January 11, 2021

How to Stay Competitive as a Direct Selling Business in 2021

Wow, what a year! I think we can all agree that 2020 didn’t really go as planned for any of us. With a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, and a lot of other crazy events affecting our lives and businesses, it’s hard to imagine what the next year will be like as we try to stay agile and move forward. If you’re feeling some concern about how to stay competitive heading into this next year, you’re not alone. Read on for a few of our best tips for thriving as a direct selling business, even in changing times. 

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Enable Good Teamwork 

At InfoTrax, we think it’s important to have a more expansive view of the ways you drive distributor and customer behaviors—we recommend a compensation strategy (not just a commission plan) that involves all the teams creating incentives for your field.  

Any meaningful change in your business will come from the inside out, and should involve teams like marketing, business development, customer/field support, commissions, and compliance and legal. Once everyone is in contact and working together, you’ll be in a much better position to tackle big issues as they surface. 

Go to the Source 

In any MLM, the key to your success is sales, driven by your distributors and customers. Focusing on these two groups will help you create stability, even as things are shifting around you. If you want to see your salesforce and consumers succeed, you need to know them first. Here are some questions you might want to consider: 

Ask yourself—how have our customers’ lives changed this year? Have their priorities shifted? Do they spend their time differently now? What are they looking to add to their lives, and what do they no longer need?  

And, for your distributors, how have their selling practices adapted? How are they doing in this new ecommerce landscape? Has their motivation to join your salesforce and start a business changed? What do distributors need in different parts of your organization? Are they getting those things? 

As you start to see things from their point of view, your distributors’ and customers’ needs will become much clearer. 

Decide on Some Course Corrections 

Now that your inside teams are communicating and you know how to better support your customer base, you can get busy working on your strategy. Remember, this will include more than just your comp plan. While commissions are vital and do need your attention, they can be undermined by competing incentives if they haven’t been accounted for in your strategy.  

It’s also good to keep in mind that small changes are best. We don’t recommend making big shifts all at once, especially if they’ll change the way your distributors are working to build their business. If your decision will derail a lot of hard work, it’s probably best to steer clear of it.  

Instead, think about how your motivating efforts will affect the groups they’re targeting. Is your sale price realistic for your customers? Which products will they find most helpful? Will a short-term distributor contest help boost morale, or will it distract your salesforce from more important things? Small but intentional changes can have a big impact on your steadiness as we head into another uncertain year. 

Get the Right Tools 

As you start deciding on the changes you want to make in your strategy, you might find you need different direct selling software solutions than you did in the past. Maybe you need smoother replicated sites for your distributors or a better shopping experience. Or, maybe you need to change your promotion strategy to be more responsive to your distributors’ and customers’ needs. The right software can make it easier on your inside teams to do their jobs well and help your customer base to do their best work, too. 

Expect Change and Try to Embrace It 

Our last tip is to try to stay agile and roll with the punches. It’s not easy, but, as the old adage says, “The only constant is change.” If your company’s mindset is geared toward preparing for and welcoming those changes, you’ll have a much easier time dealing with the hard things as they come.  

Looking for more tips, tricks, and MLM basics? Check out our Insights page to see all our recent blog posts. If you’d like to talk more about our software, you can get in touch with us here. 


Sean Smith

© 2022 InfoTrax® Systems. All Rights Reserved. A trusted global name and industry leading provider of backend operations systems and online distributor tools for the Direct Sales industry. From powerful software that integrates all mission critical operations to a suite of easy to use online independent distributor marketing, communication, and reporting tools, you get solutions that can support organizations from pre-launch start-ups to international MLM Corporations supporting millions of users.