Power Reps Deliver for the Market

As the foodservice market continues to evolve, rep groups and manufacturers are seeking new ways to better support channel partners and end users. We’ve asked Dr. Revenue – nationally-known sales and marketing consultant John Haskell – to share his thoughts on potential best-practice considerations. Following is the final chapter in our four-part series, concluding with benefits enjoyed by manufacturers from these relationships.

Big bucks to the bottom line.

Some manufacturers are investing 2-5% of sales in field sales management needlessly when they have large powerful Rep groups working for them.  The commission dollars they have available to spend are more than sufficient to guarantee that the Rep firm runs its sales force professionally and that the Rep firm supports the sales force with sophisticated high visibility CRM programs and services.

Rep firms with sophisticated, high visibility CRM programs actually create substantial funds for release to the manufacturer for reinvestment in sales, support and marketing.

Power Rep firms have to have their organizations managing all sales and marketing programs well.  This results in very substantial funds released for the manufacturer to spend on support for the sales team and a much more involved marketing and sales program.  This shift benefits both the manufacturer and the sales personnel.

Technological advantages:

Power Rep Groups have technologies and systems that track all projects, from conversation to quote to negotiating to order.  They track, know and document when they win and when they lose.  Power Reps share this information with their manufacturers, giving them knowledge of wins and why they won but more importantly when they lost and why they lost. 

Manufacturers then have the ability to tweak price, product, features, options etc.  For similar opportunities that follow they WIN!

Reps larger than manufacturers.

In industries like Foodservice the Brokers are often more sizeable than the manufacturers. The Brokers and many rep firms in other industries know what has to be done to manage and succeed in a substantial territory with substantial lines.

Realistic word of caution:

Big Rep firms can’t successfully pioneer lines.  The big rep firm may think they are good at everything. They aren’t.  The big rep firm is very good at day by day selling and strategic planning on behalf of their significant lines.

The bottom line:

Sales happen when a manufacturer recognizes that they cannot afford small, amateur sales representation. The Representatives must be as big, if not bigger than the manufacturer. The commission that the manufacturer pays must represent a significant percentage of the Rep’s income.   A Rep of size must take on only lines that are substantial and which provide significant increases in income.

Good luck and good selling!

About Dr. Revenue

John Haskell, Dr. Revenue® is a professional speaker and marketing/sales consultant with more than 40 years of experience working with companies utilizing manufacturers’ reps and helping rep firms.  He has created the Principal Relations X-Ray, spoken to hundreds of rep associations and groups, including many programs for MANA and MAFSI.  He is also a regular contributor to Agency Sales and other trade magazines.  For more information see www.drrevenue.com or contact John at drrevenue@drrevenue.com.

Read the full series:

Part 1: Rep Alignment

Part 2: Real Differentiation

Part 3: Strong Bonds