Guest Column: Smartphone technology trains dealers’ salespeople

Home Columns Guest Column: Smartphone technology trains dealers' salespeople

Jan 4/11; Volume 30/Number 14

By Steve Damerow

You can’t successfully sell product if your sales team doesn’t know and appreciate its attributes—and this requires a significant amount of time, effort and training for both the dealer and salesperson alike. The key to training salespeople and installers about the competitive advantages of multiple products is getting and keeping their attention, appealing to “what’s in it for them” through rewards and making the process fun and immediate with mobile technology.

While no one wakes up in the morning and eagerly wants to complete a sales or training incentive, it has recently become a requirement in the floor covering industry. In the past, sales training incentives were cumbersome for both the administrator and the participant, rewards were unattractive and the validation timeline far too lengthy.

But today, the emergence of Generation X and Generation Y, which makes up 2⁄3 of the work force, and their acceptance of the use of smartphones for just about anything, has created an opportunity for marketers trying to differentiate their products’ features and benefits through a learning incentive promotion.

Companies such as Loyaltyworks, a Georgia-based incentive company that helps to increase sales, boost employee engagement and build customer loyalty, have evolved from glorified travel incentive agents to full-fledged marketing agencies and mobile technology experts. Some online reward marketing platforms either have stand-alone Learn & Earn tutorials or provide programs that can be integrated with your existing learning management system (LMS). Both are available on any PC but, more importantly, on smartphones as well. Either way, you will achieve greatly enhanced results that far eclipse any previous methods.

With so many recent advances in technology, nearly everything that can be done on a PC can also be done on a smartphone, greatly improving usability and immediacy. Let’s face it, your salespeople are not sitting in front of a PC but they are definitely playing games on their iPhones or Androids in their spare time.

Be sure the rules, tutorials, tests and rewards are in at least English and Spanish. Create demo videos with Spanish subtitles. Use Spin to Win and other games to integrate your learning objectives with a fun activity. This has two results: It allows you to expand your budget effectiveness and it creates a fun aspect of chance.

A recent 2015 D&B study reported 87% of all marketing/sales databases were functionally invalid. Faced with this challenge, how do you create the database of potential participants?

A smart mix of traditional print, texts, emails and mobile pushes give you a far better chance of successfully updating and creating a database of potential participants that you can expand. Our own internal monitoring suggests that when comparing an email request to a simple phone text such as “Text TEST to take a product test and receive a $50 debit card,” the text is 20 times more effective.

This proves the new mobile methods are much cheaper and more effective. Make your rewards validation and your reward delivery immediate by using plastic or virtual Visa or retail gift cards. In the future there will be mobile wallets that use and scan gift cards the way that Apple Pay works.

For more information, go to www.incentivesolutions.com

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