Sales reps are essential to a well-run, profitable distribution business. They cultivate relationships between your business and your customers, supporting the customer through their buying process to ensure a positive experience.
They are the face of your company, and directly responsible for making sure you remain profitable and able to grow.
It’s no wonder, then, that attracting and keeping quality sales reps is a high priority for most distributors. When they’re the go-between for B2B businesses, you need reps that are experienced in the realm of what can be a complicated purchase decision.
It’s not like B2C, where the consumer decides they want something and then buys it.
In B2B, reps need to be aware of the many factors that influence a company’s purchase decision. Even between smaller companies, a business owner making a purchase decision for their retail store is still under different pressures than the customers shopping at that store.
Attracting, and retaining, the best possible sales reps for your company isn’t optional – it’s a necessity.
What’s holding your business back from attracting and retaining the high performing sales reps you need?
If you’re struggling to get high performing sales reps, then read on.
The issue may not be the pay scale or benefits you offer (although those are still important for recruiting new reps in the first place), but rather a lack of the right assets to help them work.
Top performing sales reps need the right tools to work effectively. Without the right tools, you won’t be able to attract or keep those quality salespeople that’ll help your business grow.
In particular, they like to use software that helps them efficiently enter their orders and answer customer service questions.
For routine orders, there’s no reason to involve the sales rep every time – and the top performing reps know this.
They know that their customers want and prefer to be able to place their own orders, online, without having to wait to talk to a rep. Allowing the customer the control over the ordering process goes a long way towards having a happier, more satisfied customer. This means more orders and more revenue for the company and for the rep.
Customers are busy – they’re running their stores, or their restaurants, or their other businesses, and they don’t always have time to sit down with a rep for half an hour or more to place an order. Online ordering removes this time-consuming process from being a necessity.
Enabling these customers to place their orders at their convenience is something top performing sales reps value – and why they prefer to work with companies that offer an online ordering portal that both reps and customers can utilize.
The more efficient your reps are, the more sales they can make.
Additionally, top performing sales reps appreciate and take advantage of efficiency. They find it appealing when a business can offer them increased ability to make sales – especially when they don’t have to be personally present for every single one.
They know that the more time they spend on administrative tasks; the less time they have to sell. For this reason, there’s a downside to a top performing sales rep: they may not be all that great at the administrative side of sales tasks. This can quickly grow into a major problem if you’re not consistently monitoring how they manage orders and information.
Online order processing removes the need for sales reps to spend their valuable time entering orders and checking inventory. Instead, using an online order processing portal (like the portal Now Commerce provides), they take advantage of the ability of the tool to do the routine tasks for them. It’s like their own robotic personal assistant, making sure everything is ready for the order to go out.
No more questioning which items are in stock, or whose invoices still need to be processed. No more waiting for the office staff to get back to the sales team about a customer’s order. No more delays due to processing or paperwork.
It’s all just done.
Sales reps still get the commission from their customers, and because they’re spending less time on non-revenue generating activities (administrative tasks), they’re able to make more money.
Which makes your business more money.
What’s there to lose?
Oh, that’s right – those valuable, high performing sales reps. Without the tools to help them be efficient and effective, you’ll lose any quality reps you do attract to a competitor with the tools they need.
Offering an online portal makes every aspect of your distribution business run smoother.
We’ve talked before about the impact that an online ordering portal can have on your entire office.
It’s not just the people in your office who stand to benefit from offering your customers the option to place their own orders online.
It’s your salespeople, and your customers, too.
The sales reps will appreciate that customers can do the work of entering orders for them. An effective portal allows customers to enter their orders on their own. Now Commerce’s platform integrates with the QuickBooks on your office computers, meaning that as soon as a customer places and order – your team knows about it.
The sales reps can still monitor all of their customers’ activity 24/7 through the portal.
Instead of spending time on the sale itself, they can focus on increasing the value of each sale through upsell opportunities.
What sales rep wouldn’t welcome that?
It’s that ability to offer the sales reps a better sales process, and more money as a result, that will help decrease the churn of your sales team.
Even if you have a small sales team of only one or two people, the use of an online ordering portal will enable them to accomplish more in less time. They can either increase revenue, or simply get home on time for the first time in months.
Your warehouse is better managed, and your accounting is more accurate.
Your business simply works better.
Learn more about how to optimize your order fulfillment process – download our free ebook by clicking below: