Ant Hill Retail FAQ
How do BUYERS view Ant Hill?
In very high regard and as a valuable filtering partner. Since Ant Hill is not a cheap system, we weed out many brands, and only bring the best to retail buyers. At Ant Hill, we work with smaller, well capitalized and innovative crowd-funded brands all the way up to billion dollar national brands. Retail buyers don't feel the need to vet the brands as heavily as they normally would when the brand is on their own since we run the sales for hundreds of retail brands.
How up-to-date is your database?
Can't I just buy a purchased list?
No! Generally speaking, purchased lists are not only very outdated but highly dangerous. If you emailed from that list, you would quickly be triggered and red-flagged on Blacklist checker systems (like Spamhaus) and it would quickly ruin your domain. It is highly advised to use Ant Hill clean data instead.
Do you guarantee sales?
No. We only guarantee what is within our own control. In retail sales, this is workload. We guarantee an actual count of informative conversations with retail buyers. We are contractually obligated to hit these dialogs each month. In retail, roughly only 3-4% of openings appearing in a planogram each cycle (as most existing products stay on shelf). When you are competing with hundreds (or in some cases, even thousands) of other brands for a spot, the best way for you to win is through the aggregate, meaning, we simply have a larger reach than any other entity so we open up more dialogs and aren't as reliant on just a few.
How do you spend your time, on phones, email or travel?
At Ant Hill, we are a very heavy phone call sales organization. Roughly 35-40% of our Account Managers day is spent on the phone, progressing dialogs. This is compared to 2%, which is in the industry average. We know that we progress dialogs 8X quicker on phone rather than through email. We also know that we typically on get one meaningful dialog out of every 3 phone call attempts (depending on the channel). If this ratio is quicker than 3:1, then Account Managers also have a minimum call attempt number associated with each plan, to make sure they are targeting larger chains (who tend to not answer as often as individual locations).
How do your smart blasts (email blasts) work?
At Ant Hill, we have built our own email system. We use 25 different I.P. addresses from around the country and trickle them out every 15 seconds as to not trigger Blacklists. Since we only use Ant Hill's clean data of current buyers, our emails reach the intended buyers.
Do you work on commission?
No. Commissions work best in industries with very short sales cycles (think buying a car). It does not work on a long sales cycle (retail). Since reps make 98% of their revenue on existing sales from products already in store and only 2% off of new products, they spend their time in agreements that are not with new products. This leads to great opportunity cost and poor results. With Ant Hill, we have highly talented and high salaried professionals who have a workload they prefer with buyers. You bring us the blueprints of your brand, and we are going to frame the house, either way, so to speak.
How do I track your work?
Through the backend of our CRM. We provide you a username and password. From there you can view email and phone dialogs with specific data on the buyer and retailer name with an associated date, time and notes
How are your employees incentivized?
They are incentivized internally. Each employee is bonused out on brand contract extension (meaning you are satisfied) as well as vendor docs received from retailers. This leads to a much higher effectiveness than a rep who promises something outside of their control (sales) and then disappears for the next six months until the brand terminates the relationship and replaces them with a new fast-talking rep.
How do you differ from RangeMe?
RangeMe is a platform that works primarily with 3 channels (Ant Hill works with 108). RangeMe is a 'view only' platform. At Ant Hill, since we work with hundreds of brands and over 105,000 active retail buyers, we know who the buyers are from day one and apply best practices to open the dialogs with as many buyers as possible.
How many Account Managers will I get to work my brand?
Typically two. These AM's will hold weekly scheduled calls with you and discuss learnings from different channels and outreaches. From there, you, the brand, control what we do with each of these dialogs.
Do you work with retailers in Canada or in Europe?
We do work Canadian retailers, but our core competency is with US retailers. We do not, however, work with European retailers.
Do you compete with existing sales teams and/or outside rep groups?
Do you recommend we attend trade shows?
No. Trade shows have been on a sharp decline with respect to the brand v. buyer ratio. Buyers are identifying brands they are interested in through Google Searches much more where in the past they needed to attend these shows to see who the potential brand pool was. For the fewer buyers that still attend these shows, they typically attend the first few hours or first day only which leaves the brands spending the rest of their days disappointed, and speaking to bloggers, small PR outlets and mom and pop retailers. At Ant Hill, we know who the buyers are now and they know us. We begin those dialogs instantly with the intent on getting on radar and buying calendars for as many retailers as possible.
How is the transfer of contacts once we leave the system?
This is a very smooth transition. Unlike rep groups who hold contacts hostage, we export all the notes and buyer details we have for any buyer who showed interest in your brand during the duration of your stay. This information is uploaded to our 'Brand2Buyers' CRM. From there, we populate your data and give you a username and password to continuing using our proprietary CRM for your own brand.