Your choice of a software provider is one of those big and important decisions that you need to make carefully and at the right time.
So, when is the best time to acquire your MLM software?
The best time to obtain MLM software is when…
- You have determined the software requirements of your business and you’ve put them down in writing, as your greatest negotiating ability occurs *before* you’ve become a client of a software company.
- Your compensation plan has been designed and documented, as not all MLM software companies can set up all types of compensation plans. Also, the fee for compensation plan setup can vary based on the complexities of your specific compensation plan and the abilities of the software company.
- You have the funding in place for the software setup fee and several months of hosting fees since your negotiating power is compromised if you’re not ready to buy.
- You have selected a project manager for the software acquisition project.
- You have contacted several client references, some of whom have become new clients of the selected software company within the last six months. Be sure to ask how the software company has responded to requests for modifications and what the client says he or she would have done differently.
For more information about MLM software, go to MLM Software Advice.
Help is Available
Did you know that Sylvina Consulting can help you in the software acquisition process?
Our president, Jay Leisner, was employed by an MLM software provider for 13 years prior to launching Sylvina Consulting in 1999.
To talk with Jay, call 503.244.8787.
MLM software is a necessity if yours is a direct selling, network marketing, MLM, or party plan company. New companies can live without it for only a short while.
The Heart of Your Business
MLM software is the heart of your business and replacing your MLM software is much like a heart transplant. Like any major operation, the patient must stay alive both during and after the procedure.
The Same Needs
In conversations recently with a new CEO of an MLM software company, I was asked, “What are the differences in the needs of startup companies as compared to those of older, larger businesses?”
Both startups and established companies need MLM software that performs all of the key functions of the business including representative enrollment, order processing, inventory management, fulfillment, commission calculation, representative websites and back-office functions, and customer relationship management.
The Word “No”
While new and young direct selling companies tend to be more accepting of MLM software that doesn’t perform exactly as desired, as a company grows it becomes less tolerant of software limitations and much less accepting of the word “no.”
Most MLM software companies don’t deliberately disappoint their clients. Even so, clients hear the word “no” when a software company
- says it will take months to make software modifications that a client needs today
- explains there are no plans to develop a requested deliverable
- responds that requested functionality is planned to be added to their software, but there is no timeline for the project
While smaller companies deal with their disappointment, for larger companies, the word “no” is unacceptable.
Having worked with direct selling companies for 24 years, I have seen firsthand the bewilderment, exasperation, anger, and mutiny that results when an MLM software company is unable to meet the changing needs of a client. It’s sad but true. In the life of a direct selling, network marketing, MLM, or party plan company, it is likely you will use the services of more than one MLM software company. Like a shirt you outgrow, as your business gets larger, you will outgrow your MLM software company.
What To Do Next?
If you’re not sure if you’ve outgrown your MLM software company, ask us. We can help you to make this determination.
MLM software companies and their software applications each have strengths and weaknesses. The more you know, the better choice you’ll make.
More MLM Software Information
If you’re searching for a new MLM software provider, request our Free MLM Software Shopping List.
This Kindle eBook contains the most valuable unbiased information about software for network marketing, party plan, social selling, and direct selling companies. All of these companies use MLM software (also known as direct selling software).
Let me explain who I am and why I wrote this book. My name is Jay Leisner. I am the president of Sylvina Consulting, the author of the comprehensive and insightful book, Start Here: The Guide To Building And Growing Your Direct Selling Company, and the co-sponsor of the Direct Selling Edge Conference.
Today I am a direct selling and compensation plan expert. I help companies to launch and grow faster.
Prior to starting Sylvina Consulting in 1999, for 13 years I worked as a software developer, business analyst, and project leader for an MLM software company. I can tell you from firsthand experience, it’s not easy to anticipate the needs of network marketing and party plan companies, many of whom intentionally try to run their businesses differently from their peers.
I view the relationship with your software company or software developers as a marriage. For a good marriage, both parties need to be good communicators. More often than not, when software relationships suffer, it is because of a lack of good communication. Helping you to improve your communication is one of the reasons I wrote this book.
Use this book if you are sourcing MLM software for the first time, or if you are working to replace your current system with a better solution.
Knowledge is power. The more you know, the better software decisions you will make for your company.
THE $49 DECISION
Is it worth $49 to get some great advice before you spend thousands of dollars on MLM software? The answer is YES.
Direct selling software solutions today are sold most often as a SASS (software as a service) hosted application that resides on a server that the software company owns. Access to the software is through the internet. Most companies price their direct selling software in two parts, an initial setup fee, and a monthly hosting fee.
Just like an automobile, the setup fee for direct selling software varies widely from one provider to another. You can spend as little as a few thousand dollars to as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars on the initial setup fee. Hosting fees per month vary as well (hundreds to thousands of dollars).
When shopping for MLM software, pay attention to the total cost of ownership (initial setup fee, customization fees, and monthly hosting and support fees). You may be surprised to discover that the provider who offers the lowest initial setup may actually cost you the most over time.
Would you rather pay $5,000 today and $40,000 over your first year, or $10,000 today and $30,000 over your first year?
SELECTING A SOLUTION PROVIDER
For direct selling companies, selecting a software provider is much like selecting a spouse.
For a marriage to work well and last, both parties need to understand how each other thinks. The same logic applies to the client/software provider relationship. You don’t want to select your partner for the wrong reasons.
Our book explains what matters most when it comes to selecting your MLM software provider. Don’t make your decision using criteria that don’t matter. Read our book to discover what does!
SHOPPING FOR MLM SOFTWARE
Shopping for software for your network marketing or party plan company is a lot like shopping for a spouse. To choose the right MLM Software for your company, you need to ask the right questions.
In our book, there are 10 important questions you should ask yourself, 17 vital questions you should ask all prospective software providers, 12 essential questions you need to ask clients of prospective software providers. The answers to these questions will help you tremendously in making your decision on the choice of an MLM software company.
WHY IS MLM SOFTWARE SO EXPENSIVE?
Unlike Microsoft Office software which is used by millions of people, MLM software is used by a relatively small number of companies. Our estimate is that 1,000 companies are using MLM software in the USA today.
Supply and demand is one of the reasons for the high cost of software, but it isn’t the only one. We will tell you more about this in our book.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GET MLM SOFTWARE?
As you move forward to build your network marketing or party plan company, you’re probably thinking about sourcing MLM software. Your choice of a software provider is one of those big and important decisions that you need to make carefully and at the right time.
So, when is the best time to acquire your MLM software? Our book will tell you when and why then.
HOW TO BE A GOOD SOFTWARE CLIENT
While it may be easy to complain about your software provider or internal programmers, it’s hard for them to consistently meet your expectations. Have you ever wondered what you can do to be a better client?
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
You may be wondering why an MLM consultant would write about how to be a good client of a software company. If I were you, I would wonder.
The reason I am writing on this topic is because of my first life. Prior to starting Sylvina Consulting in 1999, I worked for an MLM software company. I can tell you from firsthand experience, it is not easy to anticipate the needs of network marketing and party plan companies, many of whom intentionally try to run their businesses differently from their peers.
In my first life, as a Business Analyst for a software company, one of my assignments was to work on a project for an older network marketing business. A man who held a high position in that company told me two years later, “We could have been a better client.” At the time, it was not appropriate to agree with him, but he was speaking the truth. There were lots of things he and his company could have done differently, which would have been good not only for the software company but also for their network marketing company.
HOW TO BE GOOD
Knowing how to be good is good for your business. Our book tells you exactly what you need to do to be a good software client. Follow our advice and you’ll have a happier marriage with your chosen software provider.
COMPENSATION PLAN OR SOFTWARE FIRST?
You need them both, but if you have neither yet, which should you acquire first? The answer may surprise you. The sequence matters.
Compensation plan and software are both important pieces in the jigsaw puzzle you’ll complete as you work to build and launch your network marketing or party plan company. The software you acquire needs to not only calculate commissions and bonuses accurately each time, but it also must support the reporting needs of your compensation plan for your company and its independent representatives.
NOT ALL ALIKE
Just as there are differences in the features provided by each software provider, not all software providers provide the same support for all types of compensation plans. It would be costly if you discovered after you entered into a contract with a software company that it can’t or won’t program some or all of your compensation plan. If this happened, you would either need to change software providers or change your compensation plan. Both options could be expensive.
Until you show your completely designed compensation plan to a software company, you won’t know the cost of having them program it. While software companies may tell you how many hours they budget and that some or most compensation plans “fit” the budget, this doesn’t help you to know the total cost of programming your compensation plan.
Whenever possible, have your compensation plan designed before you become a client of an MLM software company. As you can see, the sequence matters.
REPLACING MLM SOFTWARE
WHEN IS IT TIME FOR A NEW MLM SOFTWARE PROVIDER?
Shopping for MLM software is, in some ways, like shopping for a spouse. To choose the right one for you, you need to ask the right questions to get on the same page.
If you already have MLM software but you’re unhappy, when is it time to replace yours? Our book will tell you when and when not to do it.
DATA CONVERSION WISDOM
If you are thinking about changing MLM software platforms, one of the topics you’ll need to address is “data conversion.” Data conversion is a series of steps to bring information from one system into another. The first step is to decide exactly what to convert.
In our book, I share the questions I ask my clients to help them with their data conversion decisions and I begin with an explanation of data conversion basics. Included are the 5 data conversion questions you must answer to have a successful data conversion.
AN EASY $49 DECISION
With our MLM software eBook, you will…
- Be better prepared before you shop for your MLM software.
- Spend your software dollars more wisely.
- Become a better advocate for your company’s needs.
- Do a better job in vetting prospective providers.
- Know what to ask client references and how to ask the questions.
- Be a better partner in your relationship with your chosen one.
- Avoid software problems that plague other direct selling companies.
- Grow your company faster when you spend less time working to fix software problems.
- Be happier.
For more information about Sylvina Consulting or our consulting services, contact us today at 503.244.8787 or submit our information request form.