It’s really no secret that the best sales strategies are built on a network of strong relationships. The world has (thankfully) shifted away from the stereotypically shifty, silver-tongued salesperson whose main goal is to fleece customers out of their hard-earned money. Instead, the best salespeople and top sales agencies instill layers of trust earned over years of working with manufacturers and buyers. For many sales strategies, the relationship building begins and ends here, with the buyers. After all, the buyers are who buy what we’re making. Who else do we really need to work with?
Forego the pain of finding out what happens when you don’t have relationships throughout the supply chain. The top sales agency partners will incorporate relationships at a number of different levels to help unlock the best opportunities for their manufacturer partners.
What Does a Good Buyer Relationship Look Like?
Strong relationships with your buyers are a fundamental need for any sales strategy. A sound selling process relies on fluid communication between the seller and the buyer. In many situations, simple interactions will get the job done. You can know or know of a buyer and pitch them on products here and there and probably be fine. At the end of the day, that’s the job, right?
Experienced sales agencies with stronger relationships, though, will usually be able to call these buyers an acquaintance or a friend. They’ll go beyond a typical supply/demand surface-level scenario with a retailer and be able to leverage relationships more. Because these relationships are stronger, they will exist even beyond the buyer, incorporating relationships with
- The ad planner
- The demand buyer
- The rebuyer
- Replenishment analysts
- Operations managers
It often escapes us that there are a number of different parts outside of the retailer that still exist in the same building. Tapping into all other nodes allows sales agencies, such as KBM, to develop holistic go-to-market strategies that speak not only to the buyers but everyone involved.
Retailer Relationships in the Sports and Outdoor Industry
The best agencies and sales teams will leverage healthy retailer and buyer relationships to help keep products moving and shelves stocked. There is no magic pill to strengthen these types of relationships outside of the effort and care you put into them although some external situational factors can alter the landscape.
Take, for instance, the Sports and Outdoor category. Seasonality factors into the Sports and Outdoor world heavily, effectively shortening the sales windows for a number of products. Toothbrushes will probably sell year-round in every market, but what about winter parkas? Flip-flops? Retailers and manufacturers are perpetually aware of these cycles and demand sales partners be in line with these trends, as well.
Sales partners that thrive within the Sports and Outdoor category (like us) are able to work best with retailers when they are well-versed in the needs of a retailer and are hyper aware of timing. With short, volatile seasons within the Sports and Outdoor world, on-time deliveries is a massive point. If you miss a month of a season, you’re missing a lot, because that window is smaller.
How does this build relationships? In short, sales partners who can best get booking orders done on time and communicate frequently with manufacturers’ demand plans will make everyone’s lives easier: both for the manufacturers and the retailers.
Leveraging Existing Relationships through a Proven Sales Partner
From our executive team to our account managers, we’ve cultivated relationships throughout the country at a number of different levels. We know these spaces because we’ve helped manufacturers and retailers at virtually every step on the supply chain. So many products sputter out of the gates due to an inability to get in front of customers. When you utilize a proven sales agency partner, your products will be given the best opportunities to shine within their markets.