How Direct Sales Companies Can Influence Their Field Force?

 

All the workforce of the company that performs on the field and does with all required responsibilities form the direct sales field force. The main task of the top managers is to control and improve all the field operations to bring higher selling results. Field force management includes tracking assets remotely, training, consulting and contacting the workforce of the company. 

Direct sales companies can influence their field force with the help of digital solutions and automation. These and other techniques for an improved and well-controlled selling workforce will help you to achieve better productivity rates of your sales departments and decrease complaint slips together with the incompetence of your staff.

Field sales force digitalization

#1 Catalog & Discounts

Digital catalogs and discounts became one of the main marketing tools of direct sales companies. Using online presentation and promotional materials is about transforming your set of products into a searchable and user-friendly selection without linkage to the location of potential customers. The direct sales company can get larger media outreach and improve their field-force performance because:

  1. Distributors have actual digital materials they can share on the Internet with different people at once.
  2. Online catalogs and discounts are used for social media advertising campaigns to catch more attention of the target audience.
  3. Any updates of the items, prices, other details become automated through online databases implemented for the direct sales company.
  4. Fast reaction of distributors for the new special offers (discounts, coupons, vouchers, etc.) with the help of the on-time notifications of the top managers.
  5. Immediate distribution of information through digital selling channels via social media networks, CRM, other special-purpose software.  

Yves Rocher Online Catalog

With the help of online catalogs and social media promos, it is possible to embrace younger customers. According to the iPaper survey, present-day teenagers spend about 10 hours online every day. At the same time, about 67% of today’s Millennials prefer online shopping. This way, direct sales companies can boost their selling statistics together with their field force performance through digital presentation materials. 

#2 Online Training

Sharing of insights and training of onboarding staff is essential for the direct sales business model. Professional merchants who excel in one of the fields can share their knowledge with newcomers and standing distributors online. Different tutorials come in handy when it comes to corporate training for direct sales companies. The main benefits of online refresher courses and webinars for field force improvement are:

  • Enhanced knowledge preservation;
  • Better and faster onboarding;
  • Employee engagement;
  • Increasing the salesmen’s level of competency;
  • Flexibility and mobility of training schedule;
  • Community-friendliness and better interactions;
  • Constant online support of sales experts (top managers);
  • High-level information retention.

Field force automation in the context of corporate training is very efficient both for the direct sales company and its staff. The improved information flow between all the representatives of the selling channel really matters. Online training can speed up the progress of your salesman’s team and engage your lead properly. 

#3 Materials for Social Selling

As can be seen, social media networks became one more source of customer attraction. The global pandemic forced this trend, so many top-ranking direct sales companies have already switched to Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, and other platforms to sell their goods. To influence your field force with the help of social selling materials, you should prepare eye-catching images, banners, promos to hold the attention of your potential purchasers.

For example, Avon has created a special online platform for leads and distributors to teach them how to use effective social selling tactics. There is a detailed guide with tutorial materials and tips for Avon representatives that simplify their distribution break-in (recommendations on growing the Facebook business page, social media advertising, posting, creating interaction, etc.). 

Social Selling Guide

Social Selling Guide

#4 Communities 

You should grow communities not only for leaders of your company but for distributors as well.

This is a rule of your field force improvement. Your newbies and standing salesmen should be engaged and feel that they are a part of a big and very powerful team they are proud of. With the help of these communities, you will provide timely support to all your teammates (managers, leads, distributors, other representatives).

#5 Toolset Provision

It is better to provide an online toolset to your distributors to make all the processes clear. You can include all necessary information depending on the niche of your company on the direct sales market.

Additionally, your online toolkit is going to become one of the key tools of your field force influence as the constituent part of your digital transformation. Read our previous article for some tips and tricks.

#6 Be in the Leaders’ Pocket

Note that pocket screens now are used as the main way of corporate interactions. You should create such a communication line in your company to contact any of your distributors at any time. That is why your toolset should be presented as a mobile-friendly application for the comfort of your team and your improved control over each direct sales representative. 

As a leader, you will use this app for file sharing (notifications, templates, promos, coupons, catalog updates, etc.). Online training, webinars, and other guides and tutorials should be available in this digital toolkit as well.

For example, Amway provides distributors with the digital toolkit in the form of the application available on the Internet for free. According to the app description, the toolkit contains Amway product catalog, brochures, business plan, nutrilite item online handbook, etc.

Amway Digital Toolkit

Amway Digital Toolkit

If you are searching for reliable software to create your own toolkit fully customized to the purposes of your direct sales company, use Cotano solutions. The automation software includes ready-to-use templates, communication acceleration tools, and other solutions for developing a digital toolkit. 

#7 Build Easy-to-Scale Flows

It goes without saying that the best way to influence your field force is to develop well-thought, efficient, and easy-to-scale sales processes (e.g. funnel/pipeline). Implementation of data and other flows should be applicable to the whole network of distributors. This way the maximum benefits and profits for your direct sales company will be got at once.

Cotano is the most suitable tool for necessary digital transformation approaches in the context of your field force.

Try the ideal tool for the design, implementation, and customization of all the processes. Easy-to-scale flows that are used for analytics, customer service, sales, data gathering, and other purposes recreated by the Cotano automation and acceleration software will boost your direct sales performance rates significantly.