Orkin Embeds Workflow in Learning Initiatives

Pest control services company Orkin, LLC, needed its employees to leave the classroom prepared to perform the job. In response, Orkin University integrated several emergent methodologies and technologies (embedded workflow, flipped classroom, Orkin Global Learning Network, and mobile tools/resources) into its newly revised Commercial Sales curriculum.

Why the change?

In 2012, account manager turnover was at 47.26 percent, at a conservative annual cost of $750,000. This presented Orkin University with an excellent opportunity to add value by improving account manager retention and increasing sales.

Flipping the Classroom

Orkin University uses the flipped classroom approach to provide learners with the sales and technical concepts prior to class. Within the flipped classroom framework, learners are given e-learning modules, engage in live broadcasts with instructors via the Orkin Global Learning Network, and go through structured on-the-job sales activities, all of which are outlined in a provided Performance Checklist.

When learners arrive to class, they’re already familiar with the Orkin Sales Cycle; they have the necessary technical knowledge; and they can find most of the sales tools and resources available to support their sales efforts.

Each learner receives a unique case study for a customer in a specific vertical industry on the first day of class. As the class progresses through the Orkin Sales Cycle, students apply what they are learning via role-plays, programmed activities in simulated environments, and other exercises using their assigned case study.

Instructors provide iterative guidance to students at each phase of the Orkin Sales Cycle. Thus, learners receive specific and adaptable feedback throughout the embedded workflow activities.

On the last day of class, the learners deliver to their case study “customer” a customized, consultative proposal, incorporating a solution that includes a bundle of service options. The proposal includes all the information the learners gathered from the simulated service environment activities, and is delivered utilizing a combination of the sales tools available (such as an iPad presentation app, digital pictures, Floor Level Inspection Report, and an electronic graph of the customer’s location). Both instructors and learners use an observation rubric to grade the proposal.


After integrating the feedback from the instructor and the class participants, learners return to their branch location and deliver a revised proposal to the manager. The manager uses the same observation rubric to evaluate the learner’s performance. The learner does not graduate from class until his or her manager returns the graded rubric to the instructor.

This technique allows Orkin to involve the manager and introduce new tools, resources, and techniques to managers without backgrounds in sales.

Finally, the learner takes a proposal he or she recently delivered to a customer and presents it via Adobe Connect to the class instructor 60 days after class. This allows Orkin University to execute a Level 3 evaluation and see how well the learners are applying the skills they learned in class to the job.


The learners have responded exceptionally well to this new blended and embedded workflow approach. Orkin already has seen a 91.28 percent improvement in retention for new hires, representing $772,000 in savings since introducing this program.

Reprinted from Training Magazine

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