It’s hard to engage external sales teams. Especially salespeople at external partners are often many links away from your brand’s HQ. Nevertheless, they are a crucial part of your retail operations. After all, they are the ones who meet your end customer.
Needless to say, finding a way to engage with this important link is imperative. But what is the best way to do so?
Let’s list our top 10 suggestions on how to engage your external sales teams. Of course, all of these are perfectly catered for in the MevoApp platform.
10 ways to engage external sales teams
1. Invite them to a fun challenge
Simply the fact that you, as a brand, have gone through the trouble of organizing something for them, is exciting. The initiative is always welcome and appreciated. In general, external partners do not exactly spoil external salespeople and retail partners. Make them feel special (because they are!) and give them VIP treatment. That means rolling out a (digital) red carpet to a challenge where they are invited to compete, have fun, and get to know you better.
2. Make it interesting (i.e. include some prizes)
Incentives speak louder than words. The possibility of winning something will increase engagement. The good news is that the engagement doesn’t necessarily increase proportionally with the size of the prize. Just adding some points, levels, and badges (yep, gamification, see point 4) will make a challenge more fun. If you throw in some prizes and rewards for best performance, individually and as a team, you make sure that your target group pays attention and performs well.
3. Level the playing field
When organizing sales contests, there is a tendency for the same few people to excel every time. Often, these are the people who are already fans of your brand and high performers. Of course, you should take care of them too. But the value of your initiative will get a real boost if you can include as many people as possible. Everyone from the newcomers to the almost retired. Here’s how: Best practice sales contest prize strategy.
4. Use gamification
Scientifically proven to boost engagement and motivation, gamification is your friend. This does not mean turning your brand into a video game, but using elements from gaming to trigger people’s competitive spirit. The dopamine our brain gets from being rewarded for a little effort, makes us want to repeat the action.
5. Include some MICRO-learning
Did you know that the gamification mentioned above also improves knowledge retention? Yes, really! That’s why including some light training in your sales initiatives is a great idea. Also, it’s a well-known fact that it’s easier to sell what we know. Give your external sales teams some easy-to-remember key facts about your brand and products to boost engagement AND sales.
6. Stay close and personal
Individualized content makes the experience more memorable and engaging for your external sales teams. If you are able to include a personal connection, with a name and the face of a real person at your brand, it’s all the better. “Peter Jones from SuperBrand” is much more personal (and nicer!) than just “SuperBrand HQ”. Following up personally increases the feeling of being seen by your brand. The result is super-engaged external sales teams.
7. Value great performers
Make sure you clap, praise, and reward high performers. When you put in the effort, you want it to be acknowledged. So make sure to shine some well-deserved spotlight on the people and teams who are doing a good job. And: It doesn’t always have to be the people in the lead – maybe you can spot someone who is excelling at knowledge, or who shares really inspiring photos? Let the world (or at least the rest of the people in the challenge know). A public scoreboard will boost engagement in itself.
8. Build brand loyalty
The holy grail is of course making people LOVE you. Engaging a group of external sales teams and partners in a digital challenge is a chance to build brand advocacy. Use it well! That means including fun facts and brand storytelling throughout the challenge. The micro-learning should not only focus on product techs and specs but also include some facts about your brand’s proud history and values. Sustainability initiatives. Famous brand ambassadors. And so on.
9. Wrap it up in style
When the challenge is over (you should keep the campaign period short to ensure max engagement), make sure you are moving fast: Announce winners, send out prizes, and make sure everyone involved gets praised for their effort. No loose ends! Finish on a high, to make sure the good impression lasts.
10. Refine and repeat
Learn from your experience and make sure you keep your target groups wanting more. If you have played your cards right the first time, they will be eagerly awaiting your next initiative. Make sure to keep on delivering on the same note as before, mixing it up with new focus products, different prizes and strategies to keep it interesting.
Feeling inspired to try out these points? Book your free MevoApp demo, and we’ll advice you on how to proceed to build brand ambassadors and boost sales.