Big ideas, programs and initiatives require support in order to be successful. You need allies who will advocate for your idea and help you win over even more people. For corporate brands with a network of local sales partners- agents, dealers, franchisees, retailers, etc.- your biggest ally is the person who communicates with your dealers on a regular basis. It’s your field sales team, like a sales manager or territory manager (TM).
Let’s explore a little deeper.
Why buy-in is important
Companies want field marketing programs because they help sell their products. But, even if you develop the best local marketing program in the world, it will fall flat if your dealers don’t buy into it.
Titles vary by industry, but your TM is the person that dealers listen to and trust because they’re the liaison between the local dealers and national brand. TMs care about selling products, and they don’t really care how that happens, as long as it does. So if a TM doesn’t see the value in the corporate field marketing program, he’s not going to spend his time promoting it. And if he doesn’t promote it, dealers won’t learn about it or be encouraged to join. They won’t buy in. Now you have no participation in a good program that you spent a lot of time putting together, meaning your local marketing and brand recognition will suffer.
The TM is your ultimate sales tool. His time is valuable because he covers a lot of area geographically and is responsible for a lot of dealers. There are plenty of things he can help them with, including marketing. But he’s only going to encourage participation in the marketing program if he believes it’s going to help sell products. From a corporate perspective, you want to get buy-in so that TMs will promote the program and dealers will take advantage of it.
How you get buy-in
Getting TMs and dealers to buy in to your field marketing program is all about showing the “what’s in it for me.” When you’re talking to the TMs, explain how the program is going to make them look better. Many TMs don’t have a background in marketing, which means we need to make it easy to create local marketing plans. And when TMs know how to help the dealers, they look smarter and build more trust, which helps both stay more engaged and interested in the success of their marketing plan. Plus with marketing, it’s easier for the TM to sell more product without working as hard.
Metis is one of the things that SA offers to help simplify marketing. Creating a marketing plan can be so broad, but Metis offers a step-by-step, easy process, with automatic support directly built in. Whenever dealers or TMs have questions, they just give their SA account manager a call and we help solve the issue.
Bottom line: you have to win over your territory managers to earn buy-in on your field marketing program. Good marketing plans benefit everyone- the dealer, the TM and the national brand- so your job is to sell it and show them why it’s worth their time. Contact us to learn more about getting your field marketing co-op program up and running.