To view the full video of Daryl and McKinley’s Masterclass click here.
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 and finding unique synergies with them 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 throughout the industry, sharing some of the successes we have seen with our clients.
Using Technology to Leverage Personal Relationships
The direct sales industry has long had its foundation built on the power of personal relationships. These relationships have helped companies, teams, and individuals build successful businesses for decades. Sales built on these relationships are the true essence of network marketing. What started with home parties and one-on-one presentations has evolved with the advancement of technology. In a recent conversation with Daryl Wurzbacher, CEO of ByDesign, we discussed this very topic.
When Daryl was first introduced to direct sales, the company he worked for was ByDesign’s first client. They received the software on a DVD and used it to run the commission and business structure of the company. Fast forward a few years and replicated sites emerged as a simple tool for the field to build with—the introduction of e-commerce. At Verb we were using similar technology to share tools through a CD-rom with a code tied to the distributor. All of this was done to utilize technology to help support the field. Everything was an effort to make it easier to build a business by using technology to empower others to leverage their personal relationships.
Technology Advancements Help Support a True Customer Journey
In the late 1990’s, the direct sales industry seemed to focus on supporting corporate. All efforts related to the company and its technology needs. In the 2000’s, this transitioned to a focus around providing tools to the field to help them build. Everything from digital tools to starter kits and brochures. The last few years have seen the focus shift to the customer experience—creating a true customer journey. Some of this has come from being forced to compete with Amazon and other online e-commerce platforms, and other areas have come from regulatory shifts.
Every company now focuses on the customer experience. Some of the best practices that Verb and ByDesign see being implemented to create and support this customer journey include:
- Compensation Requirements: Some sort of customer enrollment requirement is customary for commission qualifications
- Customer Rewards: Rewards for purchases and referrals that aren’t necessarily monetary compensation (gift cards, product credits, free shipping)
- Customer Conversion: The pathway typically results in a conversion process to build a business
While the customer pathway may vary from company to company, the overall objective is typically the same. Successful companies must provide a separate experience for the customer that will create loyalty and provide growth to the business. In addition, customer acquisition tools are critical to drive these behaviors. Sampling is a simple tool that many of our shared clients provide to introduce the products and encourage others to purchase them. Unique integrations help communicate to the distributor and the person sampling the product. In addition, the shopping experience must be simple and rewarding.
Many companies have seen that having this type of focus on the customer journey has actually increased the conversion rates of customers who become business builders. Historically, the wrong people joined the business and weren’t serious about it. They were looking for a discount on a product and instead inadvertently started a network marketing business. This new focus has also helped with churn, as getting customers and builders in the appropriate pathway has led to higher retention rates.
Catering the journey to the business builder is another focus for ByDesign. There is a lot of strategy involved in this and they tailor the experience to meet the distributor where they currently are. Whether it is a new distributor being onboarded or a veteran working the business full time, the ByDesign experience is unique and helps them through the journey as they progress.
“The big shift is that not everyone is looking for a Lamborghini. The tools we build aren’t just for the top 2%. They are for the masses.” – Daryl Wurzbacher
Success Trends with ByDesign Clients
One of the consistent trends that we are seeing industry-wide is the focus on customer acquisition. Companies that are running promotions to customers and compensating the field for customer acquisition are excelling. The big focus has been on giving the right tools to help the field succeed. Companies that had a strong foundation in place have been able to focus on providing the right tools. Prior to COVID-19, many companies were still focusing on home and hotel meetings. That has shifted to a digital landscape, as companies that provide the right set of digital tools and training are finding massive success.
At Verb we have seen similar success stories. Clients are seeing a massive increase in shares, app activity, and unique prospect engagements. And they are experiencing similar growth in their businesses. Some of this comes down to having the right foundation in place and then implementing a successful digital strategy.
Sound Strategy + Solid Product + The Right Tools + Leader Support = Success
This type of formula leads to success, whether you are a start-up or a legacy company. Beginning with a sound strategy that supports solid products, providing the right digital tools and supporting your leaders will lead to success.
Many things have changed since the days when ByDesign on-boarded clients by sending them a DVD to install the product. But what hasn’t changed is the importance of providing the right tools to support the customer and business builder journey. Verb is proud to integrate with ByDesign, supporting them in their goal of making it easy for companies and individual distributors to succeed as they leverage personal relationships through technology.