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Reseller support reps are sales representatives responsible for developing business through a company’s network of resellers. Resellers buy products from companies and resell them to their own customers from a physical outlet, such as a store, or via the Internet. Support reps work closely with resellers, giving them the information, tools, incentives and assistance they need to sell more of the company’s products.
Sales representatives typically hold a high school diploma, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Companies that market technical or scientific products through resellers may require support reps to hold a bachelor’s degree in a subject relevant to their business, such as computing or engineering, for example. Reps can improve their qualifications by obtaining certification through an accreditation organization such as the Manufacturers' Representatives Education Research Foundation.
Reseller support reps must have good interpersonal skills. They work with different members of the reseller team, including senior executives, sales and marketing managers, sales and customer service representatives. By developing good relationships with their contacts, support reps can build commitment to the company’s products. Support reps must combine excellent product knowledge and presentation skills so that they can clearly communicate the benefits of reselling their company’s products.
Companies establish policies for resellers that specify operational requirements, such as the types of products they can sell, the prices they can charge, the territories they can cover and the level of service they must offer to customers. Support reps are responsible for explaining the policies to resellers and ensuring they comply.
Support reps work with resellers to establish sales targets. Reps may offer different levels of incentive to encourage resellers to sell more. Resellers who qualify for the top tier of incentives may receive additional marketing support, for example, in addition to higher levels of rebates or commissions.
Reseller support reps provide resellers with marketing material to help them communicate with customers. They provide resellers with stocks of catalogs and product flyers. They also supply signage and point-of-sale material that helps to communicate the company brand in resellers’ outlets. High-performing resellers may also receive funding to run co-branded advertising or direct marketing campaigns. Support reps work with the resellers to plan and manage the cooperative campaigns.
Support reps act as the main point of contact for all inquiries from resellers and their customers. They are responsible for dealing with inquiries about commercial terms and conditions, returns and warranties, incentive programs and product information. They provide customers and prospects with contact details of local resellers and they handle inquiries from companies that want to join the reseller network.
Based in the United Kingdom, Ian Linton has been a professional writer since 1990. His articles on marketing, technology and distance running have appeared in magazines such as “Marketing” and “Runner's World.” Linton has also authored more than 20 published books and is a copywriter for global companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and economics from Bristol University.
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