The following story was shared by Jim Chenet, regional sales director at Performance Plus Marketing (PPM).
Client: A large global healthcare company with more than 29,000 employees located in 76 countries.
Problem: The company was preparing to launch a major new development in Type II diabetes treatment and needed to train its salesforce to successfully promote the drug.
Diagnosis: To effectively engage the salesforce, PPM acquired demographic information of the more than 2,000 sales representatives and leaders. It learned many things, including that the average age of a salesperson was 28, and the average age of a sales manager was 35. It also assessed the major needs of the program—to clearly communicate the goals of the drug launch and develop key behaviors needed to reach a population of sophisticated doctors in a short period of time. With these participant characteristics and training needs in mind, the company developed an online training and results-focused incentives program for the young, technologically savvy sales reps who valued work-life balance, demanded efficiency, and expected work to be fun and interesting.
Methods: The program took place in three phases. The pre-launch training component taught the salesforce about the drug and included online and written quizzes. For phase two, the launch, PPM created a five-day web-based program called "Club V." Club V had the appearance of a trendy and exclusive nightclub, catering to the unique personality of the young audience and intending to drive greater salesforce engagement and performance.
Participants used Club V to access training activities, sales contest rules, and the Awards Mall; view progress reports that provided positive reinforcement and feedback; and redeem incentive points earned. Participants could earn points through individual competitions and certification (including role plays, doctor detailing, and online and written testing); team competitions with districts competing for regional and national placement; and daily quizzes.
The program included an evening launch party at the physical Club V, which had a high-end Vegas atmosphere. All sales reps had access to the event, featuring activities, dancing, and musical performances by well-known Vegas celebrities. Top sales performers earned a spot on the VIP list and access to "The Vault," a private room complete with a SWAG bag, Vegas star sighting, and upgraded food and drink options. Following the launch, Vault VIPs had access to even more exclusive reward offers and earning opportunities for gifts such as iPads, iPods, digital cameras, and GPS units.
The program concluded with phase three, a nine-month post-launch incentive program. Sales reps earned points for over-achieving their ambitious sales goals.
Results: The company exceeded all of the program's initial objectives. One hundred percent of eligible sales reps participated in the launch during the five-day period, and 95 percent participated in the daily quizzes. The entire participating salesforce engaged in the individual and team competitions (with 10 percent earning access to The Vault). The company successfully used Club V to engage the salesforce, launch the drug, and set the stage for additional sales contests.