Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

How Will You Win by Being Human? – Distributors in the Digital Era #76

“Technology is capable of doing great things. But it doesn’t want to do great things. It doesn’t want anything. That part takes all of us.” — Tim Cook, CEO, Apple I found Tim Cook’s insight on the promise and limitations of technology in an article by Gerd Leonhard with a critical message for distributors: “2020 Will Bring A New Renaissance: Humanity Over Technology,” MIT [...]

How to Succeed in a Customer-Driven Digital Value Chain – Distributors in the Digital Era #75

Are you ready to participate in a digital value chain driven by customer demands for the virtual ordering of products and services, which provides for instant transparency and ever-increasing benefits while at the same time lowering costs? In a recent Forbes article, George Bailey, Managing Director of the Digital Supply Chain Institute, predicts that new customer demands will force [...]

Inside Sales Teams Sell More with AI – Leveraging the Power of AI #12

At a recent conference, I noticed that many distributors viewed AI as a purely digital phenomenon and were split on how the technology affected salespeople; either AI did not apply to sales teams, or it was going to replace them entirely. AI does have a big impact on inside sales, but not in either of those ways. It does not replace sales reps, but instead supercharges them. I’ve watched [...]

What Is the Value of Being Local? – Distributors in the Digital Era #74

As distributors rush to put up e-commerce platforms that can sell anywhere and anytime without human interaction, they are reinventing their business as one that is digital, virtual and data-driven. But, like a retail mall decimated by online shopping, distributors have failed to reposition their most crucial core offering. Distributors are inherently local businesses staffed by humans. [...]

How to Create a Winning Team – Developing Your Workforce #19

With modern organizations moving away from the traditional hierarchical structure to embracing more project-based operations, working in teams is no longer an alternative choice for employees, but an essential consideration to ensure successful business outcomes. In this article, we’ll look at the five key components that affect team effectiveness, and what types of people you need to bring [...]

Winning in a Post-Amazon World – Value Creation Strategy #9

Many distributors think they need to look like Amazon to compete in today’s market. After all, more than 197 million people visit Amazon every month to shop the more than 12 million products available, according to BigCommerce. But just because Amazon is a household name doesn’t mean that distributors need to emulate its every move to be competitive in the digital distribution [...]

How Can You Enable the Future of Business for Customers? – Distributors in the Digital Era #73

Our research for Innovate to Dominate: The 12th Edition in the Facing of Forces of Change® Series revealed a massive new opportunity for distributors: the future of business is up for grabs! Every customer of every distributor in every line of trade is working to understand how their business can survive and thrive in the digital age. Customer change is about harnessing the power of [...]

Hindsight 2020: Key Takeaways to Dominate the Next Decade – Leveraging the Power of AI #11

In 2015, researchers at Forrester estimated that B2B e-commerce would reach $1 trillion by 2020. They were wrong: B2B e-commerce topped $1 trillion two years ahead of schedule. The industry is changing quickly, and distributors rarely get the chance to step back and plan for the future. In this first post of 2020, I’ll review the biggest development of the last few years and offer a [...]

Distributors Are Using Intent Data to Supercharge Sales – Leveraging the Power of AI #10

AI has automated the fundamental challenge of sales: “knowing your customer.” B2B and B2C sellers are increasing revenue by analyzing data and accurately predicting what customers will buy with AI. However, AI is only as good as the data that feeds it. In this article, I’ll explain how distributors can use intent data to supercharge sales and win the data race. Distributors need [...]

Welcome to the Age of B2B Innovation – Distributors in the Digital Era #72

Our research for NAW’s just-released Innovate to Dominate: The 12 Edition in the Facing the Forces of Change® Series revealed a powerful new opportunity for distributors — the future of business is up for grabs! There is a race to leverage technology and human-centric forces of change to help business customers reinvent how work is done and how individuals and organizations [...]