Highlights from tech experts’ Social Tech Update columns of 2021
Over the past year, our contributors covered a number of social selling tech strategies making inroads in the channel. For our year-end roundup, we’ve selected their most important takeaways to help direct sellers have an even stronger 2022. Please visit SocialSellingNews.com for the complete articles.
Reimagining the Back Office as a Revenue Driver
May 2021 Issue
By Connor Hester
In the past, the goal of the back office was to serve as a central hub for everything a consultant needs to run their business. This has shifted substantially in recent years, with the purpose of the modern, high-performance back office evolving beyond its original purpose of simply providing information.
Now, companies need to present this information in an intuitive, user-feedback-driven manner that will make the back office easier to utilize across all levels of the marketing plan as well as increase revenue-driving activity in the field.
To drive engagement, one needs to look past available functionality and look at how the back office is presented and how users are encouraged to engage with the system.
A company should start by redefining the goal of the back office. Some of the most effective goals of a high-performing back office can be:
- Provide complete information needed to run one’s business.
- Present that information in an intuitive manner, making the back office easier to learn and utilize across all levels of the marketing plan.
- Most importantly, increase revenue-driving activity in the field, turning the back office from a cost center into a business-driving tool for the company.
To accomplish this, a company should become more data-centric when it comes to collecting and analyzing user data by providing these functionalities.
Administrative: Setting up payments, editing personal information and editing contact preferences.
Informational: Storing customer details, downline tree, volumes, shareables, etc.
Actionable: Producing reports that tell a consultant which consultants in their downline are close to rank advancement.
Custom: Giving consultants the ability to run their business how they see fit through functionalities that return the power to them.
When done correctly, the product team can utilize the usage data from these actionable functionalities to demonstrate to management how the back office increases revenue-driving activities and how recent development has improved revenue-driving among the field.
Thus, the company can show a clearer ROI on back-office investment. This helps to transform the back office from simply an information portal for the field to a major business asset for the company.
Numbers Don’t Lie: Leveraging Internal Data to Guide Corporate Decision-Making
July 2021 Issue
By Rodger Smith
The first benchmark always used to measure business growth is revenue. If it is consistently increasing month over month, the business is probably on the right track, but could a one-degree change in strategy increase revenue faster for the business? It’s possible, and the answer could be in the company’s data. Actionable data “tells a story” and enables better strategy.
Actionable data is more than just numbers; it includes the relationships between the numbers that tell the story of the company, and those relationships are not always as obvious as one may think. With generally available tools, business owners not only have historical data, such as what items were sold to whom and when, but also information that enables managers to forecast future sales activity and revenue as well as reveal the reasons behind failures and how to resolve them. The more data behind any decision, the better informed that decision will be.
Distributors also need to hear the data story. That actionable data enables them to make better daily decisions and sell more every day. If they can’t access it now, they need an immediate solution that provides it because it also will help them find new customers who become repeat customers. That data also should tell sellers what steps to take next to progress each of their leads to the buy stage in their journey.
In today’s world of e-commerce, it’s best to not go it alone. There’s real value in having some experts to rely on in the hour of need. Experts can help make sense of and use data effectively, as well as help resolve any problems in the future. Having a team of experts when questions or concerns arise is priceless.
Distributor marketing programs should be evaluated from time to time, and if the program is not profitable, then changes are needed sooner rather than later. If more revenue is consistently being generated, that’s great, but more importantly, managers should be asking themselves, “Am I building my field and empowering them by providing the right tools and data so they make informed decisions that will increase the company’s revenue? A simpler question is, “Am I invested in building my field so they’ll build my business?”
Direct-to-Consumer Strategies That Work
October 2021 Issue
By Daryl Wurzbacher
Today, there is an emerging trend of companies taking more control over their brand’s representation and outreach efforts by talking directly to consumers instead of relying solely on the representatives in the field. Through these direct outreach efforts, companies have been able to multiply and accelerate brand awareness as well as have more control over their customer acquisition process.
Companies are fully embracing overall brand awareness, from being active on social media (content and advertising) to running pay-per-click campaigns in other channels. The biggest concern here has always been ensuring that the corporate office isn’t competing with the salesforce. Conversely, the last thing you want is to build an elaborate customer acquisition and assignment system, and no one follows up with the customers, thus eliminating the long-term value. Instead, use tracking to drive future assignments and eliminate representatives that are not producing results.
Now companies have leveraged several solutions that can turn this into a true partnership with the field.
Leveraging Landing Pages and Simplified Ordering Funnels
When running pay-per-click campaigns, a best practice is to leverage simplified “landing and capture” pages that target specific products and reduced capture flows. Conversion rates are highest when the landing page showcases the specific product featured in the ad. Keep it simple and ask for simplified contact information—name, email, and mobile.
Beyond customer acquisition, companies are also engaging and growing existing customer relationships on behalf of the field.
One of the most critical elements to keep in mind as a company implementing growth and retention strategies is that you must consider how the representatives can duplicate the messaging in the marketing materials and digital advertising.
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