Direct Sales Team Building in the Internet Age

Are you involved in party planning, network marketing, or MLM?

If so, you already understand the most important aspect of building your direct sales business is growing your downline Team, DUH! Without a doubt that is true…at least partially.

The whole truth is that you must create a downline Team that is effective at consistently, over time, growing their sales and building their downline Teams too.

So the real question you should be trying to answer is how can I develop a downline Team that is constantly motivated and effective at building their downline Teams?

The answer…is creating a dynamic environment where your team learns, collaborates, and shares. An environment that brings together all the resources of your Team into one collaborative “think-tank” that evolves and grows organically over time from the shared wisdom of everyone single one of your ‘teammates’.

Right! So how do you go about creating a dynamic Team environment that gets the results you need? Well…that’s not so obvious. Especially when most Teams quickly spread to virtually anywhere in the U.S. or even across the globe.

Fortunately it can be done and as you will discover “virtually” it is possible.

Building a dynamic Team learning environment for your direct sales business is a journey well worth taking. But before getting started, there are a few basic concepts you should be aware of:

1. Several Factors must be carefully considered as you design your plan including the differing learning and motivational styles that make up every Team. The limitations on your time. And how to overcome geographic and time zones constraints.

2. Two important Team Metrics drive the financial return for your business. Make sure you have a way to track them and then the flexibility to adjust your Team development efforts as your numbers dictate.

3. There are many “low-to-no” cost Tools you can use for your Team building program. Finding the ones that are right for you and your Team is an important consideration.

THE FACTORS
As you have probably discovered by now with your Team, not everyone learns and is motivated in the same way. Some are more computer savvy than others; some are avid readers…others not so much. Some learn and apply things quickly; others are more conservative and will grow into their new world slowly as it fits into their comfort zone.

In this business some are more motivated by quick results and financial measures. Others are more motivated by recognition and peer interaction.

Net-net, most need quick and consistent results and whether they will admit it or not, have an appreciation for personal recognition.

So the challenge confronting you is to provide a Team development setting that successfully caters to all these varying learning styles and the diverse motivational complexes of such an assorted group of wonderful individuals – all trying to achieve common goals of building their direct sales business the best they can.

Another critical consideration is to recognize you can’t do it all yourself. You have limitations on the time you can commit to your Team building efforts, as you still need to focus on your own personal sales and recruiting efforts.

Finally, consider this…while most direct sales Teams start out as a fairly centralized local group, they will soon expand geographically to all areas of the country and in some cases, across the globe. Having a Team development model that accounts for this scenario is imperative.

In a nutshell, to make your Team building program workable for you, you must construct a process that…

o Addresses the varying learning and motivational styles that exist or will exist on your Team

o Doesn’t hinder your personal efforts to focus on your sales and recruiting efforts

o Is deployable from virtually anywhere to virtually anywhere (i.e., no geographic or time zone boundaries)

THE METRICS
As with any Team building effort you want to pay special attention to the results you are getting so you know what is working and what is not.

Keep this in mind…
With any direct sales business, typically there are two key “Team Metrics” that determine your businesses financial return.

TEAM SALES GROWTH. Are your Team sales growing year-over-year?
At what rate of increase?

TEAM SPONSORSHIP GROWTH. Are your Team’s recruiting rates increasing year-over-year?
At what rate of increase?

In analyzing your results, you want to be assessing each of these key metrics independently over time. If you have the numbers available, it can be very useful to go back one year to compare your results prior to adding any new Team building programs.

You will know you are on the right track if these metrics are accelerating at increasing rates over your historical growth rates…prior to implementing your Team building programs.

A point to ponder…
An important element of any Team development program is to account for flexibility. Properly done you should be able to adjust your Team development emphasis to address the area or areas that need the most attention.

For example, if you are seeing very consistent Team sales growth, but your sponsorship rates are lagging, you can adjust the emphasis of your Team training toward recruiting strategies and tactics (or, vice versa depending on your Team Metrics).

By tracking and monitoring your Team Metrics you have the data you need to guide your training and development efforts in the direction that best optimizes the return for your business.

It takes a little time at the end of each month to calculate your Team Metrics, but it is well worth the effort.

THE TOOLS
We are so blessed in this day-and-age to have available a plethora of useful tools that can help us in our Team building efforts. And the really GREAT thing is most of them are FREE!

The key is in selecting the tools that work best for each situation. The challenge is to review all of the various tools out there and narrow them down to those that meet your specific Team building objectives.
An important consideration is to align tool selection with specific Team building needs. For example, you need to keep in mind one of the key Factors we have been discussing – people learn and are motivated in differing ways. Tools that address different learning and motivational styles are an important consideration, amongst others.

We’ll be discussing specific tools to consider in greater detail in future articles, but suffice it to say that no one tool addresses every aspect you should consider. Most are intuitive and the results speak for themselves.

Read that as…the effort is worth the reward!

ABOUT US The lessons we learned in building our direct sales business were quite different from the many we had heard and read about. Specifically, as teachers and technologists by training, we quickly realized we had to master the “art AND science” of addressing many differing learning and motivational styles without regard to geographic or time zone boundaries.

In today’s Internet age, we can all reach so many more people in fabulous ways, with “no-to-low” cost methods, than ever before. By applying proven approaches for addressing differing learning and motivational styles from virtually anywhere to virtually anywhere, you too can achieve the rich rewards you desire with your direct sales business.

There is no greater resource available to your business than the unique individuals within YOUR Team! You see, once you have a sound approach for learning, collaborating and sharing with your Team, you are collectively in a position to grow and prosper from the wisdom of everyone on your Team. Together everyone becomes producers of their own knowledge and success rather than simply a consumer of your knowledge and success.

Our Team motto is Learn, Collaborate, and Share. Our role is to provide the mechanisms to make that happen. We feel blessed to be in a position to share with you how you too can make this a reality in your world.

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