February 19, 2015
To achieve successful growth in a distributor based marketing and sales program, it is critical to develop a boarding process that is both comprehensive and efficient. The goal is to get new distributors engaged and generating revenue as quickly while ensuring that they have the tools and understanding needed to implement and support the solution. Consider these practices that can improve the opportunity for success:
Identify Gap & Changes: Ensure that any gaps or required changes necessary to support customers are clearly identified prior to the distributor entering the boarding process and captured as part of the project plan. Spending time up front to ensure all assumptions and expectations are aligned will reduce the risk of misunderstanding or delay during the project.
Develop a Standard Project Plan: Create a plan template that can be provided to the distributor in advance. This will allow the distributor to assess the critical tasks and resources needed. If durations are included this will also set the expectation for how long the project should take.
Integrate Training with a Real Customer Setup: Rather than training in advance using a template or demo customer, it can be more realistic and effective to save the more complex training to run in parallel with the first (or first few) live customers. This can be a combination of both classroom/webinar based training and real time ‘watch while they do’ training.
The quality of the boarding experience will have a significant impact on how distributors feel about the product and their enthusiasm toward bringing it to market. Providing a smooth boarding experience sets the tone for a successful ongoing relationship.