In direct selling, when things start to click for your new reps, it’s a magic moment. You’ve shown them what’s possible. But at this moment, they also believe success is possible. That moment is the Fast Track Program in your onboarding system. It’s a critical component of your system blueprint.
With Fast Track, you’re answering the most important questions first, setting achievable goals, and reinforcing all the positives that appealed your new rep. Sounds obvious, right? But it’s amazing how often companies fail to integrate this program into their onboarding systems.
Fast Track Makes a Difference
Dave knows from experience. When he first enrolled as a rep, even though Dave trusted his enroller implicitly, he still wasn’t convinced he could achieve similar success. Dave had seen the checks. His enroller assured Dave he’d show him what to do. But Dave was still skeptical.
Then he started the company’s Fast Track Program.
He followed it to the letter, and after the first month, he earned over $1,500. Dave didn’t stop there. His doubt morphed into belief, and he helped other folks navigate the Fast Track Program. Within two months, he’d added another $7,500 to his earnings. And it all started with a small, tangible goal that led to an almost immediate win.
That’s the secret sauce of Fast Track.
Fast Track Builds Confidence & Discipline
Right out of the gate, your new reps need to have something that builds their confidence. You need to keep new reps moving forward with purpose. But what does a Fast Track Program look like and how does it fit into your onboarding system?
No matter the company, the best programs share some common themes:
- Specific Goal + Specific Deadline: Your new reps need a target, and the powerful combination of a goal with a deadline gives them a big one. A popular one focuses on setting a goal to achieve a certain rank in your compensation plan within the first month. Doing so encourages many of the positive things we want to see in new reps, including team building and an emphasis on driving volume.
- Specific Goal = Specific Reward: Once your new rep reaches the goal, you’ve got to have a clear reward ready to go. We encourage providing a financial incentive. Of course, your rep will earn the “normal” compensation for achieving rank. But you want to offer a bonus for hitting that crucial deadline. For example, your compensation plan probably includes a set rank advancement bonus. Consider doubling that bonus if a rep hits it by the end of the first month.
- Month 2 + Month 3 = Super Fast Track: You can extend the benefits of your Fast Track Program into the second and third month. It may be as simple, for example, as reaching the next rank in Month 2 (earning a bumped-up advancement bonus) and qualifying for a car or cruise in Month 3.
One word of caution: you can’t just set the goals and the rewards. Your Fast Track Program needs to support your rep’s efforts throughout the month. From training materials to one-on-one coaching, your onboarding system needs to support the success of your Fast Track Program.
Fast Track Helps You Experiment
When done right, your program will function as the backbone of your onboarding and retention systems. Think of it as your laboratory for figuring out what motivates your reps and keeps them moving forward.
Look for holes as you implement your program:
- Does your Fast Track fit your compensation plan?
- Have you set the rewards high enough to motivate, but reasonable enough to avoid disappointment with “normal” compensation afterwards?
- Do you have enough support structure in place to make the goals achievable?
One Fast Track Program Dave implemented recently included all the elements we outlined earlier. With rank as the goal, the company settled on a program that by the end of the third month offered reps the chance to earn $1,900 plus a $500 cruise voucher.
Hitting this rank also came with an average of $500-$700/month in stable income. In other words, Dave helped them design a program that motivated new reps AND reinforced commitment, precisely what we want to see in a strong onboarding system.
You need something similar, too.
Fast Track Pushes Back the Forces of Attrition
Recruiting your way out of the attrition abyss is impossible. From Day 1 outside forces are working against your new reps. From a lack of self-confidence to an abundance of social pressure, your reps need your support if you want them to succeed.
We’ve seen the results firsthand. We’ve seen how companies with amazing products or services fail because they thought it was enough to have a fantastic product or service.
Yes, you need to offer something the market wants. But you also need folks who are ready, willing and able to help you. Without Fast Track and onboarding, it’s an impossible lift for most organizations.
That’s why we see companies who invest in onboarding and Fast Track almost always improving their retention rates (Hint: system and program design matters — a lot). Their investment goes beyond product R&D. They’re also investing in their people, and in today’s market, it’s becoming the choice that separates the average company from the great company.
We’re pretty sure you want to be great. Let’s get started!
Download the complete ServiceQuest series about onboarding and retention here.