We’re still awaiting Amway’s official sales data from 2010 but already some info has leaked out in various press interviews and elsewere. In the recent USA Today article on Amway, Amway North American managing director Steve Lieberman was quoted as saying North American sales were up about 5% – the most significant growth in that market for many years. Over on Amway Talk it was reported that Sandy Spielmaker, Vice-President of Sales, announced at a conference that global sales were over $9 billion – putting global growth at over 6%, excellent in the current economic climate!
Tonight though I came across a figure that is in my opinion far, far, far more impressive. A few years ago when Team and Quixtar were busy suing each other, some internal Quixtar statistics (Amway North America was then operating as Quixtar) revealed that the overall renewal rate for North American IBOs was 56.9% – ie well over half of all IBOs renewed every year. This compared favourably with DSA (Direct Selling Association) statistics of an industry average of 56%.
What was not so good was the Quixtar statistic that only 30.5% of first year IBOs renewed. Seven out of ten IBOs that were sponsored did not renew. That figure isn’t at all surprising when taken with the statistic that half of them never even ordered a product after joining! Clearly there was a lot of energy going in to sponsoring people that was not actually leading to any results, apart from perhaps a bunch of people who felt overly pressured to join something they didn’t really want to join in the first place, or whom were never properly trained and helped to get their business started.
I’ve always thought that was a terrible inefficiency in this business model, and a great place where improvements could be made.
Well, tonight I was surfing around and I discovered a press release from Bersin & Associates, a research firm focused on enterprise learning and talent management and acquistion. A few days ago they announced the 2011 Learning Leaders Winners, recognizing organizations that “drove significant business improvement with innovative and effective approaches to employee learning and talent management”.
Amway was one of the winners, for -
… its blended sales training program designed to improve early success of newly hired independent business owners. The program resulted in a 76% retention rate in its first year – 46% higher than previous rates.
A 76% first year retention rate! That’s a better than 150% improvement and an absolutely stunning statistic.
Well done Amway! This bodes extremely well for the future, and I look forward to seeing the lessons learned implemented in other markets!