For those wholesale brands that sell through retailers, your frontline salespeople are vital to the success of your product. But if sales staff don’t buy into your brand story, aren’t invested in your product, or understand how it can solve your customer's problems, you’re facing an uphill battle to get it where it belongs – into the customer's hands.
Turning frontline sellers into brand advocates can be a powerful remedy for lackluster sales. If done well, it can invigorate sales teams and transform potential bottlenecks into thriving superhighways.
What is a Brand Advocate?
Brand advocates is a term for sales associates that are passionate and knowledgeable about the brand or brands they’re selling. Instead of just selling your products, they will advocate for them with enthusiasm. That means that customers will have a better experience, more potential customers will be converted, and brands will have higher sell-through rates.
Arming your retail sales team with detailed information about the products they’re selling can give them the confidence needed to become brand advocates and the passion needed to convince customers to part with their money. If they know everything there is to know about your product line and understand precisely which pain points each product addresses, they’ll do a much better job of selling them.
It’s in brands’ best interests to connect with retail salespeople and turn them into genuine fans. Once they see the value that your brand and your products provide, they’ll be able to get that across to customers. Product experts will recommend the right products to the right people, which will in turn mean fewer returns and unhappy customers. Negative experiences can damage your brand, so generating brand advocacy among frontline sellers on a large scale can have a big impact.
Why are Brand Advocates So Powerful?
The power of brand advocates lies in the level of trust they can command.
Brand advocates are raving about your product because they understand exactly how it can solve problems for its users, so what they have to say on the subject can seem more trustworthy than a catch-all slogan written by an advertising department. In fact, according to a Hubspot survey, 75% of people don’t believe adverts. They can’t be relied upon to sell your product for you on their own, so arm salespeople with the information they need to take the lead from there.
Experienced sales staff can establish the rapport required to understand a customer’s needs. However, they need to also be highly informed about the capabilities of your product to demonstrate how your product can answer your customers’ needs perfectly. An informed salesperson will be far more trustworthy than someone trying to sell on confidence. Enabling your retail salespeople can empower them to craft convincing pitches for your products.
Evidently, turning your frontline sellers into brand advocates can turbo-charge their effectiveness. So how can this be done?
Building an Army of Brand Advocates
The first step is to avoid falling into the trap of simply thinking of your sales staff as employees. Instead, it makes more sense to think of them as your first and most important customers. If you can interest your sales staff in your product and make them enthusiastic about the advantages it provides, you can expect them to transmit that enthusiasm on to your customers.
Ensuring that your sales staff have the right information about your product is therefore crucial. This is where digital sales enablement platforms come into their own. By facilitating the flow of information back and forth, sales enablement platforms allow you to identify sell-through and brand awareness issues before they become a problem and proactively remedy them with key product information and promotional material. You can tailor your messages to clearly defined segments of your frontline staff, providing them with the right knowledge to encourage them to become committed brand advocates.
The best sales enablement platforms can also provide you with detailed feedback about how enthusiastically your frontline sellers are taking on information and channelling it to customers, enabling you to see where your efforts are falling short. They allow you to nudge less organised staff members to complete lessons, or run competitions and gamify the sales process, keeping sales teams engaged and maintaining a regular flow of data on how well your new army of frontline brand advocates is performing.
Myagi’s sales enablement software has been designed with these very objectives in mind. Our platform helps businesses optimise their sell-through by putting brand advocates in front of customers to guide them to the right purchase. It could just be the missing piece of the puzzle to help you win out over your competitors, which is especially important since the pandemic.
Click HERE to find out how Myagi can help you turn your frontline retail sellers into an army of brand advocates.