Technology as a Competitive Advantage

Jennifer Fong and Brett Duncan presenting about technology direct sales companies need today at the 2015 DSA Annual Meeting

Jennifer Fong and Brett Duncan presenting about technology direct sales companies need today at the 2015 DSA Annual Meeting

A few weeks ago I attended the Direct Selling Association’s Annual Meeting in San Antonio. While there were many great topics discussed there about our industry, one of the topics that really stood out to me is how many companies are really using technology as a competitive advantage. The direct sales companies that are offering better technology are making it possible for their sales consultants to reach more people, sell more product and ultimately make more money.

Technology has evolved so much for our industry in the last few years. Some of my favorites are platforms that enable transactions (sales) within Facebook Parties, that provide a library of approved, compliant content for consultants to share on social media from a mobile device, that prompt consultants on next actions to take to build business and work their contact list, mobile transactional catalogs, and so much more.

There is a lot of GREAT technology out there, and smart technology vendors are making sure that their platforms integrate well with other platforms, enabling companies to create great solutions for the salesforce. No one technology company is necessarily going to be great at everything, so integration ability is key. In fact, I advise my clients that, if a technology platform they are considering doesn’t offer the open APIs to integrate, they should keep looking. Integration is that important.

Now, sure, technology systems can be expensive for companies. If you are with a smaller company, they may not be able to yet afford all the bells and whistles that a larger company can. But every company should have technology on its growth roadmap. The more that you can empower and enable your salesforce, the more you give yourself a competitive advantage. Our industry has changed dramatically. It is the companies that invest in technology that will be setting themselves up for long term success.

What technology does your company provide that helps you grow your business? What would you like to see? Please share in the comments!

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