The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

The role of the traditional field salesperson has been disrupted by the rise of Amazon, other digital platforms and fast-changing customer expectations of the buying process. Join us at the Sales GPS 2018 Conference to discover how you can transform your sales model into one that adds more value and works to fend off digital players

The Changing Role of the Distribution Field Sales Rep

The Sales GPS 2018 conference is the only event that focuses exclusively on the changing role of the distribution field sales rep and what you can do about it. Join us for this 1-½ day, hands-on conference designed exclusively for wholesale distribution executives motivated to change their single-channel models into more adaptive and customer-responsive multichannel models.

Interactive sessions cover:

  • How outside/inside sales roles have to change
  • What your customers really want – it’s changing fast!
  • Building a more effective sales team
  • Tools to help you take action today
  • How to rethink sales compensation


Sponsored by:


Session Leaders:
Tom Gale, Publisher, Modern Distribution Management, President, Industrial Market InformationThomas P. Gale
CEO, Modern Distribution Management

Tom Gale is publisher of Modern Distribution Management and and heads the company’s market research and analytics division, MDM Analytics. He has provided marketing services, tools and competitive intelligence to industrial markets and distribution channels for more than 30 years. As a principal of MDM since 1992, he has focused on industrial distribution channel strategies, trends and disruptive models.

Tom was an executive editor and chapter author of the Distributor’s Guide to Analytics, published by MDM in 2015, and a co-author of Stand Out from the Competition! Four Pathways to Differentiate Your Wholesale Distribution Company, published by the National Association of Wholesaler Distributors in 2003. Tom also contributed to NAW’s Outlook 2009: An Executive’s Companion to Facing the Forces of Change.
IanIan Heller
President & COO, Modern Distribution Management

Ian Heller has served as VP Marketing for Grainger, EVP eCommerce at GE Capital Rail, SVP Marketing & Merchandising at Newark Electronics, VP Marketing North America at Corporate Express and VP Marketing at HD Supply Construction & Industrial.

Ian holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he was elected commencement speaker by his classmates and won the “Distinguished Service Award” for his class from the Dean’s office.

Ian founded and ran the B2B consulting firm Real Results Marketing from 2002 – 2010 and became President & COO of Modern Distribution Management in 2017.

Mike MarksMike Marks
Managing Partner, IRCG

Mike Marks, managing partner of Indian River Consulting Group, began his consulting practice after more than 20 years in distribution management. His narrow focus in B2B channel-driven markets has created an extensive number of deep executive relationships in construction, industrial, OEM, agricultural and health care. Mike has led project teams that improve market access by aligning resources to growth opportunities, serving manufacturers, dealers and distributors.

Mike’s contributions to the field include multiple terms as a research fellow with the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, a permanent faculty member for Purdue University’s University of Innovative Distribution and eight years as graduate adjunct faculty in the Industrial Distribution Program at Texas A&M University. He has also rendered several precedent-setting expert opinions in contract disputes between manufacturers and distributors.

Prior to forming IRCG, Mike was executive vice president at Lex Electronics, an $800 million vertically integrated electronics distributor in Stamford, CT. His path to management was marked by increasing responsibilities in sales and sales management. He also completed a tour of duty as a manufacturer’s representative.

Mike is the author of What’s Your Plan? Smart Salesforce Compensation in Wholesale Distribution, Value Creation Strategies for Wholesaler-Distributors and Working at Cross-Purposes: How Distributors and Manufacturers Can Manage Conflict Successfully.
vitaleMike Vitale
President, X4MU, LLC

Mike Vitale is an accomplished Senior Technology Executive with a proven track record for delivering technology platforms and applications. His expertise includes Leading Multiple Large-Scale ERP Conversions, Delivering New Digital Business Capabilities, Leading Strategic Portfolio Management, Building and Leading World Class Global IT teams, and Leading Organizational Change Management.

Mike is currently the President and Owner of X4MU, LLC providing consulting services to businesses undergoing strategic/digital transformations, but brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in information technology and software engineering in the retail, distribution, manufacturing, industrial products and telecommunications sectors. His roles have ranged from executive leadership for business units to program management for large-scale ERP deployments. Prior to forming X4MU, Mike served as Vice President, Information Technology for HD Supply.  He has also worked with The Home Depot®, Ingersoll-Rand®, and General Motors®.

Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan. a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University, an MBA from Georgia State, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Michigan.  He is also certified in SAP® solution integration, holds a patent for developing technology to support work order management in the telecommunications test industry and has been a guest speaker for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, SAP and Enterprise Architecture conferences.

Jonathan Bein, Ph.D. Jonathan Bein, Ph.D. Image Senior Partner, Real Results MarketingJonathan Bein, Ph.D.
Managing Partner, Real Results Marketing

Jonathan Bein, Ph.D., is managing partner at Real Results Marketing where he has worked with many distributors to make their marketing a profit center. He has developed and applied analytic approaches for customer segmentation, customer lifecycle management, positioning and messaging, pricing, and channel strategy for distributors. Jonathan’s periodic articles on distributor marketing published in Modern Distribution Management have been extremely popular over the last five years.

​Prior to Real Results Marketing, Jonathan served on the executive management teams for software product and services companies in information technology, health care and communications.

Jonathan earned his Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Colorado with a focus in data intensive expert systems and a Bachelor of Arts in computer science at Indiana University.

He co-authored What Customers Want: A Distributor’s Guide to Customer Buying & Shopping Preferences in 2016 and was a contributing author to The Distributor’s Guide to Analytics, published by MDM in 2015.
Mark PeckMark Peck
CEO, Apexx Group LLC

Mark is the founder and CEO of Apexx Group LLC, a leading BTB marketing and sales firm focused on helping its client drive breakthrough revenue growth. In his 35 years of management consulting experience, he has worked with hundreds of companies and has helped those clients generate billions of dollars of incremental revenue growth.

His client base has consisted of many large and mid-sized companies, including Corporate Express, Newark Electronics, Lawson Products, Hisco, Office Depot, Rockwell Automation, Industrial Controls, and Advance Auto Parts.

​Mark pioneered IAM (integrated account management), a sales improvement tool adopted by hundreds of Fortune 500 corporations worldwide. In addition, he authored the book Integrated Account Management (AMACOM), and he has conducted CRM, strategic planning and business-to-business sales and marketing training programs and workshops across North America.



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