Distributors aren’t very satisfied with their sales organizations’ performance, according to the Distribution Strategy Group 2021 State of Sales in Distribution survey, conducted in January-February 2021. Less than half of respondents said they were very satisfied or satisfied.
What does this mean? More than half aren’t satisfied. Respondents cited sales teams’ failure to sell the value of the company and their inability to use multiple selling tools, including CRM, web conferencing, analytics and more.
One of the drivers of dissatisfaction over the past year was the forced changes to sales processes in light of COVID-19, including sending more emails and making more web conference calls, such as through Zoom. Sixty-eight percent said they made more outbound phone calls, with nearly half making fewer sales calls – not surprising as customers shut down prospect calls, limiting in-person visits to existing suppliers – if any at all.
Distributors said that they didn’t feel like these replacements substituted well for face-to-face interactions, but this could be because many salespeople were not prepared for the change.
Field salespeople are not typically comfortable making prospecting calls over the phone, and Zoom calls gained momentum as a result of COVID. Salespeople were essentially thrown into these new ways of communicating with little preparation or training.
Get the full results of our 2021 State of Sales in Distribution survey in our free whitepaper, available now. In it, we outline how you can build a more consultative and adaptive sales force to differentiate in 2021 and beyond.