Recommended Reading: Top 5 Articles from 1Q

Inside sales, pricing and business investment draw distributors' focus in the first quarter.

Distributors were looking for answers to a broad range of business questions in the first quarter, with the quarter's most-read articles focused on five very different topics.

Here are the top five articles on from the first quarter:

1. Top Trends for 2016 – From digital disruption to internal struggles with hiring and training, distributors are looking for ways to handle the broad-ranging issues driving the industry for the new year. This article identified 10 of the critical areas distributors need to focus on.

2. 2016 State of Distribution Inside Sales: Strive to be Proactive – Distributors struggle to balance their sales teams’ reactive and proactive sales activities, often relying more heavily on the reactive, according to the results of a joint MDM-Real Results Marketing survey. But shifting how the role of inside sales is perceived can increase sales overall.

3. 2016 Distribution Remodel: ‘Invest or Die’ – A distributor can’t reinforce the company’s foundation or add new floors without devoting time and money to the process, but those that take the steps needed to compete in today’s competitive landscape will be rewarded with additional market share and improvement to their bottom lines.

4. MDM Premium Extra: Grainger and the Pricing Dilemma – This bonus article examines Grainger’s “everyday low pricing” gross margin risk, recent industry statistics about pricing and other commentary about the “profit pressure” that distributors face.

5. 2016 Distribution Remodel: Refocus on the Core – For distributors to successfully navigate a challenging landscape they must reinforce their core strengths. This facet of the 2016 Distribution Remodel could entail a number of solutions, from deepening customer engagement to dropping unprofitable customer segments to divesting noncore assets.

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