Field sales teams are working harder than ever to gain the attention of consumers in-store and persuade them to buy products. So why are companies making it even harder for them to do their jobs? In a recent survey of 800 DSD salespeople, their #1 frustration was not having access to the marketing materials they needed. When followed up, they said most of their frustration came from not knowing what was in stock or which items were most successful in increasing sales.
How does a warehouse management system for your marketing materials help solves these challenges? Let us look first at a couple of key questions.
What is a warehouse management system or WMS?
A warehouse management system is a software solution that gives you the ability to manage the day to day operations of your warehouse. It's a centralized location to see what items are coming into and out of your warehouse. A good WMS gives you real-time inventory information about what's running low, what you have too much of in-stock, and where all the items are being stored in the warehouse.
We have a WMS for our inventory. How is a WMS for marketing materials different?
Having a specific warehouse management system for your marketing materials gives your sales team one particular place to find what they need to help them increase sales. Giving them real-time access to know what the current inventory levels are in the warehouse also prevents them from promising items that are no longer available as they have all been used. One of the fastest ways to embarrass a salesperson is to make them apologize to a customer.
How does a WMS for my marketing materials help me to increase my sales?
Giving your sales reps the confidence that they are going to fulfill a promise to a store owner or manager can have enormous benefits for your business. In a recent survey with our customers, 92% of field sales reps said that EasyCheck had become their #1 sales tool with customers.
Why may you ask? Because they can get buy-in from the customer when they are making a pitch. If you have six different tap handles to choose from, by asking the customer which one they would like to see on their bar gives the owner the feeling of ownership in making their selection. They don't feel dictated to or forced to accept what's given to them. So when the time comes to choose their go-to distributor, they tend to go with the one giving them options and as say in how products are presented.
I don't have any idea what we have for marketing materials. Where do we start?
We hear this all the time, and the truth is that everyone started with nothing at one point. The easiest way to get started is to decide on the best warehouse management system for your marketing materials. We think EasyCheck is the best, but we have been told we are biased. Take the time to look at what is available on the market today and decide what your core needs are to be successful. Many of our customers need the photos that come with our order management system so their sales teams can see what items look like before ordering. You may or may not need this feature. Once you have decided what your critical things for success are, you need to set up the systems and start counting your inventory. Get the items loaded into the system so your sales team can finally see what you have in stock and on hand for them to use to promote your products.
"Everybody has to start somewhere. You have your whole future ahead of you. Perfection doesn't happen right away."
― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
Giving your salespeople the knowledge and access to see what you have in stock to market your products is the first step to empowering them for success. They will thank you for giving them a tool to see what's out there without having to call your warehouse or marketing teams 100s of times a week to ask what's in stock.