A dramatically changing sales landscape in manufacturing favors innovation, strong technical skills, business savvy and adaptability. The most successful manufacturing reps and rep firms respond to this landscape in specific ways to drive sales growth.
The manufacturer rep model is the go-to sales coverage approach of choice for a large portion of manufacturing firms in a number of industry branches. In the past, traditional manufacturers, while excelling at innovation and production, lacked expertise in sales strategy, process and management to effectively drive sales and grow share. Independent representatives, and representative firms, provided vital expertise, complementary products, market reach and minimal up-front investment to drive manufacturer sales. This symbiotic relationship fostered the rapid growth of independent representatives and reliance on those reps for a high share of sales at many organizations.
The Rep Model Faces Significant Change
The manufacturing industry is currently facing rapidly evolving, innovation-driven sales models. These trends, in turn, are driving fundamental changes, below, to the traditional Rep model.
How Do Manufacturers and Rep Firms Respond?
Manufacturer reps have enjoyed a long track record of success and have prevailed through numerous challenges. But the dramatically changing sales landscape requires a more comprehensive and nuanced sales approach. Historically, rep firms focused primarily on managing end-customer and distributor relationships, and manufacturers on producing and delivering product. Both reps and the firms they represent have to adapt…but how?
Through a partnership with NEMRA (National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association), the Alexander Group (AGI) is executing a comprehensive study on how to maximize the value of the rep-manufacturer relationship. The full study will be available in the fall, but numerous executive interviews already offer some tantalizing key insights. Below are three key themes AGI will explore in more detail as the study progresses:
If you would like more information about independent reps, please reach out to one of our Manufacturing Practice leaders.
Read more Alexander Group insights on sales trends in the manufacturing industry.