Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

Where Are You on Your Pricing Journey– Intelligent Sales and Profit Acceleration #10

Most distributors believe that their efforts of building home-grown pricing matrices amount to accomplishing strategic pricing, but they often experience only modest or flat or even declining (over time) profit improvements. Why? The truth is that strategic pricing isn’t a “yes” or “no” proposition. I’ll propose a new way to think of strategic pricing as a journey and explore a [...]

We Are Better Together

As we have all come out of the pandemic, we are better together as an industry of 5.6 million people who create results, which collectively contribute $5.8 trillion annually to our GDP. As each of us have faced challenges not seen since in a long time, many playbooks are still being written. Many of our members are turning pages and heads with positive results and heartwarming stories of [...]

Why Sales Reps Resist Technology, and What Distributors Can Do About It – Leveraging the Power of AI #26

One of the biggest hurdles distributors face in implementing new technology such as AI is resistance from their sales teams. Experts say sales reps tend to resist technology due to: The fear of the unknown. Change can be anxiety-inducing. Introducing new tools or technology to your organization, no matter how good they are, will alter established workflows and processes. Using new [...]

Why Sales Reps Don’t Value Traditional CRM Solutions – Leveraging the Power of AI #25

Ninety-one percent of data in CRM systems is incomplete due to duplication and outdated data, according to an analysis by Dun & Bradstreet. Pitney-Bowes found that 77% of companies believe they lost sales because of inaccurate or incomplete contact data. It’s clear that data quality is critical to sales success. Bad data can be attributed in large part to manual data entry in a CRM. [...]

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 sales growth or net profitability, [...]

5 Best Practices to Guide Your Sales Compensation Redesign – Value Creation Strategy #18

For salespeople, the top predictor of income should be performance, not tenure. But all too often, it’s the other way around. The truth is traditional sales compensation plans that are tied to territory and tenure no longer work. If you haven’t already updated your sales compensation plan to meet pandemic-induced changes in how sales teams interact with customers, it’s time to act. [...]

Assess, Compete, Transform: The Peak Performance Cycle – Driving Performance with Analytics #13

Understandably, distributors find themselves fighting fires with distribution in such a state of flux and transformation, post-COVID. However, as easy as it is to blame the current environment, the reality of firefighting in distribution is commonplace. Most distributors suffer from breakdowns in what we call the “peak performance cycle” for any high-functioning distributor: Assess, [...]

How Distributors Can Get an Immediate ROI from AI – Leveraging the Power of AI #24

Despite rising enthusiasm around artificial intelligence (AI), companies have struggled to gain a quick return on the technology. But many remain optimistic. More than 90% of executives worldwide expect to get some value from it, according to an MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group report. Companies that are successful with AI share three things: 1. A Lot of Data To [...]

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 [...]

7 Keys to Implementing an Individualized Approach to Sales Training – Driving Performance with Analytics #12

In our book for NAW, Sales and Marketing Optimization: Developing Competitive Value Propositions in Distribution, we provide comprehensive, research-based best practices and tactics for improving sales and marketing at your distribution company. One key tactic we explore is the "I7 Training Framework." With this framework, distribution leaders get a strategic approach to sales force training [...]