WooCommerce: How To Manage Sales Reps / Agents

Sales agents and representatives are an integral part of many businesses’ operational models. However, there’s little to no support in WooCommerce by default for agents, as the platform is built and optimized for typical retail shops.

Managing customers and customer relationships is critical for any business, but even more so for businesses with a large customer base, high transaction values, B2B, wholesale, or affiliate models. Agents are the link between the business and the customer, and may be doing everything from providing sales counsel, to taking and placing orders, or even directly managing and handling individual customer orders.

Each shop might work differently, but what they have in common is that they need an ecommerce solution capable of giving agents a platform with powerful, but limited control over customers and orders.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how a WooCommerce business can add and manage sales agents, as well as useful tricks, tips, and plugins that can help.

Sales Reps Management Requirements

The most important features one may look for in a platform would be:

  • Dedicated dashboard for each agent where they can manage their own customers
  • The ability to setup and manage commissions, incentives, earnings and payouts
  • Marketing features for agents so that they can incentivize customers to purchase
  • The ability to take orders for customers
  • Sales teams, and the ability to coordinate and communicate between shop and agents

While there are individual solutions for each feature, you can also use a plugin such as SalesKing – Sales Agents & Reps Plugin for WooCommerce that aims to offer a complete Sales Reps management package and take care of everything a shop needs to add and manage agents.

Sales Agents Features: An In-Depth Look

1. Custom Dashboard

First of all, agents need to have a central place from where they can manage customers and orders. One way to achieve this could be to use create a special agent role, and then use a plugin such as User Role Editor to control the abilities and permissions of the role. For example, you could use this technique to give an agent control over customer orders, but no control over shop settings.

If you’re looking to achieve this with a plugin, SalesKing automatically adds an agent dashboard page on installation, and each agent has a dedicated login, as well as the ability to control settings such as notifications for messages or announcements.

This way, each agent can view and track their performance, balance, earnings, as well as view and manage orders, customers, coupons, affiliate links, payouts, and so forth.

2. Earnings and Payouts

When looking at solutions that handle balances, earnings and payouts, the most important things to look for are security, reliability, as well as reports that give insights into sales statistics. 

SalesKing handles this through a commission structure system (with fixed, percentage and condition-based commissions), and dedicated, separate modules for earnings and payouts. The plugin keeps a complete history of all transactions, and allows payments through PayPal, Bank, as well as custom configurable methods. To be noted that the plugin does not handle money directly, it only allows entering payments, but these have to be made manually by the shop.

Earnings page with Charts
Payouts page with History and Method Configuration

3. Customer Management and Taking Orders

A critical aspect of such a setup is the ability to take orders on behalf of customers. One way this can be handled is using a free plugin such as Login as User, in conjunction with the user role editor, so that each agent can login and place orders as their customers.

With SalesKing, there is a dedicated “Shop as Customer” button, that opens up a frame through which agents have full access as that customer (configurable via settings)

When shopping as the customer, the agent can place orders and pay directly, or use the “Pending Payment” feature, that places the order, and notifies the customer of the expected payment by email. The customer only receives a payment link, and can review and pay for the order with a few clicks.

Customers are directed to the payment page to finalize their orders after an agent places them.

4. Promotion through Affiliate Links and Coupons

Another useful feature, primarily characteristic of affiliate setups, is the ability to promote individual products, through links, coupons or discounts. While this might be achievable with traditional affiliate plugins, SalesKing also has a dedicated module for coupons and links, where these can be created and managed. 

For example the coupons module offers an easy-to-use interface through which agents can handle discounts:

5. Communication and Sales Teams

Something else to look for in such a setup is the necessary ability to stay in touch with sales reps, to show particular deals, discuss orders, handle issues, or help manage customers.

SalesKing manages this through 2 dedicated modules: one for Announcements, which allows the shop to publish articles for their agents, and one for Messages, which allows both parties to engage in conversation threads.

Furthermore, there is also an ability for each agent to add their own subagents, and earn commissions on their orders. This provides powerful incentives for reps to create their own teams and thus create more earnings and value for the shop.

Case study: B2B & Wholesale Sites

Finally, agents can be particularly useful when looking at a store from a B2B perspective. In these kinds of setups, they can manage orders, offer bulk purchase discounts, advise on orders, and so forth.

SalesKing is built to work perfectly with the B2BKing B2B and Wholesale Plugin, and when used together, these integrations become obvious.

For example, B2B customer groups can be assigned to agents, or business customers can be approved manually, and assigned to an agent during the approval process.

Demo: SalesKing can be tested fully through the live demo at https://demosk.woocommerce-b2b-plugin.com/wp-admin

Related content

  • WooCommerce: Show SKU @ Cart, Checkout, Order & Emails
    When SKU matters to the end user, displaying it in the Cart page, Checkout page, Thank you page, My Account View Order page and Order Emails under the item name is a must. Ideal for B2B businesses and international brands, this simple customization can help you learn how to add any sort of content under […]
  • WooCommerce: How to Set Different Prices Based on User Role?
    B2C WooCommerce stores can also have a B2B section. Wholesalers can offer different prices based on different criteria. Subscription stores can offer lower prices to current members. Either way, setting different WooCommerce prices for different users (“based on user role”) is not that difficult. All you need is a plugin (or a stack of plugins, […]
  • WooCommerce: How to Get Customers to Request a Quote?
    Not all WooCommerce websites are born equal. Sometimes a price and an add to cart button are just not enough. B2B platforms, wholesalers and high-ticket businesses are usually quite flexible with their pricing and might need to give customers the freedom to request a quote. Correct, WooCommerce can be used as a quoting engine as […]
  • WooCommerce: 27 SEO Tips (For Non-Techies)
    I had the pleasure to speak at WordCamp Milano 2018, and I had a blast! I believe the topic was pretty interesting, so you all deserve a long post recap with actionable tips and screenshots to understand basic WooCommerce SEO (video of the presentation will be available soon). The following WooCommerce Search Engine Optimization tips […]
  • WooCommerce B2B: How to Set Up a Wholesale Store
    The ecommerce sector is seeing incredible growth, year after year, with no foreseeable end in sight. The same is true for B2B ecommerce, yet there aren’t many good platform choices available for small-to-medium businesses that want to sell wholesale. There are several SaaS solutions on the market, but these are costly, closed-source, and mostly oriented […]

Stefan Statescu

Stefan Statescu is the team leader over at B2BKing. He loves WooCommerce, B2B, and adding value to businesses through awesome software.

Rodolfo Melogli

Business Bloomer Founder

Author, WooCommerce expert and WordCamp speaker, Rodolfo has worked as an independent WooCommerce freelancer since 2011. His goal is to help entrepreneurs and developers overcome their WooCommerce nightmares. Rodolfo loves travelling, chasing tennis & soccer balls and, of course, wood fired oven pizza. Follow @rmelogli

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *