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Recommended Reading: Challenge Your 'Truths' to Adapt to Disruption

How often do you make decisions about your business based on what's been true in the past? Chances are your answer is "quite often." But the distribution industry has reached an inflection point, driven in large part by new competitors and a shifting demographic of buyers and sellers, according to Guy Blissett in Wholesale Distribution Disrupted.

In distribution, orthodoxies are powerful forces that can and do have a detrimental effect on decision-making, Blissett says. They prevent distributors from seeing new opportunities until those opportunities are commonplace for competitors – and as a result, the late adopters find themselves playing catch-up.

But if you challenge your existing orthodoxies, that doesn't have to be the case.

Here are some common “truths” about distribution:

  • We are a low-margin business. This implies a race to the bottom on price. But the modern distributor provides far more than product. How do you sell your value? 
  • We need a large sales force. The traditional sales model that includes a large outside sales force isn't the most effective or cost efficient for all of your customers. Analyze how your customers are best served and adapt your entire sales force for that new reality. (Want to learn more about how to elevate your sales team? Join MDM and Indian River Consulting Group for the Sales GPS 2017 Executive Workshop in March!)
  • We are an asset-intensive business. Technology has enabled better ways to manage and track inventory and other assets. What tools are you using to improve your processes?

Reflecting on your orthodoxies and understanding how they impact your decision-making can create new perspectives and open your eyes to new opportunities.

Read more about the distribution industry's inflection point and what's causing the disruption in Wholesale Distribution Disrupted.

Learn more about the Sales GPS 2017 Executive Workshop, March 1-2, 2017, in Austin, TX, at

© 2019 Gale Media, Inc.

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