Close Up: Power To The Sales Rep
Grace Pack began developing OrderWrite in 2019.
Working as a distributor sales rep, Grace Pack hit a breaking point. After spending a day setting up a client’s pop-up storefront, it took her an additional three days just to type the order into the entry system. “I also got a call from my customer service rep and she was crying. I’m thinking, ‘What’s going on? This is a great order.’ But the complexity of the order, the details, the multitude of sources and different fulfillment requirements, were just too much,” Pack says. “I realized there has to be a better way, so I started working on OrderWrite.”
As president and co-founder of OrderWrite, a business services company, Pack says the online program empowers each user, bringing complex orders together seamlessly. “The complex orders are more valuable, but we need a repeatable and consistent process, not just for modern buyers, but for successful sales reps and their teams, too.” To Pack, the front-end process is just as important as the back-end. “The program is designed for sales reps and their clients. That’s my vantage point as a sales rep,” she says. “When sales reps use OrderWrite to easily build and curate an online pop-up store for their client, the program itself allows you to process and send orders accurately to suppliers without forcing reps to manually load entries on the back-end. Then we tie it all together with our fulfillment component system.” Pack says OrderWrite works to eliminate errors across the board. “The important thing is when an individual places an order, that order is accurately processed with that information from beginning to end.”
Pack is a third-generation promo professional, so she’s familiar with the nuances and needs of distributors and their clients. “I was the kid whose binder always had a logo on it. I never had to go school-supply shopping, really,” she says, with a laugh. As soon as she graduated from college, Pack got her official start in the industry working in sales. “I was a 100-percent commission-based salesperson. I actually wasn’t given many accounts, so it forced me, very quickly, to hone my new business skills. I was able to get my book of business to $1 million in under a year and a half. I realized there is a value for distributors and sales reps in our industry; it’s not just all online, but we can harness the power of online tools to create breakthrough growth. We just need to define how we do that and put it online.”
Pack says her time as a sales rep also transformed her perception of product design and functionality. “You learn a lot of lessons when you’re managing everything from concept to design to production of a project or program,” she says. “One of the biggest lessons I learned was that this is what I like doing. I’m happiest when I’m building and developing solutions for businesses.”
Since the beginning of her career, Pack says she wanted and needed the services provided through OrderWrite, especially when growing her book of business. In 2019, Pack left her career as a sales rep and partnered with a team of developers to launch OrderWrite.
By empowering each user, Pack says OrderWrite is creating dramatic change. “Most ecommerce platforms are just a convenient way to collect orders, but OrderWrite is actually a tool for salespeople to sell merchandise online and organize the orders as well as provide a framework for backend distributors to fulfill those orders.” In 2020, according to PPAI’s annual Distributor Sales Volume Estimate, the share of online sales for promotional products was 17.3 percent, a drop from the year prior—in 2019, online sales were 18.6 percent—while online shopping increased across most consumer goods categories. “I believe that the reason for that is, so far, this type of technology hasn’t been designed to empower the people behind it,” says Pack. “OrderWrite is designed to empower its user by simplifying the work that it takes to bring these valuable and complex orders to life. It’s flexible, so sales reps get to use it for each client and respond immediately to their needs.” In this digital age, she says, the 17.3-percent sales statistic is mind-blowing. “I think OrderWrite is a great way to take some of those orders that are coming in from emails and phone calls, through a more proficient channel to create breakthrough growth.”
By helping to minimize human mistakes, OrderWrite maintains a user experience that is defined by a more accurate order and fulfillment process. “It’s predictable and repeatable,” she says. “OrderWrite was designed to create order out of chaos. If you can provide a predictable and repeatable service to your clients, you can enhance your customer service immediately.” Another benefit of OrderWrite is that, by better organizing key data, it frees up precious time for sales reps to spend with their clients. “You get the fun part of sales back, like product discovery,” says Pack. “Shopping on your clients’ behalf is the fun part of being a sales rep in this industry, but when you get bogged down with all the administrative tasks—and, let’s be real, sales reps aren’t that great at them—it becomes stressful.” She adds, “It’s really about letting the computer do what it does best, and letting sales reps do what they do best.”
This OrderWrite screenshot shows an example of a shopper’s page. Right, this is an example of OrderWrite’s backend page.
When it comes to adding products, Pack says the options are limitless. “As a sales rep, you know that your clients are going to dictate what products are offered on your storefront and how they are decorated. OrderWrite gives you the flexibility to work with any supplier and also decorate your products in any way.” For suppliers, OrderWrite also eliminates manual entry of these long-detailed orders. “With a click of a button, our system provides suppliers and decorators with the information they need to process and fulfill orders. No more manual entry,” she says. After all, the driving force behind the development of OrderWrite was to make the sales reps’ lives easier.
Pack says OrderWrite users are excited by how the platform effortlessly supports sales reps. “When we are showing sales reps how to use OrderWrite, you can see their wheels turning, thinking about the different clients they can use the program for, but we also show them how they can generate new business because it’s so easy to use.” Every day, Pack says that she and her team work intently on making OrderWrite as efficient as possible. “I want it to be the best product and service that it can be and that means always improving. I think this industry has had a hard 16 months, and I’m hoping OrderWrite is a bright spot for salespeople and this industry. We want to make OrderWrite an empowering way to move forward.”
PPB spoke with Pack to learn more about OrderWrite’s services and how they can help grow sales.
PPB What are the distinctive benefits and features of OrderWrite?
Pack OrderWrite is like the Swiss-Army-knife ecommerce platform. All of our features and functionalities are designed to help sales reps and distributors do their job. Again, if it’s going to work for sales reps and their clients, it’s got to work for distributors and their support teams. Everything, from making it easy to build storefronts, to the middle and back-office purporting, to our proprietary bin and fulfillment system, is what makes OrderWrite distinct. I say, think about it as a way to offer a repeatable service to your client. I call it “business in a box.”
PPB How can OverWrite’s technology help with improving sales?
Pack I think OrderWrite makes sales fun again. Before OrderWrite, reps spent a lot of time, when an opportunity would come in, looking for a platform to respond to a customer’s demand for an online ordering system. Then, they’d have to pull together the product, and then do all the managing and logistics. That’s a lot for one person to do. Allowing [sales reps] to focus on what’s fun about the business and what they’re good at is really what OrderWrite is designed to do. OrderWrite was also designed to allow sales reps to be more prescriptive. If you can go onto OrderWrite and proactively learn how to use the system as a sales rep and proactively sell it your clients, you’re going to land bigger and better sales, and you are going to provide more value to the clients you are working with. When it comes back to fun, if you’re in sales, you love landing big orders; there’s nothing better.
Kristina Valdez is associate editor of PPB.