Every great chef knows successfully feeding a restaurant full of people requires getting the best ingredients, consistent mise en place, a well-trained kitchen staff, an expediter who can get the hot meals out of the kitchen, and servers who know which tables need their meals next.
Great teamwork and communication is also essential for your combined internal and broker sales teams’ success. Do your brokers have everything they need to be efficient and effective around targeting and selling? Here at FS Enablers, we’ve spent years learning and growing with food service sales teams, both manufacturer and broker. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that every thriving broker team has the following 5 key ingredients:
Access to Vital Product Information
Your broker team needs easy and immediate access to your product information, and all the accompanying marketing and informational assets. The days of lugging briefcases full of promotional bits are long gone, with technology now able to deliver product information to your computer, tablet, or cell phone. When brokers can show product information to operators and distributors from their mobile devices, and even email a recap of items discussed on the sales call to potential new customers, you are not only keeping your products in front of your brokers, but are ensuring that your products stand out to your end users.
Give the Brokers Insights They Can Use
In order for sales teams to make their quotas and perform more efficiently, they need to know whether they are below, meeting, or exceeding expectations. Do you have an easy way to collect and share performance information with your brokers? Some key metrics to have access to include: Number of sales calls made, how many calls resulted in new business, and whether or not the team is on track to make budget. Sharing sales insights is one of the most powerful ways to keep your broker teams focused.
Having well-organized and clearly managed access to your product and relationship information is arguably the most fundamental ingredient to efficient broker collaboration. When your broker team has an efficient way to update customer profiles, create and finalize sales calls, and share that information with you, it keeps your entire go-to-market engine humming. If your broker’s sales data isn’t organized, it makes analyzing and strategizing future actions that much harder. The more time spent trying to compile data and plan the next move, the less time brokers have to actually be selling and interacting with potential customers. How are your brokers keeping track of their data currently?
Convey Sales Reps Tasks into Sales Call Process
You may need to give your brokers an important product or promotion to push to their operators in addition to the work they are already doing. To make this simpler, you’ll want to have a way to organize these timely promotions in such a way that it benefits both you and your broker. You should be able to know exactly how ahead or behind your brokers are when it comes to delegating these special tasks, and your brokers should have an easy way to manage their new tasks while still keeping track of the tasks they were already planning to do.
Easy Repeatable Process
People are able to perform well when they have a simple, repeatable system in place. Reps are out showing items, making calls, sharing samples etc., and trying to keep track of all that information can get messy quickly. Having a repeatable routine brokers use to easily keep track of sales interactions is not only good for them, because it enables them to stay organized and plan their next moves, but also good for you, because you can easily analyze the organized data and understand actual broker performance with more clarity. For manufacturers, having a clear picture of sales activity means being able to better motivate sales teams. Having clear processes in place makes it easy for reps to focus on who they have to call next, and saves them time in the long run – time they can use to make more calls!
Having a simple and seamless process in place for manufacturer and broker collaboration is a critical component for the continued growth of your business. Brokers want to hit their quotas, so making sure they have access to all the necessary information needed at a moments notice, makes their job easier and your numbers better.
If you want to learn more about how to improve collaboration with your brokers, the FSE team is here to help!