The common thread tying together the industry-related critical initiatives for 2021? Wellness.
We surveyed over 250 corporate leaders in direct sales asking what were some of the greatest challenges direct sales corporate and leadership teams are facing in 2021. All the respondents that were focused on transforming the industry and not just their company had the common theme of 'wellness as a core value.' These respondents see that the industry is evolving into an essential part of the remote working economy, women empowerment and social impact movements. That’s quite a change from what used to be associated with the reputation of a direct sales career.
Prioritizing these initiatives will have a major impact on the brand reputation of individual direct sales companies and as a result their ability to expand and engage the field. It’s also easy to see how incorporating these changes will help attract new consultants particularly from younger generations. Direct sales already provides the opportunity to work from home, which is particularly attractive to the digital natives, but these days people are looking for more from a company.
People want a company that…
- Cares about the environment
- Cares about its customers and the people working for them
- Prioritizes sustainability for products, packaging and services
- Supports non-profits through active fundraising
- Prioritizes mental health and wellness
- Is working to make the world a better place
Some companies already place their company values at the forefront of their corporate initiatives. The challenge is to move beyond occasional corporate-led events such as fun runs and yoga sessions for distributors into a comprehensive program that supports consultants on their health and wellness journey. From expanding professional and personal development initiatives to include wellness programs, to providing sponsored health and benefits options, to aligning with social impact causes — it’s no longer enough to supplement the pay cheque. Fairness and meaning are now a huge part of creating a meaningful career. In the past aligning company values with day-to-day operations was a rarity but now it’s expected.
Another benefit of incorporating company values into daily operations is churn reduction. Churn remains to be a massive problem for the direct sales industry. In an organization focused exclusively on sales volume, consultants give up when they don’t see instant success and talk themselves out of their ability to run their business. Switching industries, jumping into the sales career head-first, managing families and outreach and facing daily customer rejections, all contribute to a huge mental toll for a first time consultant.
In most companies, it is down to field leaders to support their team. However, if corporate actively supported the fields’ wellness and mental health and promoted a company-wide sense of belonging it would go a long way to help reduce frustration and in turn new consultant churn. Instead of dropping out when faced with doubts, the field would have the tools and support system in place to help them get back on track.
Many distributors join network marketing to solve a problem in their lives whether that’s to regain time, make more money or completely change their lifestyle. However, all too often, the reason they joined network marketing is then taken over by network marketing.
“Freedom is in the vocabulary of military families a lot. Financial freedom and time freedom are so important to me. When my husband is home I am going to give him all my time because I never know what the next deployment is going to bring. But as my business grew it started taking time away from what was most important.”Christie Nix, Isagenix Leader
Supporting the field and giving them the tools to look after their mental health and manage the stress of running a business will help reduce burnout churn from top leaders and subsequently their downline.
Prioritizing your company values places the focus on humanized growth. While it may seem like these initiatives have less evident impact on revenue in the long term these are the initiatives that will set your company apart from the rest.
Explore the full report: Direct Sales Transformation: Key Opportunities in 2021 and Beyond