The company's strategy for working with regions 3. Sales Representative
In the first note of the marketing specialist “Company strategy for working with regions” and in continuation of the topic of sales organization in the region, in the note “Company strategy for working with regions 2. Distribution, I talked about possible options for organizing sales in the regions using various structuring tools marketing channel and formalization of work with channel participants (distributors, dealers). I also specifically focused your attention on the fact that the most “correct" choice falls on the shoulders of the company's management, which is It should be guided by the state of the market, the presence and level of development of competition, the stage of development of the marketing channel and the company itself.
What has been listed as possible strategies for organizing sales in the regions:
marketing team working in the central office of the company;
sales representatives periodically traveling to the regions;
distribution company with powers of regional development, sales logistics in the region;
own sales representative, constantly working in the region;
regional trading office, with a set of tasks for sales logistics, marketing marketing in the region.
In the previous note of the marketer, I elaborated on the role of the distribution company in the region, in the case of organizing a marketing channel through a distribution company. It was particularly noted that the role of the distributor in the region, as a key figure of the marketing channel, is high if: the supplier’s price list contains thousands of SKUs, there is a clearly expressed specificity of the regions (different: retail, dealers, there is a pronounced national and cultural specificity) and the regions themselves are removed from the place of initial sale by the supplier (manufacturer). I also noted that the structuredness of a regional marketing channel (an obvious regional leader is a supplier of “all” retail) can be decisive in choosing a sales development strategy in the region through a distributor. Any attempt to build bypass channels can be stopped by them, as competitive.
In continuation of the topic of sales development in the regions, I would like to elaborate on the role of the sales representative (trade representative) of the supplier company in the region. I will make a reservation right away, this is not about representation, but about an individual - a manager performing certain representative functions of a company in the region.
In general, the main task of the sales representative is to ensure the sale of the largest possible quantity of goods and the provision of the largest possible “revenue from the region”. This primary task can be provided:
interaction with the services of the distributor working with "his" product;
expansion of the quantitative composition of the dealer network;
ensuring the availability of dealers in all possible segments (industry, niche, professional) in the region;
ensuring the breadth of the range of products with which dealers work;
determination of the presence of obstacles to the promotion of products in the region;
planning and implementation of marketing programs for trade promotion and sales promotion;
control over branding in the region, control over the implementation of promotion programs and ongoing advertising campaigns and PR campaigns;
If you specify the activities of the trade representative in the region in relation to retail (has its own specifics and work in the b2b market), the sales representative is responsible to the supplier:
for vacation prices in the dealer network;
price of goods in retail;
monitors the range;
for commodity flows in the warehouses of the distributor and retailers.
In addition, the sales representative is also responsible for the dynamics of incoming payments, monitors receivables, tracks data on the sale of goods, weekly and monthly prepares reports on the work done.
There is a logical remark: if there is a distributor, a built-up dealer structure works under it, then all this functionality listed above implements this entire generated marketing channel. It is logical and true ... if everything is exactly the same in your market and with your product, then selling through a distributor is the right way to organize regional sales. However, often each channel player doesn’t work something, or otherwise positions you - as a supplier, or your product, uses your product - as a bargaining chip in distribution wars for the dealer network, etc.
In fact, I highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the contents of the note “Distribution Channel. Pushing, or who will open the door for a product?”. I quote from this note: "Solving their tasks, the distributor is forced to focus on their problems, and if your product is not in the TOP-5, then its sales are not in the focus of your distributor - by definition." Thus, not every distributor will treat your product as “his own”. In some cases, the decision to replace the distributor with another one is erroneous, since a more effective solution would be to have a sales representative in the region as an assistant distributor forproduct promotion in the marketing channel. Read this note, it defines such a marketing tool as an exclusive sales team working on the basis of a distributor, which is essentially the development of the sales development strategy in a region through a sales representative. And how does a sales representative in a region work without the same distributor region. In this case, a sales representative is an intermediary between a supplier company and dealers, outlets, or between wholesalers and a retail network. First of all, the sales representative carries out the so-called “transferable” orders, when the sales representative does not directly deal with the shipment of goods, but only collects applications and transfers them to the company - supplier. The sales representative fully implements the entire complex of trade marketing.