Executive Perspectives: Leveraging Data
Michel Bayan, Co-Founder and CEO of DirecTech Labs
Welcome to the second installment of the executive perspectives series.
This is the second in a series where we take an individual topic and cut together a lot of my interviews with executives across the direct selling industry. When we were talking about that specific topic kind of weave it all together into one podcast for you so you can get the perspectives of many different world-class executives and direct selling around one specific topic in one podcast.
This one is about data intelligence. There’s so much you can do to take advantage of that data and to learn from that data. There is a never-ending well of tips, ideas and new practices that you could use to greater affect the efficiency of the way you run your business, your comp plan, your sales force, and your customers.
In this conversation you’ll hear from:
- Lori Bush, Former President and CEO of Rodan + Fields
- James Rosseau, Chief Commercial Officer of LegalShield
- Jennifer Byrne, Co-Founder of Quesnays
- Kris Shenk, CIO of CAbi
Michel Bayan: We are welcoming the CEO of Rodin infields Lori Bush. Lori, how important is data to you and your company?
Lori Bush: We invest heavily in business intelligence. I’m really starting to appreciate more and more what big data means. Our Head of Digital has advised me that we have a beginners approach to big data. Because of the number of data records that we have as a result of the commerce transactions, we can take the data of our customers: consultants and customers and overlay that Onyx channel databases and get a lot of texture and even some level of granularity in terms of who our customers are, what are sort of the crossover practices and products that they use, what they expect from premium e-commerce companies. The real opportunity starts to come when you start applying data sciences. You can customize the experience on an individual level whether it’s the business platform offerings or it’s the product portfolio. A more intelligent and compelling and engaging way.
Michel Bayan: That’s great. One of the things that are making e-commerce become bigger is not just the selling platform or telesales. It’s the kind of data collection that enable these companies to serve their customers better. Companies started capturing data to predict intent to be able to catch a consumer at the exact moment of conversion.
Lori Bush: We do talk about that zero moments of truth and what used to be the Zero Moment of Truth was somebody standing at a store shelf and making the decision – really understanding the customer journey and what are the various points of influence. The more you understand that path the easier it is to analyze where the zero moment of truth is where you could get them to complete an initiative: purchase, clickthrough, subscription, enrollment get easier And most importantly for us to help our consultants capture that moment.
Michel Bayan: I agree absolutely. Lori Busch It’s been an absolute pleasure hanging out with you today. Thank you so much for welcoming me to your office and for sharing candidly so many of your thoughts about our space and the future of it and how it’s moving forward looking forward to what you and the team at are going to do with the annual meeting next year and to a lot of interesting changes that are being guided by you and other visionaries in this space. Thanks so much.
Lori Bush: Thanks. It’s been a real privilege having another channel to share some of this thinking and it’s really a joy to be able to work with the other companies in the direct selling channel as we reimagine what our future could be. So it seems very bright to me.
Michel Bayan: My guest is the chief commercial officer of LegalShield. James Rosseau
James Rosseau: We have a certain level of data that we look at. Who are those new folks who enter our company as new associates, what is their success track look like, who perform certain activities within this period of time, do they hit levels at the expected rate. If not what’s going on and so on. We have ways we look at both from a lineage perspective across different platinums, and from a new associate interest perspective. We absolutely look at all those things to try to get more folks into success.
Michel Bayan: That’s great. Most companies will find that the first 90 days of what happens in the life of an associate does spell the destiny of where they’re going to end up.
James: Yeah definitely.
Michel Bayan: I know the last few years you’ve been getting more and more sophisticated with data. You’ve been introducing tools that are providing more data and more insights. Can you share maybe one or two? What kind of interesting lessons has looking at data taught you?
James: We started to take a hard look at member retention and how do we get members to stay longer. we could say over the last three years we have improved member retention by at least 20 percent. Right in terms of duration of stay. And that was all dated data driven. Looking at some of the reasons people stay whether it’s one piece’s usage, we highly promote usage right. You’re coming into a company that provides access to the legal system. And what we want to make sure you do is take advantage of that access. There’s a big difference and member attention from those who do and those who don’t. And even with those who do, what type of users are they. And so we train on usage to make sure the members are paying hopefully fee to use the service our models built on the capitate model built on people having a subscription with us. And so we have by usage. As we have interactions with attorneys, there’s a direct correlation to how long they stay with us and so that was one major data point. And looking at now, how we segment usage when members call us, we divide things into what we call 70 unique areas of law. So we understand what they do and without violating attorney-client privilege to do that is categoric categorically done and then we look at those things and over time can watch which behaviors drive both satisfaction and uses necessary. Second thing I would talk about. So one is again getting two more uses the second one is satisfaction we implemented net promoter score about two years ago and I believe it was and the promoter score is a commonly used metric and across a number of industries to understand what your customers say about your service. And we’ve been able to grow that score your year quarter for the last at least eight months and so we pretty proud of that.
Michel Bayan: That’s amazing. Yeah and it sounds like there are so many insights that you guys can get and wow I never even thought that there could be 70 different categories of law. So that’s kind of some stuff that’s exciting or scary.
James: Right exactly.
Michel Bayan: Well thanks a lot. It is really really great to get to know you more. And thank you for sharing some of the experiences of your life and some of the stuff you guys are learning and doing and you guys are really driving a progressive business there are LegalShield and I’m sure our audiences of executives is going to get a lot of value from getting to know you and I know we’ll stay in touch and maybe we’ll do an update sometime soon.
James: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.
Michel Bayan: Jennifer Byrne Welcome to DirecTech. So good to have you.
Jennifer: Thanks, Michel. Glad to be with you today.
Jennifer: We are using data to not only track new customers but to retain existing customers is incredibly powerful and that’s a great example. Yeah, it’s an excellent example.
Michel Bayan: Yeah that’s exactly what they did to me. And if they wouldn’t have done that. I’m telling you I wouldn’t have gone back to flying them but they gave me something that I needed. And whatever that you know analytics engine was or that probably some kind of predictive model was it knows about me it knows all my buying history what I buy what I like what I don’t like where I go how much I spend when I’m going there and is probably predicting hey what is the offer that this guy’s going to want. That’s going to get him flying again.
Jennifer: And I think the common thread in any conversation we have with any customer or a startup on any product or service is about data and understanding or customer and being able to test new products and take that data mine it in a way that you can then have insights and turn those insights into a positive experience for your customer and whether that is serving a more appropriate ad or is delivering more personalized services or offering that upsell that bonus as a loyal customer data. What we’re seeing is the ability to extract more interpret and then take action is top at every mind at every corporation that we know. And it cuts across consumer as well as business. It’s becoming even more critical because as more and more devices become connected you have more and more data points to extract and ways to understand customer needs and behavior and that can be B2C or B2B. And I think some companies for example like G.E. have really put a lot of I guess capital and effort into their innovation labs and they, for example, are using data and their predictive analytics to do to really improve business for their customers and this is kind of a B2B example but because of the amount of sensors that are now attached to every locomotive or every vehicle by tracking the data on those sensors they’re able to create for one of their customers like a locomotive company. They can basically use big data and analytics to improve the velocity of their locomotives. Again that means includes better scheduling lowering downtime improving maintenance so really leveraging the connections and devices taking that data and then turning that into a positive and it can be effective it can be a revenue play but it’s a better experience and it’s a more efficient model for their customer. So I mean there’s an endless amount of examples but I think that cuts to the core the more devices we have connected in any business the more data we have and we’ve got to figure out how to interpret it. And also with proper privacy controls and protections leverages that data to provide better service. I mean I think that’s what the core of every business now.
Michel Bayan: Yes specially if you’ve got a lot of data on any one thing I think you know for our audience here which is mostly made of direct selling executives you know they’ve got so much data about their sales process that is really an amazing blessing that really no other industry that has salespeople really gets to enjoy. There are very very few companies that are not direct selling companies that have salespeople in the thousands let alone hundreds of thousands were millions of direct selling companies do. So there’s so much data in there to be looked at and gotten value out of that it’s really a hidden gold mine.
Jennifer: Absolutely and they are uniquely positioned in that industry to the fact that this is individual data that can be captured and that you can create a more I guess efficient and thoughtful and targeted sales approach both from an end customer as well as a way to I think motivate entice and reward individual salespeople to generate that loyalty. So you could take your American Airlines example and translate that to a direct sales rep and say Let’s surprise and delight a loyal sales rep who has achieved a certain milestone Send an offer to send a bonus. And that notion of loyalty but even in a sales force is invaluable.
Michel Bayan: That’s right. I mean imagine what it could be like if that communications and engagement strategy wasn’t just based on hey everyone in one single market is going to get the same message. But understanding the different people in the style of how they do business and what makes them tick more so that instead of sending one message to everybody maybe you’re sending six different messages to the people that are more likely to resonate with that message which results in them feeling better affinity and closeness and loyalty to the brand. Taking more actions that they wouldn’t have taken before maybe even being willing to give you even more data because they’re feeling better served than they’re trusting you more. I mean it just goes on and on and on.
Jennifer: Yeah. And there are some parallels to some other industries as well. So even within a tech world, I think creating even visual representations of data is not as complicated as it is even if you take basic data and present it in a way that a sales rep or I let’s say as you know a financial investor the easier you make it for me to understand my performance. Again that could be sales performance or my investment portfolio. The more engaged I am the more I want to learn the more I want that personalized message back saying hey did you know this is a moment to sell a particular stock or take action because there’s the ability to. This is a tax harvesting example that I think the ability to present data and indigestible form for the sales rep is going to be very empowering because there may be opportunities to Upsilon cross-sell even outside perhaps the existing brand that they might be responsible for. And not knowing how to do that or why anyone would even think about it. I think to be able to present data to say well if you’re a good selling x you’ll be great at selling Y. So there are some very simple tools I think so long as you capture that data. if you Present it in a simple fashion it can be very empowering.
Michel Bayan: Yeah definitely. Well, Jen thank you so much for being on today. It’s been a really amazing conversation
Jennifer: Thanks, Michel. My pleasure. Take care
Michel Bayan: My guests today is Kris Shenk the CEO of CAbi clothing.
Kris: Nice to be here. Thank you for inviting me.Michel Bayan: You started getting into this idea of you know data and automation. So this is something that I know interests you a lot.
Kris: Yeah and I think that’s one of the things that direct selling industry really can take advantage of. They have three really important aspects of what can make their technology more modern and that big data are you know loosely called big data. But the amount of information that we have at our fingertips as a direct selling company is incredible. Now you got to use it for something to really have it provide that value. A lot of people I know they’ve got the data but they have no idea what to do with this enormous asset. Totally. But if you take that asset. And then you apply some concepts again. My favorite obsession automation with it. And then you think about how do you personalize that experience for your constituent. And when I say a constituent it could be your stylist your consultant your distributor whatever you want to call that. Or it could be that the end customer. Oh because there are things you can do for both of them. So tying those three concepts together that big data that automation and you the experience I know some people kind of call that A.I. or artificial intelligence and I’m always real careful within my organization not to use terminology like that because it’s so vague. Not well not vague but it’s it’s scary to them and so they apply that definition to it. That maybe isn’t quite accurate. So I keep talking about our data automation and personalized experiences and tying those things together so but there’s just I can’t get over how many great opportunities we have to get those three things tied together in a way that personalizes the experience to what the consumer wants or what the consultant wants. It doesn’t take much to get out of the Internet and go look at some of those personalized experiences that you can just see and with a retailer or just online.
Michel Bayan: For that matter I mean you probably don’t have enough to go that far right. It’s probably being done to you right now. I mean I know it’s being done to me. I mean I’ve had airlines do it to me, Amazon Netflix, does it to me every night. You know I mean it’s all it’s all around us already.
Kris: That’s so true and so that’s one of the things I find so fascinating about the direct selling industry too is it’s all around us. But there hasn’t been somebody who’s really embraced it and taken that into the direct selling model. But there are so many different opportunities to do that with this personalization in advanced merchandising even. The concept of a recommendations engine for your product. And that even that’s been done for a million years. But direct selling is now not really doing a good job of embracing that technology and what it can do for them.
Michel Bayan: I think it’s one of those things that a lot of the mentality of a direct selling organization vis a vis of not just technology but you know we’ve always been known as this very capital efficient business model. And I think that a lot of executives and executive teams take this a little bit too much to heart these days. And you know I hear this from a lot of executives that you know there’s not enough money in the pot to do a lot of the things that they want to do and it’s just about you know spend the absolute minimum amount of money that you can to keep the lights on and keep shipping product and keep paying commission and you know keep your field from revolting and make everything else about how to get them to sell and recruit more. And there are just a lot more elements to running a sophisticated modern business these days. And and I think that you know the companies that are making those kinds of investments and aren’t afraid to spend the few bucks on more automation and better technology and really understanding who their field is and why they want the things they want and who wants what versus the others. So we can more effectively communicate with them and more effectively help them communicate with their customers are seeing that payback in spades.
Kris: Yeah I think it’s interesting too. The other thing that the other roadblock that I I see and hear about is that direct selling companies use the positioning that we’re not a technology company we’re a relationship company and I hate to break it to you. You’re both. And so one of the things that we’ve been doing at CAbi is trying to make sure that the technology never interferes with the relationship but always supports the relationship. And I think that’s important.
Michel Bayan: Awesome. I love it. Kris thank you so much.
Kris: Well thank you I appreciate being here. It’s been a joy to sit here and chat with you. So looking forward to the next.
Michel Bayan is the CEO and Co-Founder of DirecTech Labs, a behavioral science and AI company partnering exclusively with direct selling companies. Known as a futurist within the DS space, Michel has been working with DS companies around the world since 2011.
Learn more at www.directechlabs.com