Chicago-area NEMRA rep Prime Devices Corp. celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, but 25 years in business is not the statistic that most excites Prime Devices President Charles Cohon. “The rep business is all about face-to-face sales calls,” says Cohon, “and we’re currently on track to make over 5,000 in-person sales calls this year.”

How does Prime Devices average nearly 100 high-quality, in-person sales calls each week? Cohon credits two key elements of Prime Devices’ business model.

“First, we deploy seven highly experienced and talented outside salespeople and provide them with all the inside support they need to be sure they can devote their time exclusively to making high quality, in-person sales calls. Second, we’ve invested in developing innovative sales force automation practices to keep our outside salespeople out selling.” Cohon notes that those practices have been so successful that Prime Devices has been recognized by CRM magazine and Selling Power magazine, and featured in Sales & Marketing Management, Electrical Wholesaling, and Agency Sales magazines.

Cohon recognizes that the business model can only take part of the credit. “Our employees have an average of 16 years of tenure at Prime Devices,” he explained, “and salespeople with that kind of experience know how to rigorously plan their sales calls for maximum productivity. And our focused, limited line card also helps us get appointments because our customers know we have targeted the market that is important to them.”

Reps get pulled in a lot of directions, Cohon notes, but quality outside sales calls “are Job One. Ultimately, the reason manufacturers hire a rep is to see customers, create opportunities and close business. So we consider it crucial to be sure we provide our sales team with the tools and support that will allow them to focus on that job exclusively.”