The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Posts By Debbie Paul

This report, now available in PDF format, is a benefit for MDM Premium subscribers. Simply log-in below to access and download this series of articles. Not a subscriber? Subscribe below.

Employees are one of the primary reasons for success in distribution, but training programs and budgets often do not reflect their importance. This collection of articles, based on the results of arecent Real Results Marketing survey, looks at the training gap in distribution, how to overcome training challenges and ways to improve employee training.

Articles included in this special report:

  • Move Beyond Sales Training
  • How to Overcome Training Challenges
  • Mind the Training Gap for Negotiation

Click on the link below to download this special report in PDF format.
 

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Distributors lag when it comes to follow-up or reinforcement training, and they woefully lack in negotiation training, even though a major part of a buyer’s role is negotiating with vendors. This article, based on the results of a recent Real Results Marketing survey, further examines the challenges distributors face around providing training.

This article is part three in our ongoing series on training in distribution. Part one looked at how distributors can shift their thinking about training, and part two examined the challenges distributors face around providing training

This article includes:

  • Why negotiation training is critical
  • The importance of viewing training in a new light
  • Training tools and techniques

Subscribers should log in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • The Critical Role of Employee Training
  • How to Overcome Training Challenges
  • Training, Technology Take Front Seat in Employee Retention Strategies

Distributors say they want to provide more training to their employees. But decisions about product and sales training delivery, measurement and retention aren’t always simple. This article, based on the results of a recent Real Results Marketing survey, examines the challenges that distributors face around providing training.

This article is part two in our ongoing series on training in distribution. Part one looked at how distributors can shift their thinking about training.

This article includes:

  • Amount & type of training follow-up offered
  • Time spent on online learning
  • Trends in delivering vendor training

Subscribers should log in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • The Critical Role of Employee Training
  • MDM Interview: Beyond Change Management
  • Training, Technology Take Front Seat in Employee Retention Strategies

Employees are one of the primary reasons for success in distribution, but training programs and budgets often do not reflect their importance. This article, based on the results of a recent Real Results Marketing survey, looks at why the gap exists and how distributors can shift their thinking about training.

This article includes:

  • An overview of the skills training gap
  • Internal vs. external training
  • Tips for closing the gap

Subscribers should log in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • 2016 Distribution Remodel: Deepen Talent Development
  • Succession Planning: Positioning for the Future
  • MDM Interview: Beyond Change Management

A joint MDM-Real Results Marketing survey revealed that inside sales teams struggle in balancing proactive and reactive sales activities. This article examines how distributors can streamline those activities to make their inside sales teams more effective and increase revenue.

This article includes:

  • How inside sales teams spend their time
  • Ways distributors' measure inside sales teams
  • Tips for improving effectiveness of inside sales

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Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • Who's My Coach? The Changing Role of Sales Managers
  • Industry 4.0: Technology-Driven Change
  • AJ Adhesives Takes Service to New Level
marketing

A joint MDM-Real Results Marketing survey revealed that while many distributors do not view marketing planning and strategy as a challenge, a plan would eliminate a host of other marketing challenges they face. This article examines how distributors across sectors approach marketing and what they consider the most effective channels.

This article includes:

  • Distributor marketing challenges
  • Commonly used marketing vehicles and channels
  • How distributors manage pricing

Subscribers should log-in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • The ROI Case for B2B E-Commerce
  • MDM-Baird Distribution Survey: Grinding to a Halt
  • Rebranding Road Map

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 …

Inside sales can be a powerful source of growth, especially when integrated with field sales, e-commerce and direct response marketing. This article provides a snapshot of how distributors who responded to a recent MDM survey use inside salespeople and call centers. A notable finding: Nearly half of respondents said that their inside sales reps proactively sell less than 10 percent of the time. The authors argue that this needs to change.

While social media and e-commerce are gathering increasing attention among distributors, some of the most successful have utilized call centers to support effective inside sales as part of an integrated multi-channel offering. However, in a recent MDM survey, the vast majority of distributors have limited inside sales functions or outbound-only telephone sales (see Figure 1) in large part because they may not understand the power of inside sales by itself or in conjunction with field sales, e-commerce and direct response marketing.

For many, inside sales involves ordering, technical support, returns handling and credit management. Rarely does it involve …