Back in 2019, we contacted a large group of specialty retailers seeking to learn more about how much value they place on their rep relationships. You may have heard the occasional rumblings that sales reps are decreasing in relevance. But, we talk to retailers all the time, and our gut told us that was wrong. Turns out, retailers unequivocally expressed that reps have a huge impact on a store’s success, in every area we measured.
The world has turned since then. COVID-19 unexpectedly forced changes in how we were able to conduct business. In-person was out, and virtual experiences and digital showrooms were in demand. The value of a sales reps impact was actually put to the test. And now, having largely returned to doing business in-person, where does the rep stand? Is that relationship between the rep and retailer still as critically important? Is success symbiotic?
So we decided to find out. Running with the same set of questions, we talked with retailers about their relationships with sales reps, what role they play in success, and the value they bring to businesses. What we learned was no surprise - reps still matter. A lot.
We found that retailers highly prize in-store visits and product education. Retailers really want valuable, face-to-face interactions. They want the human touch in their brand relationships.
Reps are the connective tissue – connecting your brand to your retailer and moving the relationship from a transactional experience into a real human connection. They bring valuable education to your retailers, help craft mutually successful seasons, and grow your orders.
On a scale of 1 to 10, retailers ranked a reps impact on success at a 9. That’s huge.