We all know that dedicated, internal reps play a key role in the success of your brand. They’re out in the field communicating with retailers and driving growth. Over the years, we’ve noticed that more and more brands are working with independent reps.
For many small to medium size brands, outsourcing to independent reps is a smart business decision. It’s financially easier to spin up a team of independent reps, and allows brands to access a broader talent pool with no geographic limitations.
As more and more brands gravitate towards hiring reps outside of their organization, it becomes important to consider how to best attract the right talent, and how to avoid losing them once they’re on your team.
It’s simple. Make it easy to work with your brand, understand the challenges reps face, provide them with the tools they need to be successful, and empower them to change.
Making It Easy
To attract star reps and keep them around, your brand needs to be easy to work with. You can do this by providing reps with a strong B2B platform that is easy to use and gives reps all the tools they need to be successful. Reliability is key, along with the ability for reps to easily collaborate with retailers and encourage better, smarter buys.
The Challenges Reps Face
What holds a rep back from being able to succeed? How do their current technologies help or hinder them? What are their biggest pain points?
Every year we reach out to reps across the world to conduct a survey about the challenges they face. It helps us in planning out what features to add to our software, and it helps brands like you understand what kinds of tools and technologies you need to deploy in order to empower your rep team.
The Tools For Success
Make sure your reps have access to a B2B platform that has standardized, self-service tools for retailers. By ensuring that retailers have access to digital catalogs, assortments, merchandising, real-time inventory, education, invoicing, and more, reps will have the power to easily support those retailers by pointing them in the right direction anytime they need help.
When all of those tools are consolidated in one place with standardized workflows across all accounts, reps aren’t hopping from system to system and worrying about extensive back-and-forth phone calls or emails to support their retailers. They can get the job done, and delight their retailers with clear solutions.
The Power To Change
Reps also need the power to customize content inside your B2B. Every retailer is different, with different needs – from regional pricing to account specific needs, like knowing which retailers prefer digital experiences over PDFs. Customization of digital catalogs and related experiences, and being able to deliver it to individual retailers in the preferred format is critical. That customization should include automatic segmentation so retailers are seeing the correct pricing and availability for their store.
Our newest feature, Digital Press, gives reps incredible flexibility to control what content their retailers can access, and the tools to view it right on the web or export it in a multitude of preferred formats.
Trusting reps to customize pre-made content also means you can operate your B2B as a single source of truth. Any changes or updates you make get pushed out to every single one of your independent reps, and you’re in control of the story.
Giving reps the power to customize and target content – instead of keeping it locked down – is the key to making your brand easy to work with, and gives reps the best chance of success.
Power To The People
Understanding what it takes to attract and provide for your reps is important. But, the most effective tool your brand has in your wholesale B2B toolkit is your people. Empowering them to succeed is essential, and doing anything less will lead to inevitable churn. As more and more brands start building out independent rep teams, it’s important to always keep this idea front and center: Is my brand the easiest to work with by providing the best tools based on the challenges my team faces out in the field?