As a Sales Manager, the best tool you can give your reps to succeed when selling on the road is information. When planning their account visits or determining their sales road map, it’s often hard to recall and organize the details of each retailer. This often leads to relying on your customer service team to assist them with each and every sales call.
Also, it’s not always convenient to look up or get account information during their visit. Their retailer's time is precious so you don't want them wasting it on the phone or on their computer finding out what happened to thier retailer's last shipment, what their current credit status is, or if they are carrying your best selling products.
Give your reps simple guidelines on how they can plan their sales calls with the information that's not only going to optimize their time with their retailers, but will also make them look like rockstars by arming them with the information to make suggestions based on strategic product offerings.
To start, we suggest standardizing their pre-appointment checklist with these 8 things every sales rep should know when selling on the road:
1. Credit Information
Does this retailer have a line of credit with you or do they pay via credit card? If they do
have a line of credit, how much available credit do they have? Are they currently
in good standing, or are they past due? It’s no fun writing an order that starts off
on credit hold.
2. Business Growth
Is this retailer experiencing growth? How are their YTD sales compared to last
year? Is there an opportunity to introduce new products or lines?
3. New Product Opportunity
What are your top selling products that this customer is not purchasing?
4. What Does Your Retailer Need
Look at their inventory: What do they have on hand, what has been shipped,
what is on hold, and how can you assist the buyer in filling inventory gaps.
5. Have The Answers
Do you know tracking numbers and delivery information for past shipments or
shipments that are on hold/backorder?
6. Know Their History
How can you make the most of your Retailers time? Know their order history for
quick re-orders and have a prepared presentation for suggested new orders.
7. Know Your Territory
Is there an account down the street that might be interested in the same
products? Make sure you’re getting the most out of your travels by checking
your territory accounts and creating a pre-planned road map.
8. Prospect New Opportunities
Have new retailers popped up in your territory? Don’t miss new opportunities -
do your homework before hand and prospect new customers that may fit perfectly into your road map.
How do you get this information? Often times you gain access to territory reports or customer data reports by simply asking your Sales Manager. Many ERP systems contain basic variations of these reports.
To make this process even easier, look at integrating a high powered business intelligence tools such as Vision and automate each of these very important topics.