Imagine it’s a Sunday and you’re in Tesco collecting some bits for the upcoming week. Going shopping whilst hungry is always a bad idea... Everything looks so good! You arrive in the bakery aisle. (Diets don’t count at the weekend, right?) The smell of fresh Tesco Finest cookies draws you in. But the way the icing is melting on those Mr Kipling cakes looks good too! But perhaps you fancy something more savoury? Decisions, decisions!
Just as you go to grab a packet of cookies, you see your friend and stop for a quick chat. “You need to try those new McVittie biscuits by the way! They are absolutely amazing!” Says your friend. So you put the cookies back and go for the biscuits instead. 5 minutes ago you hadn’t even considered them but your friend said they were good so you trust them.
Word of mouth marketing is one of the best kinds of marketing. In fact, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising (regardless of how fresh the cookies smell or how satisfying the Mr Kipling cakes look!)
Your friend is what we call a brand ambassador. They rave about the brand to other people. They add value to the brand. They put the brand in a good light. They are an additional sales channel for that brand.
Your distribution channels should be brand ambassadors. If you want them to promote your products over a competitor, they need to genuinely be connected to your brand. How do you do this we hear you ask? Well look no further… you’re in the right place! Let’s dive in...
Make them love your brand
The first, and perhaps most obvious, step to converting your sales channels to brand ambassadors is to make them love your brand! They need to truly believe in what they’re selling and the brand behind it. Things like your brand values and what makes your product(s) unique are great starting points. For them to know this, you need to share the information. Providing them with resources such as content, training and webinars, will enhance their knowledge.
A recent study highlighted an alarming statistic – that salespeople spend just 33% of their time selling. The remainder is spread between searching for or creating content and reporting and administration. The same study identifies how much money companies typically spend per salesperson on improving their productivity. This, again, shines a spotlight on why you should be educating your sales channels.
Your distribution channels need to feel like an extension of your sales team. To make them feel valued you need to communicate with them regularly. A simple email with updates on the business or products will make all the difference. These external sales channels can bring in the big bucks for your business, so making the effort to communicate regularly and provide them with support is key to success.
Recognition and Reward
As mentioned before, regular communication and engagement with your brand is essential. But why not take it a step further by recognising their efforts and rewarding those behaviors?
When an individual takes time to watch a training video or read a piece of content related to your business or product, give them something in return to say thanks. This won’t only make them feel appreciated but will motivate them to continue doing these kinds of behaviors.
Don’t just limit your incentive programme to your internal sales team! Like we said earlier, you want these guys to feel like an extension of your team so treat them the same. If they purchase certain products or hit targets then be sure to reward them for their hard work.
Monitor and manage efficiently
Your brand ambassadors can make a HUGE difference to your business growth and sales so you need to invest in them. Take time to review how well they're performing and whether there’s anything else you can do to support them. To do this, you need to manage and monitor their performance closely. Are they smashing their targets? Are sales low? If yes, why? Do they need additional resources?
Your incentive programme can be so much more than offering hundreds of fantastic rewards! You can use it to analyse sales data, encourage engagement and identify top-sellers. Additionally, you can use the programme as an information hub and host key information to help your sales team learn more about your business.
Take our demo to find out how our channel loyalty rewards platform will help you achieve your goals, as well as creating an army of brand ambassadors.