How Your Competitors Use Technology to Stay Ahead
Daryl Wurzbacher began his career in the direct selling industry in 1999 as the Director of Information Technology for a dietary supplement and personal care direct sales start-up. That company was the first client of ByDesign Technologies, and Daryl was a critical liaison between ByDesign, the field leaders, and his corporate team. In that role, Daryl scaled the company from $0 to $70 million using ByDesign’s platform. In 2007, Daryl transitioned to the supplier side of our industry as the Director of Technology for ByDesign. His strategic contributions led to his appointment as President in 2015 and CEO in 2018.
Guest post by Daryl Wurzbacher
How Your Competitors Use Technology to Stay Ahead
By leveraging technology in the right areas, it enables direct sales companies to create a frictionless experience that eliminates or significantly reduces the obstacles representatives and customers typically experience when interacting with your brand. Delivering this type of experience not only improves the likelihood of a sale, but it also allows your business to operate at much faster speeds gaining dramatic increases in economic efficiency.
When given a choice between companies that just leverage technology, and those that choose the RIGHT technology and RIGHT solution that impacts the overall brand experience – the companies with the “right” technology win every time. So what can you do to leverage technology the right way to compete in the modern marketplace? I believe this boils down to 3 pillars:
1) Credibility – Your technology has to provide credibility for your brand and elevate the reputation of your Representatives. You must build and maintain credibility for Representatives to put their reputation on the line by sharing their replicated website, the products and your overall brand experience with their Customers. I believe one of the biggest “risks” Direct Sales companies face comes from the field putting their credibility on the line; if the company fails the credibility test it’s a huge issue.
2) Simplify – Your technology has to simplify the experience for Representatives & Customers. It is essential to avoid the tendency that I see in technology where things become more complex. The quote you commonly hear is that “humans have a shorter attention span than a goldfish.” If you watch consumer behavior, you can see this with the rise in popularity of sped-up cooking videos on Facebook, and the increase of short videos on Snapchat and Instagram. People expect to get what they need, NOW, in a SIMPLE WAY
3) Automate – Your technology has to provide a consistent onboarding and ongoing experience for your Representatives. You need to be able to deliver training and coaching at the time when it’s needed. When a Representative gets their first Customer sale, you should be coaching them on what they need; or when they’re close to the next rank you should be mentoring them on the specific actions they need to take to promote. Additionally, your technology should provide relevant education that is delivered in bite sized trainings that can be immediately applied.
Today, we will focus on what credibility means in direct sales. At the core, credibility is a feedback loop:
This feedback loop is moving faster than ever before, and inadequate technology fuels an instant reaction. There is a zero-tolerance to slow or down websites and poor online experiences.
When a new Representative joins your company, one of their first actions it to look at their replicated website. While they’re new and excited, this is the time when they’ll share this website with their community – putting their credibility on the line. Your replicated websites should include:
- A modern user interface with a beautiful design
- Intuitive navigation with accurate menu titles
- Be fast with no delays
- The Representative’s photo, their story, and other personal information they choose to share.
Today consumers expect an easy online experience regardless of the device they use – phone, tablet or desktop. I’ve heard stories of Representatives being ashamed to share their website due to the poor user experience. If your Representatives are embarrassed to share their website — they’re not going to stake their credibility on your brand or product line.
How does your e-Commerce experience stack up against Amazon? That is the comparison your customers are making when they evaluate your credibility. To deliver a modern experience to your customers, think about including:
- Authentic product reviews
- Beautiful images
- Related products linked to each product
- Clean categorization of your products
- Wish List
- Links for Social Sharing that are associated with an individual representative for commissions
When you take a step back and intentionally design your online experience for the user’s journey, it enhances your brand. The key is that you must make it EASY for people to buy from you. The best advice I can give you is to go through your website as if you were a consumer. What does the experience look like? What needs to be changed? If you aren’t sure what to look for, ask a family member or friend whose opinion you respect to give you honest feedback.
As you build your credibility, you also build recognition, loyalty, and competitiveness. As an added benefit, you will discover that credibility has a direct connection to a customer’s intent to purchase. We all want to buy from companies we trust, like, and know.
Credibility, like respect, must be earned. I hope that these tips will assist you in laying a foundation of trust and consistency that will grow into a solid reputation based on credibility.