Sales reps are the crucial link between brands and their local retail partners, providing a direct in-person connection while affirming key sales and marketing initiatives.
To gain further insights into this invaluable top-down relationship, we sat down with two experts of the field: Matt Baum, North Region Key Account Manager – Running at Mizuno USA, and Peter Pawlus, Founder of REPatron.
Here are five key takeaways (and success strategies) from our discussion:
1. Sales reps can teach retailers by setting an example.
There are still many retailers who don’t utilize digital, both in their methods of operation and as part of their overall marketing strategy. Granted, more and more retailers are becoming digitally savvy, but those who aren’t getting on board will fall behind.
From what Matt and Peter tell us, though, there are just as many sales reps that are behind, too, when it comes to digital. In order for retailers to begin taking the necessary steps toward digital understanding and success, it’s important that their sales reps begin setting an example in their own business practices.
From there, they can begin to have valuable discussions with their retailers about the value of applying digital to their marketing strategy in order to sell more products.
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2. Retailers are in need of turnkey brand solutions.
Matt and Peter really hit home the fact that if you aren’t regularly interacting with retailers, it can be difficult to understand just how time and resource-strapped they really are.
Because of this, they really hit home the notion that retailers are in need of turnkey solutions. If brands want retailers to promote their products and campaigns (and tell the right story), they better make it as easy as possible for them. Otherwise, it just won’t happen.
3. Retailers and their staff need in-store, hands-on product training.
Many times before a consumer even walks into the store, they have done their research online, are already well-informed about the product offerings, and may even have a firm decision in mind. While this can be frustrating for the retailer, it provides them with a challenge to raise the bar in terms of their overall product knowledge.
To help retailers combat this, Matt and Peter talked about how sales reps need to work with brands to offer retailers and their staff in-store, hands-on product training sessions. It will alleviate any questions they may have and ensure that they remain well-informed about the products.
It also provides tactile experience with the products, giving them a personal edge over e-commerce sites and product datasheets.
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4. Reps need to tie sales and product conversations to brand marketing initiatives.
When a sales rep walks into a retailer’s store, it’s now about so much more than just requesting product orders and talking about upcoming product launches. It is an opportunity to speak with the retailers about the activities and initiatives that their brands have lined up to help them sell more of these products.
By aligning the retailer and their strategy with the brand’s marketing plans and calendar, it will allow for a more holistic approach to meeting everyone’s goals while also allowing more time to do things like coordinate promotions with stock and inventory.
5. It all comes down to supporting each other.
Everything from our discussion with Matt and Peter ties into this larger point. If you do what you can to support your retailers and their goals, they will support you and your goals right back. Goodwill goes a long way.
Retailers want to know that they are partners in your mission. Treat them with respect, and offer them helpful ways to sell more products. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Looking to Create Top-Down Brand Alignment with Your Sales Rep Team?
While many brand and sales rep teams work outside of each other in a disconnected way, Promoboxx creates connection and alignment from the brand to the reps all the way down to the local retailers.
With Promoboxx, sales reps are given access to individual reporting accounts that:
- Allow them to see how their retailers are performing
- Provide them with the ability to invite new accounts
- Keep retailer contact information updated