You must look closely at the business you want to acquire from your competitors, in order to define a specific strategy. Do you want to dominate a certain product category or a specific geography? Or do you want to focus on a particular customer type, such as large volume or a specific SIC?
B2B Sales Channel Strategy
Distributors sell through multiple sales channels: outside sales, inside sales, ecommerce, customer service, VMI and more. But as customer expectations shift, the role of each channel in B2B sales continues to evolve. Customers are demanding a seamless experience no matter where they interact with the distributor.
It’s a great idea and it requires thoughtful planning. Most distributors want to increase sales by entering new markets — but what does that mean?
How Your Reps Can Make Calls without Visiting Customers Background As of this writing, the coronavirius (COVID-19) is infecting an increasing number of people around the world. We grieve over the human toll this virus takes. With a mortality rate that appears to be about 3% (at the moment) and focused primarily on the elderly…
What’s the difference between customer service and inside sales? What are the skills sets distributors should look for when hiring for a successful proactive inside sales team, and aren’t those the same as customer service?
In general, distributors’ ongoing shift to digital is a good thing; depending on the segment, customers do prefer to be communicated with digitally.
There’s plenty of opportunity in B2B e-commerce right now. Even distributors and manufacturers who have yet to implement e-commerce capabilities can still get in the game.
To many distributors, e-commerce and e-business sound interchangeable. Yet, there are important differences in the definitions.
Your top 10% of customers are covered by field sales. How are you reaching the other 90%? The very largest of a distributor’s accounts (on average the top 5%) tend to make up 55% to 70% of a distributor’s revenue. They have massive buying power, and distributors typically offer them value-added services pro bono.
E-business goes beyond just shopping-cart revenue. E-business involves a broader strategy that incorporates website ordering, EDI, punchout and email/fax order automation, along with an aligned team that is incentivized to drive revenue to these channels.
Most distributor inside salespeople are actually playing the roles of customer service reps and don’t have the skillset for a more proactive role. As a result, these distributors are losing out on significant bottom-line benefits and shareholder value.