The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: June 10, 2012

The Case for Proactive Inside Sales

The May 25, 2012, issue of MDM featured an article on the state of proactive selling in distribution on both outbound and inbound calls. Proactivity was defined as making planned outbound calls and/or leveraging inbound calls using a variety of techniques such as cross-selling and probing for additional needs. Nearly half of all respondents to a recent survey of MDM subscribers said that their inside sales reps proactively sell less than 10 percent of the time.

This article examines how a proactive inside sales force can be critical to serving mid-market and small customers as part of a broader multichannel strategy; it includes steps for initiating an effective program.

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.

Proactive inside sales is essential for channel alignment and ensuring effective channel coverage.

Figure 1 (below) shows a mapping of different sales and customer service representatives to market segments. The largest accounts have field sales representatives assigned to them. The smallest accounts are serviced by customer service representatives and e-commerce as appropriate. Mid-market accounts are handled by proactive inside sales representatives and customer service representatives. This approach aligns the …

Commentary: Data Confirm What Distributors Know: 2011 Was a Good Year

Last week we released our 2012 Wholesale Distribution Economic Factbook. This comprehensive report on the U.S. wholesale distribution industry provides detailed 2011 and 2012 economic data for 19 wholesale distribution sectors. Overall, the news was good: The strong rebound of 2010 continued in 2011, though at a slightly slower pace.

Here are a few highlights:

Once again, the wholesale distribution industry …

The Ongoing Shale Gas Opportunity

Distributors continue to home in on the booming domestic oil & gas market, driven by gains in oil and gas shale exploration and production. They say that despite concern over possibly stiffer regulations and environmental challenges, these markets continue to grow faster than other end-markets and hold potential for growth down the road.

The oil and gas market has always been a focus for GHX Industrial Inc., a Texas-based industrial distributor, but when a new technology to extract gas from shale in the U.S. emerged over the past decade, the company aggressively expanded its industrial hose and gasket business into new geographic markets.

Many distributors like GHX Industrial have benefited from …

Surveys: Growth in 2011 Sparking Innovation and Collaboration in 2012

Executives of manufacturing firms expect growth to continue in 2012, and they expect that growth to enable new investments in innovation, according to two recent industry surveys.

More than half of the respondents to ThomasNet.com’s newest Industry Market Barometer survey reported company growth in 2011. And three out of four of the more than 3,700 industrial manufacturing and supply professionals surveyed expect …