Did you know that field sales could be preventing you from creating successful bids? Think about it. The cost of the field-sales function for most distributors is about 15 percent to 20 percent of total gross margin; in competitive bidding situations, the range from low to high bid is usually less than 4 percent.
In other words, if you didn’t have the field sales expense, you could double your bottom line and still come out as the low bid.
Field sales is one of distributors’ biggest expenses. What are you getting for that money? As I’ve noted before, field sales reps typically do their own thing, deciding where and when to spend their time. Sometimes, they even negotiate on behalf of their customers with their own employers. And when they leave, distributors often fear they will take those customer relationships with them.
Some distributors have taken steps to change that, with the goal of having a company-owned relationship rather than sales rep-owned ones. They've restructured, assigning a team to each customer there won’t be a one-to-one sales rep-customer relationship.
But most distributors fail to acknowledge the gorilla in the room: the traditional self-directed field sales rep still wields power far beyond the impact they have on the top lines of most of today’s organizations.
So what’s the next step? What role can and should field sales role play for your organization? How can you respond to the gorilla in the room?
We’ll address that at the upcoming Sales GPS executive workshop in Austin on March 1-2. Attendees will hear expert best practices and peer case studies on how distributors are transforming their models to leverage e-commerce, CRM and analytics.Learn more at salesgps2017.com.
Watch the video below to learn more about the gorilla in the room and what distributors should do to respond:
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