Managements at direct selling companies tend to expect complete loyalty from their field members. Actually, some are fanatically attached to their companies. Yet, at the end of the day, many of them are there to make at least a part time income.
Direct sales companies are no exceptions when it comes to making mistakes in managing sales organizations, probably their most valuable assets. Some of these mistakes are minor in nature so they might not hurt the whole operation much. However, some others can make real damages. Below are six areas where if mistakes are made, the consequences on the sales organization might be destructive:
Failures in Commissions Payments
For many individuals, the opportunity provided by a direct sales company is a means of making a living. And for a much larger group, it represents additional income or pocket money. They all work during the set commission period and trust their company will pay their compensation on time and at the right amount. You don’t want to pay them at a date later than you promised or miscalculate their commissions.
Individual field members need to promote and sell products to earn money. This is why they are there for. In this process, direct sellers naturally must provide their customers with the exact items at the exact amounts that they ordered. While occasional stock-out situations can be tolerable, it is obviously a major headache for the field force if this happens frequently.
Poor Distributor/Consultant Services
Representatives on the field require company’s support in a variety of areas while conducting their businesses. At the very least, they want prompt and accurate answers to their questions from the home office. It is imperative to provide field support at the highest quality and as fast as possible.
Negligence in Communications
So, you have launched a new product or a promotion or have made a change in your policies… If each and every individual in your sales force is not made aware of it on time, how would you expect the field to react the way you wanted? Some managers think their job is done when the mass e-mail goes out to the sales force. Well, that is a big mistake!
Each direct selling company has different products, a different compensation plan and different policies and procedures, not to mention the corporate culture. There must be a comprehensive onboarding and training program made available to the field force, both offline and online. Without this, hoping the representatives meet the company’s expectations can only be a dream.
Lack of Motivational Efforts
Direct sellers work 24 hours a day and seven days a week, and usually all alone! Just close your eyes for a few minutes and try to visualize their daily challenges for yourself. Companies must provide the necessary motivation to their field members through various means and must do this repeatedly.
And one might think these are all no-brainers and no company in the industry would make such simple mistakes. I can say this is not the reality…
Hakki Ozmorali is the Founder of WDS Consultancy, a management consulting and online publishing firm in Canada, specialized in providing services to direct selling firms. WDS Consultancy is a Supplier Member of the Canada DSA. It is the publisher of The World of Direct Selling, global industry’s leading weekly online publication since 2010. Hakki is an experienced professional with a strong background in direct sales. His work experiences in direct selling include Country and Regional Manager roles at various multinationals. You can contact Hakki here.
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