t have time to sit down at a PC and complete your online training course. By using a mobile app or mobile-optimized version of your online training incentive program, you can deliver training content to contractors and dealers through the on-the-go medium they’re most immersed in.

The beauty of smartphone-capable training incentive programs is that they can be integrated with marketing intelligence and sales strategies for more informed, lucrative goals. The most distinctive advantages of smartphone training incentives are as follows:

1) Carry out marketing strategies and communication campaigns more successfully – Smartphones, conveniently, can act as a marketing, communication and work activity hub, all on the same device. By increasing awareness of your online training incentives with well-timed, thought-out marketing strategies, you can motivate sales reps and channel partners to complete online training activities as soon as they receive a prompt to do so. With the ability to send participants push notifications, texts and email alerts from your training incentive program, you can keep them constantly engaged in the training and education process.

2) Increase engagement with online training content – The powerful data delivery abilities of online and mobile training tools mean that your channel partner and sales rep training no longer has to consist of cumbersome training manuals or grueling sessions crammed into half-day meetings. Online incentive technology allows you to administer an unlimited number of surveys and quizzes to program participants, keeping the content on your training incentive program thorough and relevant. And, considering how often average users check their mobile devices, you have much better chances of getting such content in front of your channel partners and motivating them to engage with it when you deliver your training through smartphones.

3) Collect more data and develop more informed, up-to-date training and sales goals – Using smartphone technology in your incentive programs allows you to increase the flow of data from your channel partners so that you can develop better training content, not to mention better sales and marketing strategies.

With mobile camera and UPC scanning capabilities, channel sales reps can immediately send you invoices, warranty registrations and UPC verification of product sales in order to earn rewards in your incentive program. With this information, you can build a customer database that helps you tweak your sales goals, target marketing efforts and update training information to reflect current market trends and best practices.

The opportunities to integrate online training programs into building industry supply chains are vast and growing, making it easier to motivate and train even the most extensive sales channel networks. Smartphone technology has emerged as one of the best ways to deliver agile, timely training.

When you’re able to capture your channel partners’ attention and engage them in successful training, you contribute to the mutual growth of you and your partners, creating skilled and knowledgeable industry experts who are advancing within your industry instead of abandoning it.

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