Hiring representatives instead of a direct sales force avoids all the fixed costs of direct sales employees: Salary, medical insurance, workers compensation, human resources, travel and entertainment, and more.
If you have a relatively narrow product line, your rep can bundle your products with products from other manufacturers on his or her line card and include your product in a package deal you could not easily put together yourself.
Representatives have intimate knowledge of their territories. Most representatives have years or decades in their territories. That’s more than just market knowledge — your rep often has children who play in the same sports leagues and attend the same schools as your customers — a real advantage over a short-time direct salesperson who is just making a 1-2 year stop in the territory before moving to greener pastures.