Earlier this year, our President of Sales John Allenbach spoke with MDM for their 2017 Distribution Trends Special Issue. He gave them his thoughts on the changes the industry is facing, especially in sales. He shared that what’s really changed is the person on the other end of the phone is perfectly happy with an inside salesperson calling them to add value and help solve their problems.

You can read his insights in the full MDM article on this shift in sales models here.

What does this effort to meet customers’ demands to buy when they want, how they want look like for distributors? It means moving from a traditional lone-wolf sales model to pack hunting. To succeed in this industry, distributors need to be collaborative and work as a team.

Sales teams can take on many different forms. As the MDM article said, “The key is serving your customers how they want to be served.” A few of the critical decisions that must be made when selecting a sales team that is capable of driving growth in this new environment include:

  1. How many people are on the sales team?
  2. What’s the balance between inside and outside sales?
  3. What kind of experience and tenure is required on your sales team?
  4. What technology do you need to support your team in meeting fast-changing customer demands?

Here are two other areas where collaboration can make your company stronger:

Collaborating to Win Customers

Winning new customers requires a focused team effort on all fronts. A new customer often knows nothing about your company. The communications sent from your company play a large part in their first impression of how you do business. If the sales team is not collaborating with marketing, you might find yourself sending the wrong message; what’s more, sales may not have the data they need to respond to new opportunities.

Collaborating to Close Sales

As our CEO Larry Davis said in his recent blog on MDM, once we’ve invested the time and effort it takes to close a sale, we must also have an all hands-on deck approach to finishing the deal. Having a collaborative team in the ready to close business sends a powerful message to the customer. This means having a sales team that has already established a customer onboarding process and knows exactly how they will manage the customer’s needs. Closing a sale is not about one salesperson or who won the deal, it’s about the team and its ability to close the business and grow the customer.

Do you want to learn more about taking a collaborative approach to growing sales for your business? Watch our recent webinar, The Distribution Sales Playbook: Targeting the Right Business, on-demand now.

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