Why is retailer engagement so important? Colleague Spotlight: Jack Woodburn, Territory Manager - Microsoft

23 April 2023
Author: Kirsty Whyte

Colleague Spotlight: Jack Woodburn, Territory Manager - Microsoft


No matter which sector you’re in, when your products that take a bit of consideration or research before purchase, keeping retailers engaged will affect how well (or not) your product sells. After all, retail colleagues are the ones selling to consumers when you’re not there.

So, how do brands ensure these colleagues are consistently educated and motivated to sell their products? That’s where field sales teams can support by offering expertise and training to colleagues in store. To find out exactly what this entails and uncover some top tips, we caught up with one of our Microsoft Territory Managers, Jack Woodburn. Hear first-hand how he successfully engages retail customers for his client…


Jack WoodCock


What do you enjoy about providing support in store?


I enjoy visiting my stores because it is varied, challenging and exciting. There are always different Retail professionals with different stories, strengths and ways of approaching sales.

Also, the customers are always changing and they all have different needs and requirements. I find it exciting to encounter and overcome the various challenges the retail professionals might face when engaging with customers – sometimes this also includes stepping in to help customers find their perfect laptop when all the retail professionals are busy or finding alternative ways of obtaining stock if the product the customer wants is not available in the store.


It is a great feeling leaving a store knowing you have helped someone improve an aspect of their life.


In your experience, what are the best ways to engage with retail staff?


I have found that free stuff always helps you gain fans when it comes to retail professionals in stores. A friendly, positive manner also goes a long way. Sometimes you may come across retail professionals who are having a bad day. In this case a personal approach with a simple free pen, a friendly face and a conversation makes all the difference. Having this positive influence can really create a strong bond with the retail professionals and encourage them to want to engage with you. This also means they listen to you with intent and take on board what you are saying.


This makes training on products, coaching on sales techniques and showing off features with demonstrations much more impactful as the retail professionals are clinging to your every word and excited to learn new things.


What are your top tips and tricks for retailer engagement?


1. Creating relationships : 
Not just with the stores but with retail staff as individuals. This comes just by talking to them - ask them about their pets, their holidays, discuss their interests etc etc. If you create a bond with someone they will trust you and be more inclined to work with you.

2. Find ways you can be helpful/useful to that store:

In my role this could be asking management which area the computing department fall short on, in terms of product knowledge and sales. For example, a store that struggles to hit their target for certain products could use some product training and sales coaching on ways to improve this.

3. Enjoy your work and take pride in it:

You attitude can be infectious. One smiley, happy person creates other smiley, happy people – and happy colleagues are more productive workers.


What advice would you give to others in your role when it comes to supporting retail colleagues?


I believe that knowing what a retail professional or store deals with on a day to day basis would be beneficial to others in similar positions as this can help them sympathise with the retail staff, and in turn, create a mutual respect with one another. This is a great starting place for a long-lasting relationship which massively helps when trying get your point across, training and coaching people and getting the outcome you want.


How does this type of retailer engagement increase sales for Microsoft?


The way this helps Microsoft sell more of their products is via brand perception. When retail professionals have a positive perception of us Territory Managers they have a positive perception of Microsoft who we are representing. When retail colleagues have a positive perception of Microsoft, they talk highly of Microsoft products to customers as these products are at the forefront of their minds. When they talk highly of these products, the customers are much more likely to purchase due to the “glowing review” or outstanding demonstration the store expert gave them.


Jack Training Photo


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