What Can Independent Manufacturer Sales Reps Expect From Manufacturers, Suppliers, Vendors & Service Providers

When working directly with Manufacturers, there are several things that can but should never be expected of them by independent sales reps. Initial discussions should be inclusive to identify the roles and expectations of the other.  Review the following examples.

Product or service – does it meet the needs in your territory or fit within your niche call points?

Training – Manufacturers often tend to offer preliminary product training for the independent sales rep on their products and/or services they offer. For instance, training is done via product training material sent electronically or a hard copy.  In the past few years electronic training material has exploded along with web training. However, at times, it may be beneficial to the manufacturer and the independent sales rep to meet members of the company and certainly, there may be mutual benefits to the independent rep and the manufacturer for the independent rep to visit the manufacturing facilities.

Who Pays for What? Manufacturers may offer to pay or split expenses with the independent manufacturer reps for training tools, specialty training and travel for same. In medical sales, there may be instances where special certifications, licensures, or other special training may be needed for the independent sales rep. The manufacturer has the option to focus on aligning only with those independent sales reps with specialty sales backgrounds and already with certifications required to promote the manufacturers’ products. However, the manufacturer may also choose to assist independent sales reps to obtain the certifications or special sales training needed. In some situations, training schedules are available across the nation in major metro or strategically located areas a year in advance. More often, this is with larger companies.

Compensation! Compensation for efforts put forth or compensation on performance results. See additional resources for compensation for independent reps and creative commission structures.