The Best Suppliers Verify Their Agents - Not Just Transactions

Mar 21, 2019 1:58:16 PM

Calen Schultz

Energy, Telecommunication, Healthcare, and Financial Companies - Beware!

Regulated service providers are in a serious pickle. They're almost always under pressure to scale their outbound sales channels, but manual and inefficient onboarding processes often keep them from growing headcount - the single most important KPI for growing sales. The solution? Throw money at more headcount, right? Not so fast.

It turns out that increasing headcount without first implementing robust process controls is the leading cause of fines and complaints (especially for providers that work with outside sales vendors, who then sub-contract to independent contractors.) When that happens, revenue and market viability are ultimately at risk, which is obviously bad for sales growth.

Hence the pickle: rapid scaling helps short-term growth, but if not done in the "right" way (i.e. sustainable), it will end up jeopardizing growth and even market viability. Let's look at a seemingly harmless but all too common example that gets vendors and the providers they represent into trouble: email.

When vendors rely on email (or Dropbox) for new agent documentation review and approval, risk abounds. While convenient, these tools are targets for data breaches - a problem if you want to be in compliance with federal, state, and local laws. For starters, it's not a great idea to have a prospective agent's social security number and drivers license photo floating through cyberspace, landing in someone's Gmail account and possibly downloaded to their personal laptop, is it?

On top of that, once it lands there, how do you actually verify that the appropriate documentation has properly been reviewed? The best you can do is take someone's word for it, and as a result, many agents get approved and go out into the field when they shouldn't. Let's face it, email is just not a good tool if you want robust controls around your agent onboarding and verification processes. 

Other processes that lack the necessary sophistication to protect service providers include the use of PowerPoint to train agents, the use of unapproved screening providers to verify backgrounds, and the use of printed and signed agreements and code of conducts. 


Bullet-Proof Agent Vetting

For Pete's sake, sales agents do their jobs while wearing the supplier's logo ON THEIR SHIRT - they're basically walking billboards for the brand! Suppliers should accept nothing less than a bullet-proof agent vetting process and system.

If you want to ensure that the sales agents representing your brand meet internal, local municipality, and PUC requirements for being in the field (depending on your program, industry, scope of activity), your agent onboarding process must include the following:

1. Be able to gather personal Information, badge photo, identity proof (i.e. DL/Passport)
2. Complete paperwork, background release, and code of conduct
3. Background, drug test, and motor vehicle checks
4. Training for product knowledge and process
5. Testing for understanding and readiness

Thankfully, such a system already exists. Emerios has been a trusted TPV provider since 2011 with over 22 million verifications and counting.  


Sell More. Stress Less.

With qualifying TPV volume, Emerios customers get access to a 100% digital, centralized agent verification, onboarding, and training system at no additional cost. The agent onboarding process starts with a quick digital application that allows prospective agents to upload their photo and e-sign their consent. From there, they move to integrated background checks, driving records, and drug screening. If we discover a bad actor, you'll know about it, and they'll never hit the field.

When it's time to review and approve documents, forget email. Designated stakeholders are guided through a step-by-step journey in a secure portal to dot every I and cross every T - nothing slips through the cracks. Once approved, agents are trained and knowledge-checked through an integrated Learning Management System (LMS) to make sure your brand is represented properly in the field.

Through all stages of this audit-able process, real-time candidate statuses are clearly visible, and with a flexible API, almost any other third party system can be integrated.

Look - you don’t have to keep dealing with the frustrations, nagging worry, and delays that come with a hodgepodge approach to agent onboarding.

Schedule a demo of the Emerios Agent Onboarding Module, go live in as little as one week, and get the confidence that comes from knowing your agent vetting process is bullet-proof. 


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