Independent Sales Reps and Manufacturer Reps: How Businesses Use Either to Increase Sales
For what reason would I be keen on employing independent sales reps? The quick answer would be to achieve higher sales numbers, get those sales quicker, and all at a low cost. In particular, if you have to bring your company into new markets or develop existing markets with a lower upfront expense, the independent sales rep is often a viable option, but it’s important to know there’s no one-size-fits-all best practice when it comes to company’s turning to their services.
So what is an independent sales rep?
An independent sales rep, otherwise known as a manufacturer’s rep, is typically a commissions-based associate who will use everything from business expos to showrooms, clinic visits, and even cold calling to reach new clients and ultimately work with them face-to-face. From meetings with clients to showcase a product or ensure its delivery, closing sales, and handling any in-person servicing issues, and everything in between, to the clients, they are the face of a product.
What are the benefits of utilizing Independent Sales Reps or Manufacturer’s Reps?
- Reps are paid for their results, not their time, promoting an incentivized sales potential.
- One item deal can “trigger” the sales of other items with an independent rep.
- The sales costs are transparent.
Companies can enter new markets rapidly and cost-effectively with the aid of a qualified rep who brings his or her existing client base into the business they represent. The rep is assigned their region and maintains their own built-in system of purchasers as well as other reps. And for new companies looking to make their impact on the market, all these elements are essential.
With expertise in their field and a broad network of professional relationships to tap into, independent reps can rapidly grow the potential for a new product’s reach while an inside salesman may take months or even longer to create that same opportunity for their business. And since they are independent agents, clients even enter their relationship feeling confident they can report honest feedback about a product as well as the market — a result of knowing their rep works for themself, not the manufacturer. In turn, this opens avenues for a manufacturer to improve their product’s relevance in the marketplace.
Further, reps have recognition among their client base, hopefully having built trusting relationships as they live and work in their region — another incentive for them to maintain personal relationships, whereas an inside salesman may not.
How does utilizing independent sales reps or manufacturer reps increase sales?
The bottom line is an independent sales rep can expand their company’s potential by bringing various things to the table that in-house sales will not, like, for example, their freedom to deal non-competing products to the same client. Their sales are therefore made more efficiently and all at a lower cost to the employer. By representing several products or non-competing companies, they maintain a wider potential client base. The outcome: entering the market with greater opportunities and in all likelihood, more sales, with an independent sales rep.