3 Surprise Benefits of Manufacturers’ Reps

Outsourcing your sales functions to manufacturers’ reps can be a great way for your company to hit aggressive sales goals while reducing sales costs – everybody knows that. But manufacturers’ reps also bring three surprise benefits that only the most experienced manufacturers know about. Now MANA pulls back the curtain so everyone can take advantage of these three benefits.

  1. Big Ten Consulting Savvy

    What would it cost you to get expert third-party review of your business practices from a Big Ten consulting firm? A good back-of-the-envelope estimate would be four weeks of consulting time at $295/hour, 20 hotel nights at $200/night, 20 days of meals at $100/day and four $500 plane tickets for a total of $55,200.

    That would give the consultant time to learn your business, survey your customers, and aggregate the results. Manufacturers’ reps learn your business and survey your customers as part of their daily routine, and charge nothing extra for that. And we’ll talk about how little it costs to aggregate those results at the end of this article.

  2. Early Adopter and Power User Business System Review

    How do you evaluate, troubleshoot, and enhance your business systems? Consult your early adopters and power users! How do you find your early adopters and power users? If your company outsources its sales functions, those early adopters and power users are your manufacturers’ reps.

    Your manufacturers’ reps are usually the first non-employees to have access to your online business systems and tools. And because they manage commercial transactions with your company every day – or even every hour – they are the early adopters and power users who can tell you when those systems work well and when they don’t.

    Why are manufacturers’ reps better bellwethers of your business systems’ flaws than customers? Because customers usually are not stakeholders in your company’s success so they simply abandon cumbersome business systems and switch to your competitor rather than work with you to fix ungainly websites. As stakeholders in your company’s success, your manufacturers’ reps have strong incentives to help you resolve those flaws, because they are not your customers, they are your partners.

  3. Focus Group Feedback

    Eager for third-party feedback of your new product or service? You could pay to assemble a group of strangers who have varying degrees of familiarity with your market and competitors’ offerings. Or you could pull together a group of experts in your product, market, and competitors who are close enough to your business to care that it succeeds, yet independent enough to tell you the truth when you need to hear it.

    Who are these stakeholders in your success who are willing to give direct, constructive critiques of your new product or service? They are your manufacturers’ reps, who are intimately familiar with your offering and whose income depends on the market friendliness of your product or service.

Rep Council

So how do I gather the equivalent of Big Ten Consulting Savvy, Early Adopter and Power User Business System Review, and Focus Group Feedback in one place at one time for about $7,600 instead of $55,200? Launch a Rep Council.

Bring 4-6 of your top reps to your headquarters for two days and turn them loose on your thorniest problems. MANA can help you with structuring a successful Rep Council, and your cost is just 4-6 plane tickets and the hotel and meal costs for reps who volunteer their time to serve.

A Rep Council gives manufacturers Big Ten Consulting Savvy, Early Adopter and Power User Business System Review, and Focus Group Feedback for less than the price of exhibiting at most regional trade shows. Assistance in taking advantage of these 3 Surprise Benefits of Manufacturers’ Reps is included in your MANA membership. Call us at (877) 626-2776 or email mana@manaonline.org for more details.