Do Your Direct Sales Business Tools Support Your Pricing Strategy?
Your direct sales business tools should help you improve your company’s performance in terms of the three R’s: Revenue, Recruitment and Retention.
In other words, your software should help you:
- Generate more sales among your customer base.
- Attract more sales reps.
- Compensate and motivate them in ways that keep them around.
Many of the biggest frustrations with direct sales platforms revolve around their inability to handle pricing and orders in the ways that companies actually work.
To be fair, pricing and orders are complex processes for direct selling companies. This is not to say pricing is easy to configure for retail businesses—but it’s certainly more straightforward.
A retail business will typically set baseline prices for all of its products. A particular pair of shoes costs $49.99, no matter who’s buying it.
When promotions come along, the retail business will enter different prices into their system on a temporary basis. The shoes cost $37.99 until February 15—or they’re buy-one, get-one-free. When the promotion ends, the system will revert to the standard pricing.
It’s much more complicated in direct selling—and this is why direct sales business tools have to be able to keep up. Unfortunately, many direct selling companies are frustrated by the pricing and ordering functionality they’re using.
Three Common Frustrations with Direct Sales Platforms
As direct sales professionals configure their pricing and ordering processes, they’re typically frustrated by three things:
- Difficulty implementing promotional pricing. Want to offer special pricing starting this Thursday at 2AM Eastern Time? If you’re using typical direct sales business tools, you’ll have to ask one of your IT people to come into work several hours early just to flip the switch.
- Inability to accept a full range of payment methods. As you know, direct sales companies don’t just work in the cash-check-credit world of retail companies. It’s highly likely your company accepts alternate payment methods such as vouchers and loyalty points—and your system should make this easy.
- Inadequate integration with other parts of their business. Unlike in retail, where the price is the price, your pricing may very well depend on who’s buying an item. A top-level distributor may pay a different price, as may a customer who has been with you for five years.
How to Support Your Pricing Policies
Too many companies implement direct sales business tools but then resort to using spreadsheets to manage the finer points of their pricing and ordering policies. Any good direct selling platform should offer better functionality than that.
Specifically, your platform should support your pricing policies by allowing you to:
Pre-program pricing changes. It sounds simple, but you can’t take it for granted: your direct sales platform should let you punch in the exact details of your pricing promotions in advance and then let them take effect automatically when the time comes. No getting up at 2:00 AM just to turn them on.
Taking it one step further, your system should also be able to change pricing at certain trigger points as a promotion progresses. For example, suppose you want to increase revenue by creating a sense of scarcity around your products. You run a promotion in which a bottle of vitamins is 30% off for the first 1,000 people who buy it, and then 20% off for the next 1,000. Your system should support this automatically.
- Accept secondary payment methods as easily as credit cards. Many direct sales companies actually implement a separate system to handle vouchers and coupons, and then toggle back and forth between systems just to run their business. This is madness—especially in an age where it’s getting increasingly important to offer vouchers.
Bloggers now have tremendous influence over their vast audiences of readers. By giving bloggers voucher codes to share with their readers, you can make it easy for them to help you generate more revenue.
- Pull information from anywhere to determine pricing for each transaction. One of your most effective ways to retain and motivate sales reps is to offer them preferred pricing based on their performance level and rank within your organization. Your direct sales business tools should make this easy by automatically pulling all relevant information about a sales rep to determine the price they will pay for an item.
Ask Us About Direct Sales Business Tools
You shouldn’t have to cobble together several software applications, or use spreadsheets, just to support your company’s complex pricing and ordering policies. Thanks to Thatcher’s Prowess software, you don’t. We’ve built all of the functionality we described above and more into our platform. You really ought to be running on Prowess.
Find out more about how Prowess can make it easier to implement your business strategy and update your pricing policies.