Last month, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Origami Owl National Convention. A national social selling company specializing in customized jewelry, Origami Owl has over 60,000 independent reps nationwide and annual sales of $250 million.
If you happen to know me personally, you know that jewelry isn’t typically on my priority list—but virtual training and education are and they’ve recently become important to Origami Owl. Origami Owl has partnered with 6Connex to launch a new learning initiative aimed at keeping their designers engaged, motivated and selling—strategic imperatives for any direct sales company.
A recent article in Fortune really exemplified the need for such training. According to the article, as more companies sell direct to the consumer by relying on social networks and individual connections, it’s more important than ever to ensure that each and every sales individual has access to current product information. And—as so many independent product representatives work part time, on the go and with limited time and attention—that product information has to be easy to access, from any device, anywhere, anytime.
Think about the stay-at-home mom who has small pockets of time each day available to network with her friends and sell a product she loves. She may be in between dance class and the soccer field, smartphone in hand, or she may be up late after the kids go to bed, grabbing a few minutes on her tablet. Either way, Origami Owl likely has very little time to connect with her—so granting her “anywhere access” is critical, as is getting new content in front of her with very little publishing delay.
In Origami Owl’s new virtual environment, the same mom can easily gain access to a video on creating the most effective jewelry bar, an article on how to best recruit other women to host design parties, and a library of inspirational and motivational content. And just as important, she can now connect with peers from across the country, sharing success stories and engaging in social learning by way of real-time chats or forum posts. All along, Origami Owl is able to track the effectiveness of the program, allowing them to make real-time changes and updates.
Back at the conference, I was overwhelmed by the positive reaction from the crowd. 5,000 already-enthusiastic women were blown away by a sneak peek at the platform. For me, it was incredibly exciting to see how a persistent virtual environment is meeting—and exceeding—the expectations.
I believe more direct sales companies will embrace virtual programs for their training needs. It’s a must for their bottom line. And—as we’re already seeing with Origami Owl—when access becomes engagement, everyone wins.