The direct sales industry is full of powerful companies that help direct sales companies grow and achieve their goals. As part of our sales enablement platform, Verb integrates with several of these companies to help service our clients. Finding unique synergies with these companies has allowed us to serve our mutual clients in powerful ways together. This series of the Direct Sales Masterclass will feature conversations with thought leaders from these companies, sharing some of the success stories we have seen with our clients.
People-to-People Commerce Enablement
In the late ‘90s/early 2000s direct sales companies sought solutions to help their independent distributors enter the e-commerce world. The early days saw replicated sites that gave each distributor a way to share information about the company, the products, the compensation plan, and the company executives. These microsites started a trend of providing a way for direct sellers to share their company’s story and sell online. Some of the early concerns were how do we provide an e-commerce solution without sacrificing the people-to-people relationship aspect of direct selling? Although much has changed since the initial introduction of replicated sites, the focus on personal relationships has not. Now companies are seeking solutions to enable their distributors to sell on social media, provide a customer experience, enroll new team members, and manage their business from their phone, enabling them to enabling them to easily acquire customers and build their organization.
In a recent conversation with Rodger Smith, CEO of DirectScale, I discussed the early days of replicated sites and how e-commerce has changed the direct sales industry. DirectScale is one of the back-office providers that Verb integrates with and provides unique solutions to our shared clients. Our companies share a passion for helping the individual distributors succeed, which in turn helps our clients grow. And part of that passion is providing simple solutions that enable people-to-people commerce.
Technology has come a long way from the early ‘90s. And, there are simple tools that can help simplify the business building process for direct sales companies and their distributors. Companies like Amazon and Uber have impacted the way direct sales companies operate. Having the right technology that allows a company to control their own destiny and gives the right tools to manage and build a business from a smartphone is no longer a “nice-to-have,” it is a requirement. And, one size doesn’t fit all.
Both DirectScale and Verb provide unique solutions that can help get the distributor started off right and help them progress through the business builder pathway at their own pace. Our integration allows someone upon enrollment to log in to their app, take a Learn course (Verb’s mobile LMS), share a video, send a sample—all within minutes of enrollment.
Customer Acquisition Tools Create Massive Momentum
In our conversation, Rodger termed direct sales: People-to-People Commerce Enablement. The foundation of direct sales is built upon building an independent business of personal customers who purchase life-changing products. And hopefully re-order month over month. All of this is built off of the power of personal relationships. Providing companies (and their distributors) the right tools to empower people-to-people commerce is key in the digital tools era. Now more than ever, people like to buy products from people who refer them—in this aspect direct sales is special.
“The shift between pushing the opportunity to focusing on customer acquisition and loyalty building is where the successful companies are winning right now.”
– Rodger Smith
Having the right tools in the platform to make it easy to engage with customers is critical. Bringing technology together with the key elements of relationship building can provide for simple and powerful acquisition tools. One such tool is sampling. Many of our shared clients use the integration we have done with the Verb platform and the DirectScale back office to provide a sampling solution to the field. This type of tool makes customer acquisition easy. With conversion rates of over 20% on average, it can become scientific.
Key features of Sampling with Verb for DirectScale clients
- Send a sample using credits upon enrollment
- Links in follow-up drips that give credit to the distributor sending the sample
- Notifications on engagement and purchases
- Follow-up tools to engage customers
- VerbLEARN notifies upline upon completion of sample training
Lift, Build, Empower the One
DirectScale’s purpose is to lift, build, and empower the one. Through customer acquisition tools they accomplish this for the distributor and the company.
Commission Trends Create Behaviors
One of the questions I get most frequently is: “What trends are you seeing in compensation plans?” A recent trend has been a shift into more rewarding of customer acquisition. Regardless of the type of compensation plan, more and more companies are finding ways to incentivize customer acquisition. While not completely abandoning team commissions and rewards, this trend is driving behaviors within the field to acquire customers. Whether driven by recent FTC guidelines and warnings or following the lead of successful companies, these trends are becoming more and more prominent.
One of the other key changes is the simplicity of compensation plans. If it is too complicated, then it won’t drive the correct behaviors. Determining the behaviors that you wish to drive and then creating compensation plans that drive them is the key to success. And, just keep it simple. Help your people understand the reward and the behavior will follow.
“If your compensation plan requires an MBA to figure out how it works, you’re not going to succeed.”
– Rodger Smith
At Verb, we are grateful for industry leaders like Rodger who make a positive impact on our shared clients and the industry as a whole. It is partners like DirectScale that help us at Verb to accomplish our goals and create success for our clients. I look forward to sharing conversations with other industry leaders with you in the coming weeks. Consider revising the last sentence – I look forward to sharing with you in the coming weeks conversations with other industry leaders.