Does Your Direct Selling Company Have an Outbound Sales Team

Posted on June 29th, 2013 by Sheena Tejeda, COO, Direct Selling Women's Alliance

Leverage Direct Sales Customer Base with Outbound Sales

direct sales team trainingOne of the most important assets a direct sales company has is its customer database. It’s probably taken years to build this database and it’s filled with people who’ve bought your product at one time.

We all know there are many reasons that your distributors don’t keep in contact with their customers, but there’s no reason that the company can’t take on the job of marketing to these past customers.

The sales revenue generated from outbound sales efforts could be significant and the program can be set up to benefit your distributors too.

Setting up the Outbound Sales Team

You can begin by designating some of your customer service agents as “outbound” sales agents, determining which people have the potential to be good at this type of customer service.  The benefit of using your existing customer service representatives is that they’ve already been trained on your company and the products and they’re familiar with your customers.  Putting together an incentive program for these agents to make additional income based on the sales they generate is essential, but monitoring for abuse of the program is also critical.  Typically, you would provide the sales team with a list of customers who have not ordered in the past six months; the cut-off date can be four months or three months, whatever you feel comfortable with as long as you’re not contacting consumers that your sales field is currently working with.  Offering an incentive of discounted product, free or discounted shipping, or a second product for free if a certain sales level is met is also a good component for the program.   It’s also a perfect way to introduce past customers to any new products you’ve added to the line since the last time they ordered.

Getting Buy-In from Network Marketing Team

At first, some of your network marketing team may object to the outbound sales program but there are ways to work around these challenges.  First, it’s essential to make an adjustment to the compensation plan to allow the distributor to get paid a percentage (maybe one-half) of their normal commissions based on any outbound sales, with the remaining portion of the commissions being set aside for the company to support the outbound sales program.   Explain to your sales force that the company’s outbound sales team is like hiring their own personal outbound marketing person but with better results because there’s no learning curve involved.  After all, 50% of something is better than zero.

Direct Selling Company & Distributors Benefit

This type of outbound sales program is a benefit for both the direct selling company and the distributors by developing customer loyalty to the products and also bringing additional revenue to the company and distributors.  Few distributors have the time or resources to contact people in their organization who are not active – they focus on the people who are active.  And, few distributors are willing to spend the dollars necessary to offer an incentive for inactive customers to continue buying the product, but the company can do it by developing an outbound sales team.

Sure, there will always be distributors who moan and groan, but I would tell them that having a team that’s working at keeping your downline stay active is worth the reduction in commission from any sales.   I’ve seen these programs generate more than $250,000 in sales in a month and the added benefit is the company is ensuring customer loyalty.

If you’d like more information on developing this type of program, feel free to contact me. Email Sheena

About the Author

Sheena Tejeda is the Chief Operating Officer of the DSWA. Her foundation in business combined with direct selling experience overseeing the domestic and international operations, gives her a unique perspective and ability to work with direct selling companies during their start-up phase, growing their business to the next level and/or expanding to international markets.

Sheena@DSWA.org