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Interview with Jennifer Turnage: CEO of myBeeHyve

Interview with Jennifer Turnage: CEO of myBeeHyve

Two tech executives, partners Jennifer Turnage, CEO, and Megan Sumrell, COO, have teamed up to develop myBeeHyve, the first mobile-friendly and web-based customer contact management system targeting network marketing professionals. Seizing an unmet opportunity for 20 million users in the US and more than 103 million people globally, the app offers a contact management system unlike any other.

Having had a successful career in the tech industry, what inspired you to jump into network marketing and develop myBeeHyve?

I had climbed the corporate ladder, was earning an excellent salary and appeared successful to others. But, my career in technology left me dreaming of a better, less stressful lifestyle. I faced the same challenges as most working women today: trying to balance motherhood, family and personal needs with the demands of a professional career. So, I followed a colleague who had enthusiastically left her similar career path to begin a network marketing business. She was killing it! That colleague was Megan Sumrell, who is now my partner in myBeeHyve.

What drove you to start this business?

As Megan and I learned the network marketing business model, we were shocked by the lack of efficiency tools for individual business owners. We kept asking the same question over and over: How do I manage my prospect and customer lists? The answers, frankly, seemed dated: index cards, notebooks and planners… Really, all paper options? So we decided to put our tech knowledge to work and built myBeeHyve.

How does myBeeHyve meet a need that isn’t otherwise met in the network marketing industry?

Most network marketers will tell you that among their greatest challenges is managing their list, keeping on top of their contacts and doing it all in a timely manner that delivers measurable efficiency. There just isn’t as robust a CRM system available for this industry. There are to-do lists, and there’s Salesforce… but what’s in the middle that doesn’t require programming? Many network marketing companies do provide systems for placing and tracking orders, payment processing and order fulfillment, but they offer little or no support for sales-focused contact management or customer relationship management (CRM).

So, myBeeHyve blends your tech career with your network marketing career.

Yes! Seeing this opportunity reassured Megan and me that we absolutely made the right decision to leave corporate life and fully embrace entrepreneurship ourselves. Our experience helped us develop myBeeHyve as a simple mobile-enabled website that is intuitive. It works as a virtual assistant helping network marketers manage their daily task scheduling whether they work on a laptop, tablet or phone. It provides automated reminders, helps measure goal tracking, provides message templates and offers a searchable database so emails, follow ups and the like are all personalized and customized. Our users find it’s so easy to use that they don’t even need training. Many tell us it increased their productivity on their first day of use! That has been so gratifying.

Describe myBeeHyve’s typical customer.

Well, we know that a growing number of network marketing consultants have left careers in corporate sales, where they relied on CRM tools such as Salesforce.com or Act!. For them, myBeeHyve intuitively fills the workflow tool gap. But an equally large percentage of those with network careers have little to no experience with technology and struggle to use traditional databases – so they love how simple this tool is that works as well on a PC as it does on a smartphone. We designed myBeeHyve to meet the needs of both extremes. 

What’s next?

I’m glad you asked! We built a user community with the intention of making updates to myBeeHyve informed by customer feedback and needs. What we discovered is that many women in this industry felt overwhelmed by the thought of running a business and selecting and implementing tools and technology for their business.

We found ourselves offering additional insights and tips to our user community, sharing resources we found helpful, and encouraging our customers to overcome their fears. We started hosting private training events and came to realize that we had a unique and trusted voice in the network marketing world, so we decided to publish a book full of our insights and advice.

A book — about setting up a network marketing business?

There are great books already available about growing a network marketing business. But, these books don’t really cover technology. Our book is unique, in that we focus on helping women gain confidence about using technology in network marketing, or any home-based business. “Honey, You Got This” (was/will be) published (in January) with ten categories of best practices to apply easy-to-use, inexpensive technology to save time in your growing network marketing business.

For example, we offer best-practices for setting up a home or mobile office, managing your list of contacts, controlling email, understanding and leveraging social media platforms, using apps to manage in-person and virtual events, getting control of finances and knowing your numbers.

It’s less than 100 pages, so it’s like an easy reference manual that we hope proves as valuable to home-based business people as myBeeHyve has been for customer relationship management.

What drives you to be so enterprising?

myBeeHyve is this third company I founded, so I’ve gained a lot of confidence about entrepreneurship over the years. Megan and I were both ready to jump off the corporate ladder, trust our gut and believed that entrepreneurship would help us achieve our dreams of independence and security. Starting a business is a leap of faith, and I’m blessed to have a strong business partner and supportive family by my side.

Given our success and our backgrounds, we found a shared commitment to making technology easy to use, and particularly easy for network marketers. We are compelled to empower other women to achieve financial independence through entrepreneurship. Ultimately, this is the larger corporate vision for myBeeHyve.

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