The Data You Need to Get the Distributor Behavior You Desire

During and following the events of the past few months, we have increasingly seen more and more people flock to the realm of direct selling. Tighter health and sanitation restrictions, lack of available products and a need to generate more income in a down economy are some of the reasons why numerous direct selling businesses are experiencing a boom as far as welcoming new distributors to their ranks. Moving forward, these direct sales companies will need to be proactive when it comes to distributed workforce training and engagement, retaining these individuals, as well as staying on top of sales performances. With the help of invaluable insights acquired from data, such businesses do have an opportunity to elicit the type of desired distributor behavior that equates to a more successful field.

Many hear the term “data” and generally tend to dismiss its relevance when it comes to something like direct selling. And yet, here is a key resource that has the potential to revolutionize how, in fact, team leaders influence distributor behavior. The problem is that especially with something like distributed workforce training and engagement, many sales leaders simply aren’t certain how, when and in what way to apply this vital tool.

Utilizing data in the right way has the capacity to enhance overall sales productivity by as much as 38%. Imagine then, when used in tandem with the latest tools and direct sales training platforms how much of an impact data can have on distributor success rates—both new and existing. Most are apt to assign the uses of data and the insights gained therein more to marketing matters and customer service/sales solutions, and while yes, certainly it has its place there, perhaps more consequentially, and especially in an industry like direct selling, it is also integral to influencing direct seller behavior. There is an overriding need not only to personalize training, reward, and recognition experiences, but also figure out how to boost retention rates. After all, companies spend time and energy training newly onboarded distributors, so ensuring their comfortability and competency will only serve to encourage those individuals to stay and persevere.

The First 90 Days: Key Metrics

The “magic window”—that 90 day time period during which the hopes and dreams of a new direct seller are either realized or broken. This is when companies need to spur excitement, help individuals overcome self doubt through distributor training and engagement opportunities, and motivate them to want to build their business. So let’s take a look at some of the key metrics that direct selling organizations are going to want to really hone in on during this relatively brief 3 month window.

  • Learning activities and platform adoption rates. Newcomers are naturally going to be a bit nervous about undertaking this endeavor. They will have questions regarding how to recruit other distributors, questions about the products they are selling, about compensation models, not to mention what tools might be available to them (and consequently how they can use those tools) in order to hit the ground running. Utilizing the data at their disposal, sales leaders are clearly able to see how the newly onboarded distributor is engaging with the learning platform. The first step to any successful direct sales career is being able to get comfortable with the overall business model and ultimately, through scaled learning opportunities and just-in-time training, develop competency.
  • Sales and Recruitment Data. Sales are of course very important as far as that which motivates a distributor to stay on. If they are achieving their goals and making money, at least enough for a car or some other such loan payment, they are more apt to continue and what’s more, aspire to that next level. Gathering such performance data in regard to individual recruitment efforts is also key here. With the right platform in place providing crucial sales/recruitment insights, direct selling companies can quickly identify those newcomers off to a quick start and those who may need some additional coaching, motivating and learning opportunities delivered to them. These insights will help to not only see a bigger picture but also to automatically deliver that personalized and targeted training. 

Studies have shown that those who experience success in the first thirty days are likely to stay twice as long and sell four times as much. Therefore, having that critical performance data and thus being able to intervene and help someone who may be off to a slower start, could be a huge save for the company. And by the same token, access to this kind of data enables businesses to institute a more personalized reward/recognition system—another critical part of influencing distributor behavior.

  • Retention Rates. Again, a company has taken the time and gone through the process of investing in a new distributor. Retention is pivotal especially in the world of direct selling. Assessing how well you’re doing as far as the number of distributors who stay active following the closing of that “magic window” will provide you with some highly important insights as far as how you may need to adjust your compensation/reward model or your onboarding program. Perhaps offer easier-to-reach goals, shorter increments between achieving new titles, and increased motivation as far as their potential to get to subsequent levels.

Data and Distributor Segmentation

Another critical use of data in helping to shape distributor behavior comes with field segmentation. Not everyone is joining the company for the same reason. In fact, there are a wide array of reasons why people migrate to the world of direct sales. And especially given the current climate, the reason why they’re coming on board really does in some ways dictate their behavior as a distributor.

  • Business Builders. These are the people who are looking to build a business, generally part-time, potentially with the hopes that at some point it can become their full-time gig. What distributor training and engagement looks like for them will probably be a bit different than what it looks like for someone who joined largely for products discounts. Which brings us to…
  • Customers. It is not uncommon for individuals to become a part of a distributed direct selling workforce mainly to take advantage of product discounts for personal consumption. Odds are, in a post-pandemic climate in which certain products are scarce and/or people are hesitant to return to stores, there will be growth in this particular segment.
  • Social Enrollers. Not necessarily the gung ho salesperson, the “networker” generally joins for the community experience afforded by direct selling.

Whatever type of distributor, having the data regarding where that person stands, how they’re performing and what types of behaviors they’re demonstrating will ultimately make a field leader’s job much easier. At Rallyware, we are here to support direct selling distributed workforces across the country.

Join us for the upcoming webinar on how to engage your distributors and drive desired behaviors. We’ll be sharing our lessons learned and the best practices on June 3, at 11:00 am PT. Register here.

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