How Do I Choose the Best Direct Sales Software?

Helen Akers

Direct sales software helps multi-level marketing (MLM) companies manage their sales staff, compensation and other pay incentives. MLM companies usually begin as small start-ups that recruit independent distributors who work on a commission-only basis. The sales representatives may market products and services, and recruit other distributors. Choosing the best direct sales software depends on the size of the company and the types of activities it needs to manage.

Individuals interested in becoming a direct sales representative may be required to complete a product and sales training program.
Individuals interested in becoming a direct sales representative may be required to complete a product and sales training program.

Multi-level marketing software is designed to help independent sales representatives who become managers or directors manage their own direct sales staff. Depending upon the size of the individual company, the manager may need a basic, intermediate or fairly sophisticated direct sales software package. A good software application will allow smaller start-up MLM companies to add further tools and functionality as they grow.

These types of marketing programs are built around the concept of recruiting additional members and earning a percentage of the recruits' sales commissions. A direct sales software package can be helpful when an independent representative decides to officially form his own company to recruit other members. These software packages facilitate the management of job applications, recruiting activity and follow-up. The first step in choosing any direct sales software package is to look at compatibility with current computer systems, functionality and costs.

With a young MLM company, the manager may be overseeing a small, local market with just a few direct sales representatives. Cost and simplicity may be primary concerns since the manager is most likely working out of a home or small business office. Most likely there are only a few computers that need the software application. The manager's primary concern is being able to present the company as professional, manage and track the sales of a few representatives, and be able to facilitate seamless communication.

Medium sized companies that are in their peak growth stage may need a more sophisticated direct sales software package. There may be several managers who are in charge of several sets of direct sales representatives. A medium sized company will typically have more than one office location and be looking to expand rapidly into new markets. Good solutions for a medium sized MLM company may include tools that allow managers to create and track pay incentive programs, facilitate communication between locations, perform analytic functions that break down the numbers and growth per location and representative, and keep track of compensation that needs to be awarded to various managers and sales representatives.

Larger MLM companies will need a direct sales software package that operates on an enterprise scale. It will most likely have to work on a main server that several office locations and representatives can access at a moment's notice. Advanced analytical tools and functions that simulate potential scenarios related to recruiting and growth will be needed.

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