Our guest author Michele McDonough is a business consultant and social selling strategist. She is experienced in the areas of social selling and sales field development, marketing/branding, rewards/recognition, leadership training, strategy and business development and channel management strategy. She held managerial responsibilities with direct selling companies at her previous career.
Guest Post by Michele McDonough
Industry Best Practices: Create Your Own SCORECARD!
I continually get asked, “What is the secret to a successful direct selling company?” My only simple (and short) answer to that is, the right culture. Thus leading to another question, “what is the right culture?” My simple answer again is, the right components all blended together — can give you that long lasting culture that many direct selling companies are on a quest to create. Some do well, and some never achieve it! Let me define some of the components I look for or create when engaged on a project, whether it’s a startup or a seasoned organization that is feeling some growing pains.
A vision is a picture of the world that is made better because your company is representative of it. A company creates the vision and defines the “reason for being connected to it”. Some of the components that create your vision are: the story, the future, the WHY, the difference from other companies/competitive edge and the DREAM!
What you (the company) are about and what you stand for. How will you be perceived by the sales field, potential recruits, and the community (local and far away)? What does the business opportunity look and feel like to others (i.e. empowerment, travel, help the world be a better place, stimulate a better quality of life, etc.). Does the compensation plan fit the mission? Does everything you do and create stand behind and uphold the mission and vision?
Do you have the right product strategy to accomplish the vision and mission of the company? And most importantly, what product features and benefits set you apart from others?
* Are you providing “niche products”?
* Are you providing quality products with great customer service?
* Are you providing a competitive return policy or product guarantee/warranty?
* Are you keeping up with product development and innovation (R & D) to remain cutting edge?
* Have you priced your products to what the market can bear and is there a perceived value?
* Do you offer the best products available for your product category?
* Do you offer products that the sales field is PROUD to represent to their friends and family?
* Does the product resolve an issue or address a concern?
How does the Independent Consultant move the product or service (i.e. party plan, one-on-one)?
Does the distribution process marry with the vision and mission (culture)?
Is it easy to do the business (journey)? Is it easy to acquire the product or service?
Career or Compensation Plan
How does your company compensate your sales force (and the customers as well)?
Does your compensation plan match your Mission, Vision and Distribution Model?
Is it competitive, rewarding and lucrative?
Does it inspire the sales force to take the right action? Does it drive the Core Key Behaviors of a solid and long last career plan?
Is it motivating to all demographics from millennials to baby boomers?
Is it perceived as achievable?
Is it easy to explain to others and does it have a clear path to financial success?
Does it DRIVE the RIGHT behaviors based on the company’s vision, mission and business plan?
Does it pay EARLY and OFTEN?
Sales & Support Plan
What non-financial drivers (including incentives, recognition programs, communication strategies and training) do you have in place to drive performance and the bottom line? Are the programs motivating?
Are SYSTEMS in place to drive CONSISTENT behaviors?
Are the programs duplicatable or easy to teach others?
Are you developing new Independent Consultants at the same time you are developing Leaders?
Do you have the right partners on the Executive team to lead the sales field?
Are your trademarks and intellectual property protected?
Does your brand make people smile and think happy thoughts?
Are you creating BRAND AWARENESS in everything you do?
Is your brand identity current and cutting edge or old and antiquated?
Can you become a global brand that is identifiable?
Does your product and culture support your brand (and visa-versa?)
Does your mission and vision tell your BRAND story?
Does your brand tell a compelling and emotional story?
Does your tagline emulate your company philosophy and brand?
Quality & Customer Service
Can you deliver a brand synonymous with quality and customer service?
Can you provide the highest quality product available at the best price (and get it to the consumer expeditiously)?
Do you offer state-of-the-art customer service based on your client’s needs (do you create a memorable experience)?
Are customer standards included in your mission and vision?
Is the service you provide the highest of standards in customer service part of your daily routine (in the field and corporate)?
Is cutting edge technology in all aspects of the business for TODAY and TOMORROW?
Do you provide a business that is easy and effortless (and most of all, FUN)?
Are you creating duplicatable systems and processes?
Are your tech processes (steps) easy to do? Remember, it’s all about the consumer experience and journey?
Does your technology support the success of the Independent Consultant?
Is your technology able to take you global?
Did you acquire your software based on needs today AND in the future?
Do the features and functionality match your business model?
Can you hit a button and run KPI reports to know exactly where your business is day-to-day?
Are you up to date on the ever changing world of social media?
Training & Education
Do you provide educational programs to support the Independent Consultant and customer to create the best experience possible?
* Do you provide training programs and support systems for a “path to success” for your sales field?
* Do you offer training in all modalities: live, video, digital, conference calls, etc.?
* Do your track your training ROI?
* Do you provide training on Day 1 to a new Independent Consultants?
* Do you provide Train the Trainer programs to reach a wider audience?
* Do you provide motivational coaching and mentoring as well as “tactical” training skills?
All of these areas lead back to the ultimate CULTURE!
If these areas are addressed, supported and the best decisions made, then you are on your way to a long lasting, inspirational and exciting CULTURE that people want to be connected to!