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Confessions of a (former) beauty rep.
by Pia Bruns.
My days were a buzz of coffee, kilometres and a never-ending supply of new products for pitching to eagerly waiting clients.
Sounds glamorous, but to get the job done I was reliant on technology every minute of the day. This, unfortunately, was never a great experience. I often found myself thinking “there must be a better way”. Talking to my colleagues and competitors on the road, we all felt the same.
Here are the 3 top things that I – and most health & beauty sales reps – wish they had.
On the road again...
Each day I would be in a new place, glued to an iPad for my calendar, reminders, product orders, emails, banking, catalogues and marketing information, and everything else I needed to do my job.
I had one device, but the companies I worked for had separate apps for just about every part of the job.
My entire day balanced on being able to easily access these apps - which was just about impossible.
The apps were clunky and extremely unreliable, to say the least. Often, I would also find my iPad had done a sync or update and wiped my calendar or cancelled an order in progress, rendering me useless.
Eventually it became easier (and safer) to manually take orders, notes, and write down appointments instead of using the various programs. I would then call or rely on my hand written notes to pass the orders on to my office.
Let me tell you, a few mistakes were made!
Reporting daily pains
Reporting was another daily pain point for me.
As none of our apps or systems were integrated, it was up to me to go through my client orders and enter the units sold and dollar value into a spreadsheet. The spreadsheets were long, messy and prone to human error, particularly at the end of a long day.
As the company added new lines or ranges, the humble spreadsheet was soon bursting at the seams.
We were relying on data entered manually into a spreadsheet and it was almost impossible to gauge growth, measure success, or forecast for the future.
In the ever-changing health & beauty arena, being able to track product sales and performance to a granular level is the key to maximising your growth - and allows reps to get back to selling!
A few of the reports I desperately wish I had on the road:
CRM (Constantly Relying on Memory):
This industry is one of the few left that still believes in face-to-face relationships.
They are essential to everything you do. Your success is largely measured on the level of service and support you provide, so having clear knowledge of your client and their account is critical.
I’ve experienced first-hand the challenges of trying to provide a 5-star experience with limited CRM access and have seen the impact this has on client relationships. Having full 360-degree visibility of your clients will set your brand apart from the rest.
This sounds like a no brainer, but I’ve worked with many great companies and teams who still operate their CRM independent of other internal systems, or worse, no CRM at all.
You work hard to win loyalty with customers so keeping professional, detailed client records is vital to stop Constantly Relying on Memory.
Sadly, my pains tell an all too common story. The good news is, it can be fixed.
You can use a single platform ERP like NetSuite to roll together all your operations into one neat package; inventory management, customer records, finance and accounts, tasks, real time reporting, marketing – all completely cloud based and accessible anywhere.
You’ll get real-time insights into the business KPIs that matter and a single version of the truth across the entire business.
A good ERP will future proof your business and supercharge the potential of your (current) sales reps!
If you're reading this and you're in the Health, Beauty and Wellness Industry, I've leant my experience to our latest eBook on simplifying your technology - read it here.
My career has seen me working with some of the top Health & Beauty manufacturers and distributors in the business. I was lucky to have worked in business development, account management, and marketing for some of the most iconic Australian brands. Today I combine my love of technology and the Health & Beauty industry in my role as a NetSuite Account Manager at Fusion5.
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