Besides good selling skills, friendliness, patience, ability to offer professional service, fast response time, flexibility and so on, strong product knowledge remains at the top of the characteristics that successful sales representative should possess.
Most common selling processes in the paint and coatings industry
Whether the formulator needs specific raw material while reformulating an existing formulation or is trying to gather materials for an entirely new product, they need support from their suppliers.
They’re either looking for a very detailed piece of information regarding the particular material or supplier’s starting point formulation. Or they have questions about new raw material and wondering if it might suit their previously-created formulation.
This situation shows clearly the importance of strong chemical knowledge (or, better yet, in-depth understanding of all material functionalities and their application possibilities).
Ideally, a sales representative would deliver all the information needed, promptly and with ease.
The reality in the paint and coatings industry:
The problem starts when a sales representative has a lack of product knowledge.
In the early stages of developing the Allchemist digital platform, our team performed in-depth research into every aspect of the paint and coatings industry.
Team members were questioning and observing both sides, formulators as well as suppliers of raw materials, and came to many interesting conclusions.
The lack of product knowledge was one of the major issues, and it was common to both sides.
Usually, each sales representative covers only about 20% of the product portfolio. This is particularly problematic for larger organizations with more than 500 products in their database.
Not having a good product knowledge base doesn’t mean that salespeople are not competent enough. These same salespeople should possess a very specific kind of knowledge and experience that would enable them to give their customers the right answers on time.
Question is would that even be physically possible when dealing with a portfolio of more than 100 products. We think not.
Even if companies invest maximum effort in educating their sales team, it would still be quite impossible for salespeople to answer to all of the specifics about individual raw materials right there at the formulator’s office.
The behavior and reactions of each raw material depend on many different factors.
Those are truly hard to predict without specific chemical knowledge, a demonstration in starting point formulation and at least a few years of expertise in formulating paint and coatings.
Why sales teams don’t need expert chemical knowledge anymore to be successful
Allchemist provides your sales, marketing and technical support teams with an easy-to-use solution for permanent access, instant product knowledge base and live demonstration ability of a company’s full product portfolio.
All of this is possible while your salespeople are communicating with the customer by phone, online, conference call or live, in their office or their lab.
With the help of Allchemist, the sales team can discuss with their customers or formulators starting point formulations or help them search for the most suitable material for their existing formulation. They can compare different materials with endless possible parameters, prices, and hazards, and see if they fit with a particular formulation.
With Allchemist, you’ll never have to leave your customers with unanswered questions again. What’s more, with this application, TDSs and SDSs are right around the corner, in line with legislation every time you need them.
Your customers will see your sales team as trustworthy, reliable partners, always ready to provide them with relevant answers to their questions on time. And that’s what it takes to create a long-term partnership.