A successful independent representative is resourceful, flexible, agile and resilient. Trends in each respective field or category are constantly changing and salespeople need the ability to react to those changes. This ability applies not only to manufacturers and customers like Target, but within the manufacturer rep firm itself.
The Internet, in its capacity to facilitate communication, has created a few tools that make it easier for vendors and customers to interact. However, sales staff from a qualified rep firm will foster relationships and offer category insight and experience far beyond what’s available on a computer or online. Human relationships are still worth gold in this field.
Beyond that, having the synergy of multiple lines, efficient and economical sales calls, permanence within a territory, and an in-depth knowledge of the needs and expectations of both customers and manufacturers are all benefits that come with the rep firm’s service to their vendor and customer partners.
There are many ways for manufacturers to go to market with their product. The most cost-effective way of doing this is often working with a network of manufacturer representative firms. Rep firms need to be able to speak the language of the product and the brand, and be able to accurately translate that language to the customer in order for manufacturers to increase profitability. The best, most productive partnerships between vendors and their representatives come about when both companies are open and communicative– the foundation of any solid relationship! When both parties are able to clearly express their mutual respect for one another while following through on commitments, the lines of communication remain open, ultimately allowing for greater efficiency.
The manufacturing world, as well as those of the reps and customers, are continually changing. The increasing importance of strong partnerships, supply chain management and cost containment bring to light the strengths of the manufacturer representative solution. The sales rep function survives and thrives by continuing to better itself by increasing its core competencies. This is done through investment in necessary up-to-date technology, adept management, adding value at all levels of the supply chain and ongoing professional development. Rep firms maintain their reputation as versatile, innovative companies by being flexible with their vendors and customers and maintaining their synergy through multiple streams.
The professional manufacturer representative firm has a complete understanding of the their categories and territories in which they and their customers live and succeed. And of course, manufacturers will also benefit from this deep-rooted understanding.
Check back soon for a follow-up article about what outsourcing in the manufacturer representative context compares to outsourcing in other contexts.