Calling All Distributors!

In need of some examples of great sales incentive programs that have been done before and why they work. What is the best way to have a supplier incentive run, and what is the best strategy. Any help is wanted, thank you.

Distribution or volume?

Sadly, there isn’t much you can do. Different things motivate different people. The people on the other side of the counter have certain needs, and if they don’t match what you are selling, it can be like pulling teeth, so sales people get discouraged easily.

Different states also have laws about what you can legally do with reps, or if you are trying to extend to the retailer.

We are
Instituting a % increase, so base commission plus %1-2 if objectives are hit. So do brand families or featured wines of the month.

I’ve seen it work well with other distribution companies as depending on sales could mean an extra grand or 2 in the sales reps pockets.

Trips have worked well too. Ask your wineries what they could do for you.

Money, Money, Money, Money…Money!

Cash incentives for each case sold. Money talks. It used to be TV sets - now it’s just cash.

For big suppliers and importers; trips - France, Italy, Spain, California…

Cash and trips.

(And entertainment on the trips.)

I find that when I get out there and work the market with reps and tell my story, personally, over and over that they end up doing a terrific job. The harder you work, the better they will do. Watching the supplier makes their sales better.

All great input!

Cash is King I realize, but when our supplier rep goes in front of a Distributor GSM on a Friday for instance, they only have a few minutes in front of the team and I want the brand to stand out with an exciting incentive. Always curious what makes the distributors think “wow, that seems like a great program to run…I want that prize!”

Ah, I see now. You want to go old school with strippers and cocaine.

Never fails.

It all boils down to the market you are in too. Some markets respond to that. In NYC? You’d be dead in the water with big accounts.

I’ve heard so many of those stories. I have a hard time looking some people in the eye after hearing some of them. Pretty wild how out of control some people can get.

Sometimes you have to get through the first line of defense. I wanted to land a big account but couldn’t get to the guy who did the buying. I talked to a friend who sold them a lot of wine. He said the secretary liked white wine. Her office was always full of flowers too. She like those as well. Once you get through her, you had a shot at the VP.

One guy just came out and told me we didn’t show him enough love. He’d just come back from Europe with a different imorter. He made his numbers so the importer took him over.