Another excellent point addressed by Chris Russell, Canarchy VP of Sales, and agreed on by the rest of the panel, is the idea of holding your distributors accountable for what you discuss during your meetings. The point of teamwork is that both parties benefit, so you need to stay on top of the agreements you make. One of the best ways to do that is through Lilypad. We talked a lot in blog two all about goal setting, and how Lilypad can help your reps set goals that improve your brand’s market reach. Through the Placement Tracker feature in Lilypad, supplier reps have more visibility into commitments, or the “yes,” from the retailer. By using this tool, reps can streamline the communication of important details between retailer and distributor, like the date a commitment was entered, the number of days it’s been opened, or the fulfillment status. By using Lilypad to set goals, your reps can track a commitment all the way to the placement of the product on the retailer’s shelf. If there are incentives tied to these goals, the reps will certainly let you, and your distributors, know when a commitment isn’t fulfilled.
Lilypad’s Distributor Recap tool is another great way to encourage cross-tier communication and track activities and placements. Of course, when your distributor isn’t doing what they need to do to keep your relationship beneficial for both of you, it’s time to get serious – like Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse, as described by Jason. The good news is that using tracking tools like Lilypad gives you a reliable, accurate way to hold your distributor accountable for what they need to do.