The following is an excerpt from our Empower Your Sales Reps With Modern Tools And Strategies guide. You can download the entire guide here.
“The best thing for our store is a rep who communicates with us regularly, both through email and phone calls, but also in person. This helps all the staff put a face to the brand and keeps the brand at the forefront of all of our minds. Every brand that we sell makes great products, so good brand support can make all the difference in helping us understand and love it even more.”
Sales reps are an essential contributor to your brand finding success at retail. For many retailers, reps have the unique power to unlock a successful season by providing critical support.
But what exactly should reps be doing to service their accounts effectively? There are three ways a rep can positively impact a retailer’s season.
Educate Them On Product
Consumers are swinging through their local specialty retail shop, looking to find the perfect pair of skis for the winter or trying to get shoes fitted to hit their personal record in the local 10k, and they need to talk with an expert on the floor. But just how do those floor associates become product experts? From the education the brand rep delivers, both in person during clinics and through your brand’s B2B platform.
80% of retailers said they need their reps’ assistance to learn about a brand’s products in order to better sell them. Click here to check out the research. Assistance learning about the product is #1 on the list of things retailers rely on sales rep for. Without the rep taking some time to train the floor staff, the likelihood of that product getting recommended to a customer is low.
Specialty retail thrives by offering a more dynamic and personal experience than consumers can get from shopping online. There needs to be a reason for a consumer to choose an in-store experience over convenience. The educational value a sales rep brings to the floor staff, which then gets passed on to the consumer, is that reason.
“We are our own strong brand. To be in our store-fronts means we believe in the quality, functionality, and reliability of the product. Our customers know to expect this from what we sell.”
Provide Assortment & Merchandising Advice
Retailers need to know how to sell a product, but before that, they need to know it will sell in the first place. All of the product education in the world won’t help sell a snowsuit in LA. OK, maybe that’s a bit drastic, but knowing what’s going to sell in their store is incredibly important.
Having a sales rep that brings know-how on what products are selling well for similar stores in similar geographies is like having a cheat code. Assuming the brand is arming reps with the right tools, they should have access to crucial data that shows what is selling well at similar retailers with similar consumers.
Take it one step further with Envoy B2B + Locally consumer demand intelligence, and provide even deeper insights into what’s selling around your retail partners. Reps can see trending products that are in high demand in each store, then use that to build targeted assortments for smarter buys. This will enable retailers to align local availability with local demand, and stay on-trend with what’s hot during the season.
In addition to knowing what will sell best, retailers also appreciate knowing the best way to merchandise the products. A rep that has tools to digitally and visually merchandise an order is armed to support stores as they build best fit orders for the season.
Assist With Orders
Even when a rep has positioned a well thought out assortment to their retailer, it can still be taken a step further. For retailers, evaluating what to buy and how much, all while planning within their budget, can take days or even weeks. It’s a lot to plan for, but a good rep can make the job easier by going as far as suggesting an order, fully complete with quantities.
“My best reps know my business, they’re not just order takers.”
The rep should have the knowledge of not only what products will sell in any given store, but also what quantities that particular store should expect to move. This can be based on past season performance, or if it’s a new account, what similar stores sold.
Using Envoy B2B + Locally, reps can see an account’s on-hand inventory in real time, and immediately respond to low inventory needs with proactive replenishment recommendations. This is a great way for a rep to increase sell-through, and eliminate out-of-stock issues.
Of course, the buyer should be able to have final say and edit the order, but reps that go as far as delivering a complete order to their retailers are bringing added value to the table.
Download And Power Up Your Reps
Looking for more? Download the complete guide and learn how to empower your reps so they can stay connected to their retailers and grow your season.