February 24, 2022Uncategorized
I met up with an old employee last week who’s now a BDM at a medium-size Consumer Goods manufacturer. We talk about almost everything, but this conversation very quickly steered towards work, more specifically; selling.
Her shift from the transactional nature of B2C selling, across to the account management style required for B2B selling, had its challenges.
We spoke for an hour about the process she had been taught and tried to pick some holes in it. Anything to close some more accounts.
She said she was pretty structured and uses their CRM religiously, but also said “sometimes the timing is just off”
I asked, “what do you mean?”
She replied “Well I might see people one day, then add a note to check back in with them in 3 months, but the next week one of their customers might pop in and ask for our product. By then, the business card and catalogue are at the tip”.
I asked, “why wouldn’t they go to your website to grab your details”
She replied, “My details aren’t on the website.”
After some more back and forth, I realised pretty quickly that a failure to advertise your wholesale channel and the staff that serve it; is an error that sees a lot of business being left on the table.
She continued to tell me that seeing hundreds of prospects is a lot for one person.
Unfortunately, this is just the reality for a BDM in this space.
The customers that buy from her are retailers, Independent Supermarkets and convenience stores, so I asked her to take me through her process and it looked something like the following:
She goes to google and researches prospects.
She walks into the store or calls to book a meeting.
This leads to a brief conversation, usually standing up.
She hands over a catalogue/business card and pushes to get the buyer’s mobile number.
I was left wondering….. Then what?
She replied “I just keep following them up”
It was clear that she has the sales rigor required for such a hard job, but didn’t have the collateral and technical support that experienced sales managers and business owners should have in place.
One of those support pillars is to provide an online location for a potential or current customer to go to; that has everything they need. This is usually a WHOLESALE or TRADE page.
After the chat, I spent a few hours researching a bunch of other product supplier websites.
I found that effective wholesale pages are hard to come by. In fact, most of them had nowhere for their wholesale prospects to go and obtain basic information to contact staff or open an account.
If your wholesale channel is a core part of your growth plan, this needs to be addressed, because sales are falling through the cracks.
I found that most product suppliers have a small section on their contact page with an “orders@” or “wholesale@” email, so the prospect can reach out. The problem with this approach is the lack of information to your prospects makes them have to go out of their way to get the outcome they want. A big customer service no-no.
Creating a path of least resistance is the key to scaling your wholesale channel and a solid wholesale page will help you achieve this.
There are many scenarios where a wholesale page can come in handy;
When visiting a prospect, the timing is rarely right. When the time is more appropriate, the buyer will want to reach out and get the ball rolling again.
Retail managers at most Small and Medium-sized retailers often start their search online and are actively searching for well-priced products to stock.
Having a dedicated wholesale page means more online real estate for quality content, customer stories, blog articles and partnerships. This will push you up the Google rankings to make you more visible in your category.
Buyers won’t wait if they are interested in something. If they search, you better have something, because they will move on if you don’t.
In 2022, product businesses need to be easy to do business with, from service to website to ordering to payments. Your website is the practical way to funnel your buyers to where they need to be, to buy more; more often.
There are 5 key elements of a great wholesale page:
- Contact details of reps and the areas they service.
- A section where prospects can open an account.
- An understanding of range, delivery times and terms of trade.
- Who to call in what situation.
- Logos of some of your most well-known accounts.
We have created an example wholesale page below. Feel free to take this type of structure and use it on your website. If you want the code for the layout, just email us.