Help Your Retailers with Holiday Planning
Each year, the hustle and bustle of holiday planning starts earlier and earlier. B2B commerce brands start in summer, spending August through October strategizing and executing their holiday sales strategy.
For many B2B vendors, the fall season is their biggest sales window of the year, as they help retailers fulfill inventory for their busy holiday season. If retail sales growth is any indication, they’re doing everything right. The National Retail Federation saw holiday sales during November and December increase 5.5 percent over 2016, to $691.9 billion.
For many retailers, the holidays can make or break the entire sales year. More than restocking their shelves, retailers are looking for a value-adding, consultative partnership from their sales reps. They need to understand the best product mix or best sellers to carry, identify trends, and brainstorm merchandising and promotion ideas.
There’s a huge opportunity for sales reps to reach out to retailers and become their trusted partner during the planning stages of the season. Today, we’re covering two important ways your field sales team can maximize sales, while supporting your retail customers during the hectic holiday months.
Reach Out to Retailers with Personalized Recommendations
Sales reps can remind retailers of previously purchases items that sold well. Sweeten the deal by offering a discount on these high-performing items or propose similar product lines. Walk retailers through the year’s top sellers that complement their existing product lines, and share forecasted trends for the upcoming year. Get bonus points by suggesting targeted product recommendations to each retailers’ region, customer demographics, or product preferences.
Becoming this trusted consultative partner is easier if reps are equipped with the right tools. A mobile sales app or a good CRM gives reps insight into recent product purchases, personalized product recommendations, etc. These personalized recommendations will go a long way to show retailers that the rep isn’t just trying to get them to buy anything, but is ensuring they’re successful this holiday season.
If your current CRM doesn’t offer product-focused functionality, then contact us to see Pharos CRM. It’s built for B2B product companies, and lets you place orders, track cases, create wishlists, and more. Bundle it with Pharos Sales App to take that 360-degree-view of every customer on the road. (Preview of Pharos CRM, below).
Help Retailers Enhance their Online Presence and/or Merchandise their Store
Retailers are often overwhelmed during these busy months. They need to stock their shelves, create their promotions, plan marketing content or in-store events, while ensuring their infrastructure is solid to manage purchases, shipping, and returns.
Sales reps can alleviate some of the pressure by offering retailers merchandising ideas. Brainstorm ideas for wall or table displays that show the products in their best light or suggest locations in their retail store for product placement.
Reps can share photographs of showroom displays, so retailers can see the product compilation in action. A good CRM or Sales App (cough, cough, Pharos) is stocked with the most up-to-date rich media, like photography and catalogs, so reps always have the right product assets on hand in the sales meeting.
Make things even easier by offering a discount on purchasing the whole display. Your retailers will save time on store merchandise planning, and you’ll sell a combination of complimentary products - it’s a win, win!
Of course, product merchandising doesn’t begin and end with the brick and mortar store. Many retailers are also busy updating their e-commerce websites to cater to online buyers. Last year, holiday online sales grew 12% over 2016, to $138.4 billion. There’s huge opportunity to drive sales online, but retailers need compelling product descriptions and imagery to create an enjoyable and memorable online experience.
Help retailers sell your products online by supplying them with up-to-date product imagery and data. Send them alternative views and lifestyle photography to help the products shine.
Product FastLane by Whereoware, is an easy-to-use product-focused PIM system that makes this easy, by enabling retailers to request product data by SKU directly from vendors. This service is completely free for retailers.
Gift Retailers Extra Incentives
Show some love to your retailers by offering them a little something extra.
Shipping is a big-time motivator these days. Offer your retailers drop shipping options or extended shipping terms. If shipping promotions aren’t feasible, invite them to join your loyalty program, or extend promotions and closeout deals. These extras can be tracked using your CRM, then sent out to your sales team and retailers via a sales app or email.
These incentives may seem small, but can go a long way. They add a little margin and can set your retailers at ease.
Put Your Retailers First This Holiday Season
Set up your retailers for success this holiday season and prove how much you value the customer relationship by helping them fulfill inventory, merchandise their stores, and sell your products online,
Whereoware assists B2B sales reps with the technology and digital solutions they need to better nurture and serve their retailers. Reach out to us for a free, personal demo.