Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors
David Bauders founded Strategic Pricing Associates (SPA) in 1993 to generate profitable growth for distributors through analytics. In 2015, he founded SPASIGMA to fill a skills gap in sales teams’ ability to navigate evolving buyer practices in today’s digital economy. In 2019, David merged both companies to create SPARXiQ, which provides analytics, tools and training solutions to accelerate sales and profitability.

Migrate from Indiscriminate Order Taking to Strategic Market Making – Intelligent Sales and Profit Acceleration #9

Every day, in B2B businesses everywhere, salespeople are having conversations intended to produce current and future revenue and profitability. For the vast majority of these sellers, whom they spend their time with on any given day is largely an unplanned or reactive outcome. Most sellers don’t have clear insight into which customers produce the greatest [...]

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Understanding the Dynamic of Vendor Cost Supports – Intelligent Sales and Profit Acceleration #8

For distributors in many industries, receiving special cost support from their vendors is critical to winning price-sensitive, end-customer or project business while maintaining profitability. In industries such as electrical, plumbing/HVAC, automation, power transmission, vendors commonly provide distributors with lower costs than their everyday, standard into-stock (SIS) costs. These special lower cost levels are commonly delivered via Special Price Agreements (SPAs) or rebates. In many [...]

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Integrating Strategic Pricing to Optimize Profitable Growth – Intelligent Sales and Profit Acceleration #7

In my last article, I touched on strategic pricing by discussing the tension between sales and pricing. Strategic pricing for most manufacturers and distributors isn’t truly a mature discipline (witness the continuing reliance on Cost-Plus, endless pricing overrides and the neglect of contracts and customer-specific pricing agreements), but it’s stuck in a deadlock between sales [...]

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Resolving the Tension Between Sales and Pricing – Intelligent Sales and Profit Acceleration #6

Many distributors may consider strategic pricing to be a relatively mature opportunity because it’s been around for a few decades now. After all, lots of distributors have built pricing matrices, established controls and put pricing managers in place. While this may be the case, many still treat pricing as a checklist activity, without any intention [...]

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Product Expertise Isn’t Enough for B2B Buyers Anymore – Intelligent Sales and Profit Acceleration #5

It’s no secret that for years most distributors have neglected core sales skills training for their sellers. There are several reasons for this benign neglect of sales skills investment. First, historically, industrial B2B buyers didn’t necessarily need a highly skilled seller. Their purchases were largely needs-driven — not discretionary — and so the core need [...]

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Accelerating Organic Growth with Sales Analytics – Intelligent Sales and Profit Acceleration #4

As companies build their plans for growth in this new year, it’s a good time to leverage sales analytics to build actionable sales goals. Sadly, for many distributors, sales planning has historically been anecdotal, intuitive and virtually data-free. Aside from knowing what a customer (or group of customers) bought last year, and then guessing at [...]

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Sales Acceleration: Rethinking Seller Roles – Intelligent Sales and Profit Acceleration #3

2020 has been a tough year for most distribution sales teams. In certain markets — such as janitorial and sanitation, HVAC, home improvement and landscaping — shifting consumption patterns have spurred rapid growth. Customers increasingly engage with suppliers through e-commerce, market platforms such as Amazon and Alibaba, and virtual meeting platforms. These new, emerging buyer [...]

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Ensure Your Contracts Are Profitable in the New Year – Intelligent Sales and Profit Acceleration #2

It’s no secret that contracts are a great way to secure valuable business for distributors. For many companies, they account for a significant portion of annual revenue and are critical in bringing in key customers. Unfortunately, if they are not managed carefully, contracts can become an area of business where profit leaks or slips through the [...]

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Restructuring Distributor Sales Teams to Better Serve the Modern Buyer – Intelligent Sales and Profit Acceleration #1

As modern buyers have embraced self-service (via internet searches, social media and e-commerce platforms) for much of their buyer journey, the need for traditional sellers who provide product information — and even application insights — has dropped radically. Buyers complete 70 percent of their journey before they even engage with sellers. COVID-19 has accelerated the [...]

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