Sales reps can be the glue that connects a brand to their local retailers. They can serve as the friendly face of a brand, while also promoting key sales and marketing initiatives at the local level. Sales reps are an essential part of educating retailers about a brand’s products, informing them about what’s going on internally at the company, and helping them with marketing initiatives.
We all agree, sales reps are important, but many brands struggle to engage, motivate, and efficiently communicate with their reps. This disconnect can have enormous consequences for your brand: Retailers may become less likely to purchase and sell more product, ultimately decreasing local sales, awareness, and ROI on co-op initiatives.
But it doesn’t have to be hard!
Follow these three steps to make sales reps your most reliable allies:
Provide the right level of hands-on product and digital marketing training, education, and resources (that reps can then transfer on to retailers in-store!). Sales reps need to know the ins and outs of your products, incentives and brand mission better than anyone. By providing sales reps with access to marketing materials, they can analyze retailer engagement with brand campaigns and can look into their own regions and retailers to help increase engagement.
Reps should be emphasizing the current campaigns your brand has going on and highlighting these campaigns during their visits with retailers. Attend a sales meeting and walk through the marketing initiatives you have going on that they need to know about and communicate why they are important, to the reps AND the retailers. Your retailers trust the sales reps they work with. If the rep can explain the importance of a new campaign or digital marketing tactic, and how that ties to a retailer’s business goals, the retailer adoption rate will be much higher than solely through brand email communication.
Involve your reps and provide them with the tools and resources they need to succeed. Build and maintain a strong relationship with your sales reps that unifies your brand message and drives other sales and marketing initiatives out to local retailers through creating involved and educated reps.
Start by listening to your reps and the insight they can provide about your retailers. Sales reps can be a great source of information based on their in-person interactions with the retailers. Encourage them to share information about what content retailers ask for, which campaigns retailers participated in that saw in-store sales and much more.
You should be asking for their feedback. “What are you hearing from the retailers about this campaign? Do they like this, do they not? What other things do they request that we’re not currently providing?” This information can be incredibly helpful when creating a content plan for the future.
Sales reps are ambitious people, so speak their language! Find out what will empower them to take action, optimize their retail strategies, and sell more product. Brands who have involved their reps through competitions see high levels of engagement. Set up a contest between reps for the highest engagement rate with digital marketing campaigns. Whichever rep gets the most retailers to engage with that brand’s content by a specific date, wins a gift card.
A sales rep’s goals are to sell more product, increase product orders, educate retailers on the products and be a liaison between the brand and retailer. Cater to their goals and find out how you can work together to achieve those shared goals.
Promoboxx has a sales rep specific dashboard that enables sales reps to see the campaigns a brand is currently running, any local advertising opportunities, and which retailers are participating in campaigns. This data can make a sales rep feel empowered and educated, and they can enter a retail location with a clear understanding of what offers the retailer has taken advantage of and which campaigns they’ve shared on their digital channels.