Getting ready to launch into brick and mortar retail is tough enough without having to worry about having the correct sales tools. You have so many things to think through – product development, packaging, supply chain, production, capital – and that’s all before you get to a sales call! Our Market Ready Team is here to help. Here are the top 10 Sales Tools you will need to get started selling to retail.
The overall brand presentation is one of the most important tools in your kit. This can be used for presenting to a variety of audiences with a few tweaks. It should introduce your brand to your audience, describe your brand’s mission and goals, and introduce your products. Include your founder’s story and the reason you started the brand – people want to know the “why” behind your products! Including your certifications, partnerships, and affiliations will better connect your brand to the retailer’s mission. Data on your brand or your target category is a plus- retailers and investors love numbers. You will also want to include your press mentions and social activations to help your audience understand how you are creating brand recognition and driving customers.
Sell sheets are one page documents that describe your product’s features and benefits. You will want to have a high resolution image of your product, as well as your logo. It’s a best practice to include pricing and availability, along with the UPC code and product ingredients.
If your product is available direct, you will want to create an order form for your customers. This should include your logo, business address and any ordering instructions, i.e., submit orders to email@example.com or all orders under $X will be have a shipping fee. You should list all of the products available, and include the UPC and order code, wholesale pricing and SRP, as well as box for the quantity. A best practice is to have this in an excel format so that when a customer enters a quantity, the total cost is calculated. This is especially helpful if you have an order minimum a retailer must hit.
Pricing and Specs
Your pricing and specs document is like an extension of your order form. Retailers and distributors use this to determine not only pricing at shelf, but also how your product fits on shelf. It will include a lot of the same information as your order form: UPC, Product Description, Pack Size, Pricing, and SRP. It should also include the specifications of each of your products: product dimensions and weight; pallet configuration; product attributes and ingredients, and shelf life. It can also include any distributor pricing, if available.
Retail Policies are your sales team’s handbook in the field. These policies are the guidelines for entry into the market: what is your opening deal to retailers? Do you have a case stack deal? Are you open to spending on ads or demos? These are all questions your sales team will need to answer quickly. Having these ready to go before your start approaching retailers will save time and give a starting place for negotiations.
Retail thrives on promotions. It’s still the most effective tool you and the retailer has to get customers to try your products. You should develop a yearly calendar that shows how much you are willing to discount your products and how often. The retailer views this as a critical piece when determining whether or not to bring your product in, and will ask you how you plan to support your launch at their store. Best practice is to plan for quarterly promotions at 15% or more.
You want to make sure that retailers are bringing in the best of your product mix and this is where a ranking report comes in. This document should give a list of your product portfolio in ranking order, so that you are making sure your best sellers are hitting the shelf. This is a useful tool for check ins with retailers, as well. Sometimes they will bring in a variety of products over time and you will want to make sure that they are not missing out on sales by not having one of your key SKUs.
High Resolution Images
Many retailers utilize planograms and will request images and specs so that they can plan their category sets. You will also need high resolution images for online sales as well as any ads you plan to run with retailers or in publications.
Label flats are your product packaging in two dimensional form. Retailers and distributors ask for these, so they can view all sides of your packaging without a physical product.
Similar to your brand presentation, this should include your founder’s story, your brand mission and goals, and provide a deeper look at the products. This should provide key selling points for both the brand and your product portfolio.
Our Market Ready team has templates for all of these documents and will guide you through the process. Our suite of modules helps prepare you for successful go to market execution. Check out our programming here: Market Ready Powered By PRESENCE
Creating these sales tools will save your team time and energy and answer key questions with retailers. These are all key items for your strategic brand development. With these in your toolkit, you will set your sales team up for success!