MLM & Field Sales

      How to Increase Field Sales Activities (up to 12%) in a Large MLM Company?

      Successful pilot in a large MLM company


      Alex Stepenko

      November 08, 2018 | 6 min read


      This article presents the success story of Cotano & one of the largest cosmetics multi-level marketing (MLM) company in the world ended with a successful pilot. The main instrument for successful customer development was the systematic feedback from users applied with the "Jobs To Be Done" framework. The results from studying our users and their work processes identified the need for specific features to increase sales results. The bottom-up approach was our method for development, therefore, the app was useful and satisfied users' needs. The results of the study showed an increase in field sales activity among Cotano users. The benefits that Cotano users received were directly caused their sales to organic growing. Thanks to Cotano's features, the app quickly became viral and spread throughout the company's field sales representatives.

      NextGen field sales app

      Cotano was created as a simple, intuitive mobile sales application that allows the field sales to effectively develop relationships with their customers without a disciplined routine. We began by investigating the scope of sales and focused specifically on network sales, in particular, MLM companies. After successfully negotiating with one of the largest MLM companies, we were able to launch a pilot in several geographical regions and began testing the effectiveness of our application.
      We are happy with the results because we can now confidently say that field sales from MLM companies using Cotano are proven to sell more!

      Field sales engagement

      We began piloting in near the end of 2017.
      We spent most of our time communicating with our users (field sales) who were engaged in network marketing. Our main goal was to identify their problems and pains. We achieved this by obtaining feedback from every single salesperson taking part in the pilot, in order to turn our application into a real “painkiller” for network marketing. During the test period, we corresponded with the 1000 users and company executives using multiple channels like phone, face-to-face, in-app messenger, email, etc.
      Our hard work was not in vain!

      Learn how Cotano’s Smart Reminders help increase sales for a MLM company

      Discovery results

      Researching our users and their workflows using the JTBD framework leads to some powerful discoveries: - the companies previous digital tools were too distant and did not fit into their salespeople’s workflow; - field sales used paper notebooks to control and organize their sales funnel; - the most active field sales desired a mobile application for selling on-the-go, Anytime & Anywhere; - the company’s standards and rules for sales were formed over the years but were not implemented in the existing digital tools; - technical support, to put it mildly, stunk, and the technical equipment in the call-center was stuck in the “Stone Age”; - the inertia of introducing previous digital solutions often destroyed their value; - area sales managers lacked integrated tools for managing field sales.
      It is important to note that introducing Cotano was complicated because the salespeople of the MLM company were not employees, but rather independent entrepreneurs and could not be forced to use our application. Luckily, in our case, they began using Cotano and our active users began increasing every single week. We brought value to the field sales hence they loved using it!
      As a result of a systematic acquisition of feedback and the introduction of Cotano into the workflow, we created a real “painkiller” for users. We used the Kanban methodology, Smart push-notifications, best follow-up practices and the ability to easily import leads, a 12% increase of activity in sales was observed during the test period (6 campaigns from 9 to 14 from June to November 2018). This was due to the organic growth in the activity of representatives in campaigns, each of which lasted 21 days. (Fig. 1).

      Activity in Cotano & Activity of representatives

      Fig. 1. Comparison of activity in the application and % of the activity of representatives in campaigns.

      New opportunities

      We identified a high correlation coefficient (0.97) and received numerous testimonials from users (NPS - 88%) who fell in love ❤️with Cotano. They testified to the close relationship between their effectiveness during the campaigns and usage of Cotano.
      Using our application, they were able to: - visualize the sales funnel; - remove annoying routine from their workflow; - accelerate the sales cycle; - easily manage a team in a single platform; - automatically track progress; - build strong relationships with their representatives because of personalization; - close orders and deals quicker and easier; - and finally, earn more!
      After covering all the problems and pains of the pilot users, the principle of “virality” worked and the word about Cotano spread quickly! 📈 Cotano sold itself to other geographical regions, and we are still watching with excitement as the MLM’s field sales, not involved in the pilot, are downloading and enjoying Cotano.
      We are now ready to listen to our new users and have set the bar even higher!