2017 Best Places to Work in Direct Selling

by Courtney Roush

4 Signs
4 Signs

Click here to order the April 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


“Most people think trust is earned. Here, trust is granted. We wouldn’t have hired you if we didn’t trust you.”

These very words are spoken by Xyngular CEO Russ Fletcher to new hires during the company’s new employee orientation sessions, presented by the four members of its executive team. At Xyngular, one of this year’s Best Places to Work in Direct Selling (see special award supplement included with issue), that statement sets the tone for what’s to come: a culture and a host of perks and benefits that convey an implicit message of trust, a key component of employee engagement. So what kind of impact does it have when an executive not only takes the time to personally welcome a new employee, but also makes a declaration of trust right out of the gate? For starters, a 97.7 percent employee retention rate.

Employee engagement: It’s both a simple concept and a complex dynamic. On the surface, employee engagement refers to satisfaction and happiness, but it is so much more than that. It’s a science that puts hard data around “soft” variables like emotional investment and intent to stay. Examine any high-growth company, and you can count on finding employees who believe their opinions are heard, who know specifically how their jobs contribute to the company’s objectives, who have access to professional development opportunities, and who feel valued by leadership. All too often, a company first learns of an employee’s disengagement with a resignation letter. Earlier intervention through better onboarding, mentoring, professional and personal development, recognition and occasional, but regular, touchpoints with senior leadership could have made a difference.

Engagement is a critical topic because, according to our third-party vendor and research partner Quantum Workplace, which conducted surveys and compiled findings for the 2017 Best Places to Work in Direct Selling contest, those perceptions are directly tied to a company’s bottom line.

For more than 10 years, Quantum Workplace has been conducting in-depth surveys with organizations throughout the world. Along the way, a consistent theme has emerged from their findings: Companies with higher employee engagement see better retention, better productivity, better profits. Based on that knowledge, Quantum, through its in-depth research, has revealed some of the primary drivers of engagement, along with factors that can diminish it.

When we speak of employee engagement within direct selling companies, the contributors and detractors really don’t differ from the business world at large. However, it’s important to note the effect of employee engagement on our ultimate customer: the independent salesforce members we serve. It stands to reason that happier employees mean a happier independent salesforce.

The continued growth of the direct selling channel has created an exciting climate in which talented candidates have …

Click here to read the rest of the article at Direct Selling News.

 

 

Forces Under 40 2017

by DSN Staff

Click here to order the March 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


DSN is thrilled to showcase the most outstanding young professionals working in direct selling companies today. These honorees represent all aspects of the business—from technology and marketing to finance and field services—and represent the fine talent of tomorrow. We know it is imperative to nurture and encourage the young leaders in our channel in order to secure the brightest future possible for all.

These dynamic young leaders are broadening the scope of the companies they work for as well as our entire channel of distribution. Based upon the enthusiastic nominations of the honorees presented here, the future is bright indeed. The program was open to all full-time professionals working in active direct selling companies who turned 40 years old on or after Jan. 1, 2017. The honorees are presented in alphabetical order with each profile including the thoughts and words of the honoree’s respective company.

We also want to thank our generous sponsors, Avalara and Fossil.


PROFILES:

…. Continue to the Honoree’s profiles.

 

 

DSN Announces the 2017 Best Places to Work in Direct Selling

Building on the positive results from its inaugural year, Direct Selling News has partnered once again with the employee engagement experts at Quantum Workplace to identify the Best Places to Work in Direct Selling. The contest was open to all direct selling companies headquartered in North America and having at least 50 employees.

The 2017 honorees for the Best Places to Work in Direct Selling are listed below in alphabetical order. All of these companies are equal honorees and are recognized collectively as the Best Places to Work within the direct selling channel.

Click here to view the honorees.

 

Isagenix Mobilizes Members for Good with Global Give Back Day

Photo: At Isagenix’s Arizona headquarters, volunteers gather for Global Give Back Day.


Isagenix International recently held its first-ever Global Give Back Day, led by the company’s START group of young entrepreneurs.

Ahead of the event, which took place May 7, Isagenix challenged its employees and Associates to focus on giving back in their communities for the day. Volunteers could find a local project through a designated events page or collaborate with others on the START Facebook page to organize their own.

In all, the health and wellness company said that its START members—Associates ages 18-35—led humanitarian projects in nine countries across the Americas and Asia, where Isagenix operates.

“I had goosebumps all day as I realized what was happening,” said Erik Coover, Isagenix Senior Vice President of Global Field Development. “There’s nothing more powerful than a movement that’s rooted in contribution. That’s why the START movement and Isagenix are so powerful.”

The largest initiative took place at the company’s new world headquarters in Gilbert, Arizona, where more than 100 employees and customers gathered. The group donated blood, collected 450 pounds of food, and created 300 activity packets for patients at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, among other projects.

Isagenix Makes Room for Growth with New World Headquarters

Isagenix International on Monday cut the ribbon at its new 150,000-square-foot world headquarters in Gilbert, Arizona.

Company co-founders Jim and Kathy Coover, as well as Gilbert Mayor John Lewis and other local dignitaries, were on hand to celebrate the opening of the new facility. The three-story headquarters initially will house more than 500 employees, with room to accommodate hundreds more.

“We are extremely excited about our new global headquarters,” Jim Coover, CEO, said in a statement. “Gilbert is a wonderful, thriving community within the greater Phoenix area and is a great location for us to further our mission to transform the lives of people around the world.”

Now approaching 15 years in business, Isagenix is a maker of health and wellness products addressing weight-loss, energy, fitness and skincare needs. Among its newest offerings is a line of fair-trade coffee, which the company rolled out in August 2015 at its annual salesforce event.

Isagenix relocated its headquarters from nearby Chandler, Arizona, where employees were dispersed among three separate locations as a result of rapid growth. The business generated revenue of $725 million in 2014, earning the No. 27 rank on the DSN Global 100, a list of the top direct selling companies in the world. Management reports that 2015 revenue was up 20 percent to nearly $900 million.

The company’s new state-of-the-art headquarters reflects a commitment to employee wellness, with an abundance of natural light and an onsite cafeteria stocked with healthy food options. The facility is part of a bigger mixed-use development that includes a fitness center, eateries and shops alongside office spaces. Isagenix also has outfitted its headquarters with a 300-seat auditorium, interactive lobby museum and various laboratories dedicated to product development.

January Events Boost Philanthropy at AdvoCare, Isagenix

Both AdvoCare International LP and Isagenix International leveraged corporate events in January to raise $100,000 in support of select charitable partners.

Salesforce training events and company-wide conventions are a regular occurrence among direct selling companies, and these gatherings—sometimes attracting crowds in the tens of thousands—often include a philanthropic focus. At AdvoCare’s recent series of AdvoNation training events, that focus was feeding children, which the company did in partnership with food banks across the U.S. Isagenix’s 2016 New Year Kick Off in Dallas spotlighted Make-A-Wish International, an organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

At each stop on its 10-city AdvoNation tour, AdvoCare made a $10,000 donation to a local food bank, a practice the company initiated three years ago. Texas-based AdvoCare selected recipients from the 200 food banks affiliated with Feeding America, a network that feeds more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs across the country. The funds were designated to Kids Café and Back Pack programs that support childhood nutrition. Over the past three years, the health and wellness company has donated more than $600,000 to local food banks.

“Proper nutrition is crucial to a child’s health, academic achievement and overall development,” AdvoCare’s Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Allison Levy, said in a statement. “We believe no child should ever be left hungry, and AdvoCare is committed to providing the resources and nourishment they need to build the best versions of themselves.”

Arizona-based Isagenix has contributed more than $4.3 million to Make-A-Wish in four years of partnership. Last year’s fundraising marked a new high, with company Associates and employees donating $1.8 million to the nonprofit. During an annual three-day conference held last week by Isagenix, attendees donated nearly $100,000 to the cause. In addition to soliciting donations the company offered reserved seating at the event, with all proceeds benefiting Make-A-Wish. The initiative raised more than $26,000.

“Every day we strive to positively impact our community and give back. Supporting children’s charities is one meaningful way we do so,” Kathy Coover, Isagenix Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, said in a statement. “Our team values serving others and finds real happiness in helping make a difference in the lives of children and their families.”

The Future of Direct Selling in the U.S.

by Andrea Tortora

Click here to order the October 2015 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Direct selling in the United States is undergoing a transformation fueled by innovative approaches rooted in classic business practices. The power generators leading the way for direct selling as a channel of distribution can be found in what Direct Selling News has identified as the upper middle market: those companies with annual sales roughly between $300 million and $1 billion.

Because most direct selling companies are privately held and many decline to disclose their financial results, it is difficult to create a definitive list. Our research honed in on a group of more than 30 U.S.-based companies, most of which are experiencing significant growth. Some of them are on the cusp of reaching $300 million, and some likely have recently passed the $1 billion mark. But together they are critical to direct selling’s competitiveness and future. They tend to be among the fastest growing when it comes to revenue, and they account for a large slice of the job creation pie.

An in-depth analysis of this group reveals a high level of consistency when it comes to executing on key common strengths. The ability of these companies to focus in on products, customers, serving their salesforce and creating a culture that reinforces a sense of family put them on track to shape the future of direct selling in the U.S.

Companies emphasize each area in different ways, but in general these leaders:

  • Harness data. The upper middle market knows how to mine the data it has to gain insights that lead to more and better sales. Executives train leaders and consultants to use data to open doors that might otherwise remain closed.
  • Stay true to classic business practices. Technology and social media do not replace person-to-person interactions, they complement them. Upper mid-market firms build relationships with customers that maintain the consultant-client affiliation but also allow the customer to have a connection with the company itself.
  • Use compensation plans that span all levels of engagement. To cultivate trust and long-term relationships, comp plans are created to appeal to new customers, product enthusiasts, fierce advocates and influencers—all the way up to the entrepreneur who is all in. Payments also follow a more modern schedule.
  • Foster an entrepreneurial spirit. Consultants are allowed and encouraged to go far with personal marketing (think YouTube videos) while maintaining brand identity. Companies deliver superior and frequent training and messaging to make this happen.
  • Maintain a laser-focus on selling. The sale of a product, a group experience or an opportunity all lead to more sales, which generate positive results.

No matter the specific approach, one thing all upper middle market companies excel at is …

Click here to read the full article at Direct Selling News.

 

 

Isagenix Raises $3M in 3 Years for Make-A-Wish

Photo: San Diego Make-A-Wish child Tanika Hahn and her family celebrate her wish reveal at Isagenix’s Celebration 2015.


During its Celebration 2015 salesforce convention this week, Isagenix International continued its annual tradition of raising funds for charitable partner Make-A-Wish. Associates and employees attending the San Diego event pledged more than $565,000 to grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Arizona-based Isagenix has been supporting children’s charities for the past 11 years, to the tune of $6.2 million. Since partnering with Make-A-Wish in 2012, the health and wellness company has donated more than $3 million to the charity, helping to grant more than 425 wishes. In 2013, Isagenix received Make-A-Wish America’s prestigious Cause Champion Award for its outstanding contributions.

At this year’s Celebration, the crowd of 15,000 witnessed firsthand a wish come true for Tanika Hahn, a 10-year-old battling leukemia. Isagenix and Make-A-Wish staged a wish reveal for the young girl, who requested a backyard makeover complete with a zipline, stage, foam pit, and other play areas to help her stay active while undergoing treatments.

2015 DSN North America 50 List


The DSN North America 50DSN Announces the 2015 North America 50!

This marks the sixth year for the Global 100 list of top direct selling companies in the world, and we would not be Direct Selling News if we did not continually strive to raise the bar.

That is why we are pleased to share with you a new component of the project this year: The North America 50. As a subset of the Global 100, this list draws attention to the most significant players in one of the world’s largest direct selling markets.

As DSN embarks on the annual research for the Global 100, we continue to refine the process as we identify the largest companies and acknowledge their achievements while bringing attention to the magnitude of the direct selling industry as a whole. Within that context, the impact that North American companies have on the global marketplace as well as on those that buy and sell through this channel cannot be overstated.

The following contains the North America 50 ranking for the 2015 DSN Global 100 (based on 2014 revenues). Both lists will be published in the June issue of Direct Selling News.


2015 Rank

Company Name

2014 Revenue

1 Amway $10.80B
2 Avon $8.9B
3 Herbalife $5.0B
4 Mary Kay $4.0B
5 Tupperware $2.60B
6 Nu Skin $2.57B
7 Ambit Energy $1.50B
8 Primerica $1.34B
9 Stream Energy $918M
10 Shaklee $844M

Click here to see the rest of the DSN North America 50 List.

Who Will Summit Next?: Reaching $1 Billion

by J.M. Emmert

“Life’s a bit like mountaineering,” said Sir Edmund Hillary. “Never look down.”

It’s what direct sellers do, too—never look down. The direct selling industry is an industry comprising people who seek to achieve things never thought possible, scaling new heights, whether reaching inside oneself to achieve personal goals or driving a company toward what is considered the Mount Everest in direct selling, the $1 billion summit.

But like Hillary, only a few direct selling companies have managed to reach that elite status. In the 159-year history of direct selling in the United States, Avon was the first to achieve the feat in 1972. Amway followed in 1980. In 1996, Mary Kay Inc. and Tupperware both reached $1 billion. In 2004, Nu Skin and Herbalife joined the group. But another nine years passed before the next company, Ambit Energy, reached $1 billion in sales. Many companies are turned back in their efforts to reach that summit. But why? What makes it so difficult?

The simple answer is that growing a company to such an extraordinary level brings with it new challenges, and, like experienced climbers, extraordinary companies know to stop when the footing gets treacherous, even if the summit is close. Because it is an industry focused on people, direct selling companies understand that the welfare of the entire team is more important than putting up numbers. One tragic misstep and the whole team could come tumbling down.

Orville Thompson, CEO of Scentsy and a former chairman of the U.S. Direct Selling Association, once analogized direct selling and the quest to reach $1 billion to scaling Borah Peak in Idaho. At 12,668 feet, Borah Peak, or Mount Borah, is the highest mountain in the state and among the 100 highest summits in the Rocky Mountains. The most popular route to the top of Borah Peak follows the southwest ridge, ascending 5,262 vertical feet from the trailhead in a little more than 3.5 miles. Just prior to reaching the top, climbers encounter Chicken Out Ridge, a thin ridge of rock with steep slopes so intimidating that many abort their summit attempt.

For those chasing after the $1 billion summit in direct selling, the biggest challenge, says Thompson, is simply finding the right path to follow, those “smooth areas worn down by countless others who have blazed trails.” When they reach that direct selling version of Chicken Out Ridge, they must “challenge their skills and test their fears” in the face of new obstacles.

Despite the risks, more companies than ever appear to be chasing the summit. Direct Selling News research has identified 13 U.S. companies with net sales at or approaching the $500 million to $1 billion range and experiencing strong growth. Having as many companies on their way to the $1 billion summit as there are currently at the peak is a testament to the strength of the channel. Here is a closer look at the contenders:

On the Summit Push

ACN
In 2011 ACN posted $550 million in sales, down from the previous year’s $553 million. However, the company came back strong the past two years, achieving $582 million in 2012—a 5.8 percent increase—and $700 million in 2013—a 20.2 percent increase. This June, the telecommunications and essential services company launched in Mexico, the seventh-largest direct selling country and the company’s 24th market.

Stream Energy/Ignite
Stream Energy/Ignite has been camped near the billion-dollar summit for the past four years, breaking the $900 million ceiling in 2010. After two years of down sales, the company came back strong in 2013 with $27 million over the previous year—a 3.2 percent increase—putting it at $867 million. The company has seen continued growth, particularly in Hispanic markets, and has significant expectations for company growth across the board in 2014 and beyond as it diversifies its service offerings, allowing it to sell nationwide.

Thirty-One Gifts
Of the 13 companies, only Thirty-One Gifts uses the party plan method of selling, joining Mary Kay and Tupperware as the only companies in the Top 17 of the Global 100 ranking that employ this sales approach. What makes that especially interesting is that, according to the U.S. Direct Selling Association, the party plan method of selling has decreased 4 percent in each of the past two years, going from a high of 31 percent in 2011 to just 23 percent in 2013. The person-to-person method, on the other hand, accounted for two-thirds of sales in 2013, according to the DSA.

Thirty-One also has made one of the fastest ascents in recent years. The company posted sales of $100 million in 2010 and then climbed to $482 million in 2011, a 382 percent increase. Sales continued to rise in 2012—a 48.9 percent increase to $718 million. In 2013, Thirty-One achieved a 6.2 percent increase, ending the year at $763 million. Its four-year growth rate: 663 percent.

USANA
USANA, which surpassed $100 million in its first six years, has been the steadiest climber in the group over the past few years. It has maintained an average of $67 million in sales growth annually for the past three years—ranging from a 10.6 percent to 12.5 percent increase—to bring it to $718 million. The company reported $182.4 million in sales for the first quarter of 2014, a 7.9 percent increase over the prior year; second quarter results saw a 0.4 percent decrease, with $188.3 million compared to $189.1 million in 2013; and the third quarter saw record sales of $191.9 million, a 10.5 percent increase over the prior-year period of $173.7 million. For the first half of 2014, USANA generated sales and customer growth in nearly every market in which it operates. Strong growth was seen particularly in Mainland China, the Philippines, Singapore and Mexico.

Expectations are that the wellness industry in particular will continue to thrive in the coming years. In a Sept. 29 article on the health and wellness industry’s global performance, Euromonitor International reported that the United States was leading all countries in 2014 with more than $160 billion in sales. The global industry is expected to reach $1 trillion by … Click here to read the rest of the story