You are familiar with the portfolio concept if you own any kind of equity, bond, real estate or other investment fund. If you’re familiar with the major investment companies – such as Charles Schwab, Vanguard, Fidelity, BlackRock – you are familiar with portfolio strategies.
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Many independent distribution companies wonder why their gross margin, net profit and attendant multiples are inferior to their $2 billion-plus sales, national-market, publicly held competitors. These competitors may have many structural advantages:
In this article, I will discuss a useful approach, the Private Equity Investor Framework, which will help you think like an investor to improve and grow your business. You don’t have to be a trained financial professional to use and apply it.
The vast majority of distributors who are still in business today have good direct salespeople without whom they would not be in business. Yet the distribution world is changing – it’s not your grandfather’s distribution business anymore.
Although e-commerce initiatives are front and center for many distributors today, in-store revenue remains essential. Yet most distributors with walk-in trade place limited emphasis on in-store marketing and merchandising.
Everybody knows that it is easier to sell to existing customers than it is to acquire new customers. A good segmentation of your markets is one of the keys to successful new customer acquisition.
If created and managed well, outbound and inbound calling programs can be very effective. What’s more, implementation does not have to be expensive or overly complex.
For many, inside sales involves ordering, technical support, returns handling and credit management. Rarely does it involve proactive, outbound sales. Simply put, those with the title “Inside Sales” spend little or no time actually doing inside “sales” because they lack the time, training or aptitude or skills to be successful.
When we ask successful distribution company executives about the sweet spots in their market, they readily provide a confident answer. The problem with the answer is that it is usually incorrect or at best partially correct.
Up-selling and cross-selling are the two primary means of growing an account. Among these, cross-selling is paramount. Here’s why: many distributors have regular customers who buy the same set of 10 to 20 SKUs over and over, yet, they have thousands of other products that could be sold to those same customers.