What's new?

Get Tickets
Photo for: The Sales Rep: The most important person in your sales supply chain


Share this post:

The Sales Rep: The most important person in your sales supply chain


The 30-second elevator pitch / cold call between the reps introducing your brand and the account buyer is THE most important bit in your sales process.

In this article, we share with you why brands need to focus on distributor's sales representatives if their brands are distributed by them or their own sales reps if they are selling directly.

Why is the sales representative focus very important?

1. A Wine Maker, Brewer, or Entrepreneur has an idea of the product they are going to make.

2. The Export Manager / Business Development Manager works very hard to obtain importers or distributors.

3. The product comes to the distributor's warehouse and then the sales reps get briefed about it in their 'Friday meeting’.

4. The Sales Rep takes the new wine, spirits, beer sample and puts the bottle in his/her car, and starts the Monday morning route. 

Let’s pause here and consider a few factors --as you must focus to get this right

a) What is the state of your sample bottle picked -- is it a damaged product, the wrong vintage, not the Chardonnay versus the Shiraz that got 90+ in that wine brand?

b) Does the sales rep care about you or your company?

c) Do they have good POS or Sell Sheets to take with them?

d) Does the sales rep have an FQA sheet for your brand?

e) Does a sales rep like you as a supplier and motivated to get placements for your brand?

Here comes the most important 'Pitch' for your brand

When a Sales Rep introduces your brand to his / her account, your brand gets 5-20 minutes to make it happen. 90% of what happens next depends on the relationship that the Sales Rep has with their account. An Account will give your brand a try based on the Sales Rep more than your brand. Thus in this space of 5-20 minutes when the rep is showing your brand to his / her account, your brand can either make it into the account or never be in that account (most of the time this is what happens).

Rep is also your merchandiser in most cases and your in-store tasting person.

He/She needs to be a person with talent and hunger

A disinterested or to put it in simple words a boring sales rep is not going to crack a deal for you when he/she stands against a passionate one that wants it. A sales rep with passion, talent, and the hunger for it will truly put in everything for you, to close that deal for you. Making your account owner i.e. client feel that you are working everything possible for him/her and not leaving any stone unturned to close deals for the account is one of the various aspects that will help you make your space in a crowd-full of wine sale reps.

You have a good rapport with the account.

Rapport doesn’t always mean access. But a good rapport is certainly potential access to building a better relationship with the account and assuring him/her a constant flow of business. This is also not only to understand that whether you hunger for wanting that big or small account, it’s also what you are willing to do to get it.

A good sales rep also knows if a particular account is worth putting in the time for.

Now if you are working professionally as a wine sales rep, you must first of all be easily able to identify between money and a waste of time. If you are putting in the hours towards the wrong person or an account that you have no shot at, or will never give you any returns whatsoever there may be several reasons for that from anywhere between the wine’s name, taste, label, integrity of the buyer, already established sales rep, etc.

Creativity and problem-solving

Yes, a sales rep needs to keep him in the shoes of the account and act on behalf of it. We all tend to become a true creative when it comes to our problems. An exceptionally successful sales rep will always unquestionably understand and pitch solutions proactively.


Spend time with reps and understand your sales journey that happens in the real market. How is your product taken from the distributor warehouse, which SKUs are picked to what objections do retailers give to how the product is merchandised?


About USA Trade Tasting:

USA Trade Tasting is a 2-day learning and networking experience in Chicago that is all set to happen on May 23-24. The conference and expo floor will include more solid brands and speakers that are ready to empower you with actionable insights. The expo floor will be buzzed by brands that will add value to your bars, restaurants, bottler shop, and also your distributor or import business if you are looking for new brands.

We invite you to get your free trade tickets in advance to avoid the gate fee and also secure your conference tickets as seats are limited for the sessions.