With online ordering skyrocketing, the traditional role of sales reps for manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of beauty products is dramatically changing. Whether they are retail stores, boutiques, department stores, salons, spas or estheticians, B2B beauty customers can search for products and place orders online, 24/7. This means they do not need the sales rep for ordering products.
Where does that leave the sales rep?
Relieved of a big portion of their order taking functions, how are sales reps for beauty products adapting to the changing times? They are focusing on providing customers with value they cannot get online with sales automation – and that of course involves the real world product experience and the human connection. They are taking on a consultative and educational role, interacting strategically with customers to increase sales.
Here are five ways that beauty sales reps are becoming consultative sellers:
1. Really getting to know the customer
Sales reps are spending more time engaging with customers and understanding their specific needs, sometimes with the help of a order taking app. By paying close attention to their customers’ sales history and business evolution, and focusing on their best interests, reps are positioning themselves as trusted advisers (and not product pushers), enabling them to adjust their pitch as the engagement evolves.
2. Smarter upselling and cross-selling
Sales consultants are using data-driven insights into real-time inventory, top-selling and least-selling items and other key metrics to more effectively upsell, cross-sell and offer customized pricing. Analytics identify which cosmetics or hair-care product campaigns should be offered to which customers, based on demographics, location, past purchases, product interest and more.
3. Retail merchandising activities
Sales reps are also acting as beauty product merchandisers, using their mobile sales apps to capture vital information about point of sale share of shelf, promotional materials, and displays. They snap pictures and tag them by account and geo-location, enabling managers to monitor compliance with shelf display planograms and contractual terms. Reps can also take stock of inventory on hand, conduct in-store audits, and carry out customer satisfaction surveys on the spot.
4. Staying connected with customers between sales calls
More attention is being allocated to communicating with customers year-round, by providing product, market and trend information through newsletters and bulletins via email and social media. This not only heightens brand awareness among buyers, but also positions the sales consultant as a beauty industry expert, and cements her relationship with the customers; with the assistance of a sales force automation app.
5. Widening scope of influence within the business
New opportunities are arising for sales reps to expand their contribution and income within the business, for example by finding new customers or by helping management to develop sales campaigns and pricing promotions based on feedback they’ve received in the field. Reps can also help improve user adoption of the brand’s B2B e-commerce portal by showing customers how easy it is to re-order through the site or mobile app (while being effectively compensated for their lost commission).
Click here to learn how an established beauty products distributor is improving its sales performance by using Pepperi’s B2B Mobile Sales Automation and eCommerce storefront.