Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

How to Unlock Profitable Growth in Today’s Market – Value Creation Strategy #7

For many distributors, growth has been stagnant. The question is — why? Partly because of their sales-oriented mentality, a senior executive may hear responses such as “we need to hire more sales reps” or “increase sales calls.” However, the real solution to market access is understanding what’s occurring in your markets and responding appropriately. It’s about running [...]

NAW’s “Innovate to Dominate” Is Your Essential Roadmap for Innovation – Distributors in the Digital Era #68

I am very excited to announce that Innovate to Dominate: The 12th Edition in the Facing the Forces of Change® Series is published and ready to order from NAW here. For more than a year, our research has gathered insights from hundreds of distributor leaders, thought leaders, suppliers and customers. We were guided by our primary goal: to help distributors connect the dots between the [...]

AI Makes Customer Service Profitable and Here Is How – Leveraging the Power of AI #4

Customer service is a big cost center for distributors. It doesn’t have to be. Customer service (CS) reps speak with buyers and decision makers every day. Each conversation is a sales opportunity, but one that CS reps aren’t equipped to take advantage of. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can change this by empowering customer service to make orders, instead of just taking [...]

How to Boost Sales Online with AI – Leveraging the Power of AI #3

Over the past few years B2B distributors have learned from successful B2C companies and embraced online sales. Today, distributors must do so again and further update their e-commerce platforms. AI-driven personalization will help distributors sell more across all their online sales channels. Distributors can examine profitable B2C companies and pick up on the strategies that have [...]

Are You Hiring the “Right” People? – Developing Your Workforce #17

In today’s fast-changing workplace, many distributors struggle to find the right talent with the right skills. Even with a well-designed hiring system in place, distributors may still experience a high rate of failure in getting the right people on board. Why is this the case? What are the roadblocks? Before we answer these questions, let’s look at a scenario: A sales rep position [...]

Winning with Artificial Intelligence Requires the Right Knowledge – Distributors in the Digital Era #67

In my research for Innovate to Dominate: The 12th Edition in the Facing the Forces of Change® Series, which is coming to you in November, many of my conversations with distributors were about one of the hottest forces of change — artificial intelligence. Often, distribution leaders talked about artificial intelligence as a software solution that distributors might implement as a best [...]

What Is AI? – Leveraging the Power of AI #2

Businesses succeed by using AI in many ways. Whether that is Amazon growing revenue with personalized product pitches, or UPS routing drivers efficiently to minimize costs, the bottom line is that AI gives users a competitive advantage. My previous post explains why distributors are primed to benefit from AI. In this post I’ll go further to explain what this technology really is, how it [...]

Distributors: Listen Up If You Want to Beat Amazon – Value Creation Strategy #6

Most distributors think they know their customers, until they actually talk to those customers. That is because wholesaler-distributors often operate in an echo chamber, talking to their sales team, but not to their customers. Distributors in an echo chamber don't measure anything, so they don't understand what is working and what isn't. They also focus a lot on the day-to-day minutia [...]

How AI Will Impact Distribution – Leveraging the Power of AI #1

Companies like Amazon and Netflix have used cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to drive growth and disrupt business-to-consumer (B2C) markets. Business-to-business (B2B) distributors have been slow to adapt this technology, however. This will soon change. B2B distributors that leverage the power of AI technology have the potential to turbocharge revenue and disrupt their own [...]

Can You Innovate If Your Employees Don’t Believe You Can? – Distributors in the Digital Era #66

In my research for Innovate to Dominate, the next edition of the Facing the Forces of Change® series to be published in November, I found that distributor leaders understand that culture plays an essential role in determining a distributor’s ability to innovate. Active innovation cultures support innovation efforts by generating new ideas and embracing change as innovation plans are [...]