Training Top 125 Best Practice: Coaching for Success at Dominon Enterprises
In keeping with its goal to train and retain creative, self-motivated employees, online marketing and software services company Dominion Enterprises continually looks for new and innovative ways to address the challenge of efficiently and effectively providing training to in-house and remote staff.
In 2017, the company’s Dominion Web Solutions (DWS) Recreational division implemented a rate increase that needed to be communicated to customers. DWS leaders chose to use an online coaching tool, Commerical Tribe, with the goal of providing consistent, effective messaging to their teams. By creating and distributing the exact expectations of messaging, managers hoped to impact the ability of account representatives to retain clients through value-based conversations.
DWS leaders used Commercial Tribe to create videos of the baseline rate increase messaging, which then were shared with reps through a Commercial Tribe activity assignment. Reps were asked to practice, record, and submit their own rate increase sample conversation. Managers then could review and coach reps on areas of strength and areas that needed improvement, all done self-paced and online.
During this two-week project, 93 percent of reps completed the assignment by the deadline, with an average of 5.4 practice sessions per rep. Managers reviewed and scored 80 of the 112 rep submissions (71 percent).
Managers scored submissions on five attributes:
- Sincerity in Opening
- Confirming Recent Successes
- Product Enhancement Value
- Value to the Dealer
- Emotional Checkpoint
These attributes then were rated on a 1-to-5 scale, with 1 indicating the rep needed more coaching to effectively communicate the message, and 5 indicating the rep was ready. At the end of the two weeks, 89 percent of reps completing the assignment were considered ready to deliver the message in a positive and powerful way. The coaching also revealed that 35 percent of reps, including those that did well, needed additional practice on the Confirming Recent Successes attribute. This allowed managers to pinpoint where additional training was needed on the messaging.
While some reps initially were wary of the new technology, 63 percent responded positively when asked if Commercial Tribe helped them prepare for the rate adjustment. Fifty-five percent said Commercial Tribe increased the pace of learning.
From a management perspective, 11 out of 12 managers felt Commercial Tribe was helpful in preparing their teams, and 9 out of 12 felt the product increased the pace of learning. One manager noted: “I believe it helped reps prepare to have the right conversation. We had very little pushback on the rate increase.” Another felt the little pushback from clients they did receive “was managed well through correct training and messaging.”
The rate increase took effect in mid-second quarter 2017. This business subsequently reported an increase in revenue and a loss of just .0025 percent of the total customer base.