From a sales standpoint, the first issue this specialized training must address is how the card associations work worldwide, how they price interchange and some of the differences in rules and regulations. Global training must next focus on the different currencies other than USD both to authorize in and settle in. There are a myriad of choices and decisions to be made by merchants at the time of settlement, i.e. do they want to settle in USD, do they want to manage the fluctuations, do they want to open multi-currency bank accounts in different areas of the world, do they want the monies converted to USD or stay in the currency of the sale. These are just a few examples of the different kinds of questions that the sales agent will need to ask. And depending on whether they are talking to the marketing or finance or tech department, the list of questions vary. Training is the key to knowing what to ask and how to respond to the information provided.

Global training must also address the fact that the nature of the sale is different. Often a sales person is asked about some of the differences and how payments work worldwide so they need to have a comfort level with 80—yes, 80 different forms of payment types. There are also different settlement processes. Here in the U.S., we are accustomed to daily settlement. International processing can take up to 72 hours and even longer in South America and Asia.

From an operations standpoint, global training must cover the merchant account application as well as underwriting. International merchant account applications requirements are lengthier so there is a greater need for clarification—and that is where the proper training sessions come into play. Underwriting international accounts is more complex than domestic accounts. Often you are dealing with different languages and require translation services. There are many global operational issues that are just not present in the US.

It’s obvious that training is a basic requirement of going global. How do you address that requirement? By providing the appropriate tools, such as detailed training manuals, slide/PowerPoint presentations, face-to-face training sessions, webinars, website tools, conference calls, online support and a customized program to meet the needs of your resellers. No matter which genre of training you select, offering a Q&A is critical to your success. A successful training program allows its participants to ask questions and be part of an interactive session. No one person knows how much expertise an individual or company possesses. An interactive training session provides the feedback to examine and assess the merits of the sales force.

Please note that training for global processing is not the same as standard sales training. The focus of standard sales training is all about closing the deal. Agents are even trained to listen for phrases they can turn into a close. When it comes to global training, it’s all about the expertise. You are selling your understanding of global processing as well as your credibility in this arena. You’re not selling your ability to turn a phrase and close a contract. Because of this major difference, global training must focus more on knowledge than sales technique.

Global training sessions should never be more than an hour. You’ll lose the audience and cover too much information in a prolonged time frame. Schedule a session each week for several weeks rather than cram it all into one day. Needless to say, the most beneficial session is one that is conducted in person. You can gage the reaction of your audience and can see immediately if your presentation is making any sense to them. Over the phone or on the web, you just don’t get that kind of feedback. Yes, web-based sessions are more efficient and do reach more people. Perhaps, webinars can be implemented as follow-up training sessions, once the initial face-to-face seminars have been held. Supplemental training is just as important as the introductory program.

In order to structure an effective global training program, you need to know that people learn through visual and kinesthetic modes. To meet the visual need of training, provide manuals, PowerPoints and handouts. To meet the kinesthetic need, set up mock meetings at the training sessions, have the agents give a presentation and then discuss together the pros and cons. A limited number of agents are recommended for each session since too large a group hinders interaction and dialog.

Because of the nature of our industry and the unavoidable high employee turnover, training sessions need to be conducted quarterly for new agents. Refresher session should also be held quarterly for existing agents since international policies are constantly changing.

Who in your company is best suited to conduct these training sessions? Someone who is patient, well-spoken and comfortable in front of a crowd. Just because a professional is good at selling doesn’t mean they are good at training. A good trainer possesses knowledge, willingness to share and a desire to engage in a two-way conversation with resellers. A trainer who drones on and on without interacting with the audience will bomb. The trainer has to make the presentation personal. That means he or she has to understand the material well enough to personalize it for their audience. An effective trainer has to capture their interest quickly either through humor or a relevant story. Training is painful when you have someone standing in front of you just reading bullet points.

And finally, how do you measure the success of your global training program? Easy. Look to the portfolios of your resellers. Look to your bottom line. If what you see is not what you expected, then go back to your training strategy and give it global makeover.

Author's Bio: 

RocketPay delivers multicurrency merchant accounts and is a leading source of expertise for international ecommerce. We enable card-not-present merchants to reach customers in new markets worldwide with secure, easy-to-integrate global payment solutions. With RocketPay you have access to more than 32 currencies in 200 countries, and a full menu of 60 country specific payment solutions. Ask us how we can help you grow your international sales.