How to Take the Complexity Out of Every Direct Sales Promotion

direct sales promotion
Back to News January 31, 2020

How to Take the Complexity Out of Every Direct Sales Promotion

Ever run a big sale, only to be disappointed by the small sales increase it generated? Ever gone through periods where your current customers simply didn’t seem to be sharing your business with enough new customers?

Direct sales promotion is one of the most powerful tools you have to motivate the right behavior from your customers. That’s no secret to any direct sales professional. But few firms use promotions and coupons to their maximum effectiveness.

The underlying principle should be that in any direct sales promotion, if your customers complete one simple action, they get a clear reward. That’s easy enough to implement in theory. It’s on the back end that promotions and coupons get complicated for many firms.
 

Why Discounts and Coupons Are So Complicated

One very common direct sales promotion is a discount. Buy these candles at 15 percent off through the month of May. Buy one A-1000, get a second one at half price—or buy two and get one free.

That seems easy enough. But in practice, these sales often require direct sales firms to do custom programming in their back-end systems, or to have their customer service teams make complicated manual adjustments.

Of course, some software platforms do support direct sales promotions natively, but they process them as rebates. There’s a major trend outside the direct sales industry to offer rebates more than conventional discounts.

Is this a trend we should be emulating? We say no. Rebates can present your firm with several challenges.

When a customer gets an up-front discount on their purchase, they feel an immediate benefit. They’re often so pleased that they’ll buy more product than they otherwise would have.

Conversely, when a customer receives a rebate, they still must put up the cash for the full price of the products. They then must mail in a form, or at least submit an online form, to get a portion of their money back.

A certain percentage of customers will simply never bother to send in their rebate form—it will get buried in a pile of junk mail or misplaced in a desk drawer. Sure, that means your company won’t have to pay out as much in rebates, but it also means your customers will get less benefit from your direct sales promotion and will be less likely to take advantage of future offers.

It’s clear, then, that any direct sales software platform should make it easy to provide true discounts to your customers, in real time, at the point of purchase, and in nearly any configuration you can think of. But that’s not all.
 

More Innovative Ways to Drive Revenue

You can drive sales by offering straight discounts. You can drive even more sales by running a direct sales promotion that influences the behavior of your best customers over a certain time period—and encourages them to persuade other people to make purchases.

For example, you could run a promotion in which anyone who buys three of a certain product gets 20 percent off, but if they buy a fourth within a 30-day window, they get 50 percent off that last item.

You could further motivate your best shoppers by linking the deal to their past actions. If they do all of the above, plus they bought at least $300 in total product over the previous two months, they’re also eligible for a free or deeply discounted item.

These loyal customers are also your best advocates. You may be able to generate more sales by offering vouchers they can share with friends. Instead of offering them a free product for making certain purchases over a given time period, you could give them BOGO (buy one get one) coupons to pass along to whomever they like—and thus put them to work recruiting new customers for your firm. A strong promotions platform will also allow you to establish expiration dates or usage limits to improve the frequency of use.
 

Where to Find Robust Direct Sales Promotion Functionality

Some direct sales platforms can do everything we’ve described—if you’re willing to invest in hours of costly custom programming. Some simply don’t support promotions and discounts. Thatcher’s Prowess does all of this and more, right out of the box.

With Prowess, you can simply configure business rules to reflect the exact direct sales promotion you want to run. The system will then execute the promotion without the need for further human intervention.

In addition to the features that we’ve described, Prowess supports the concept of a digital wallet, which allows your customers to pay with cash, credit card, or even loyalty points—making every transaction seamless.

These are just a few of the ways that Thatcher can remove the friction from every direct sales promotion you run.
Find out more about what we can do for you.
 
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