A qualified representative should be realistically qualified and experienced in specific retail venues. Representatives that claim to work with all retail cannot possibly have the depth of knowledge that a focused manufacturer representative has.
A qualified representative should be focused on growing revenue for your company. As such, they should offer fair and reasonable compensation for their services.
Qualified manufacturer representatives should have the ability to speak the language of their retailer(s), create presentations according to their standards, be in contact with or have connections to the buyers/assistant buyers, and they should have knowledge of the undisclosed nuances that will help your company succeed.
If a program is denied, your manufacturer representative should have a plan of action for where to go next. If a program is accepted, your manufacturer representative should be aware of the next steps, and what will be expected from your company.