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The traditional services provided by field sales reps are quickly losing their "differentiating value," and these roles must evolve if companies want to remain competitive, according to Mike Marks in The Future of Relationship Selling: The Gorilla in the Room, part 2.
Field sales reps have traditionally focused on building relationships with customers by providing them with information on products and ensuring they never experience major disruptions in service, he says. However, technological advances have increased availability of knowledge and improved efficiency – making these tasks unnecessary.
Additionally, "the ongoing race to the bottom" has made price the top concern of distributor customers rather than "a distant third consideration," Marks says.
In order to remain competitive in the changing market, the role of distribution field sales reps must change. Otherwise the role will fade away "because it is costly and ineffective in the new market environment," he says.
Read more about the need to adapt field sales to today's marketplace in The Future of Relationship Selling: The Gorilla in the Room, part 2.