Tip: Consider Sales Alternatives to Cut Costs

Field sales is often more expensive and less effective than other options.

Many distributors are reluctant to change their field-selling function even though it is often expensive and less effective than other alternatives, says Mike Marks in Why Field Sales Must Evolve: The Gorilla in the Room, part 1.

Most distributors invest 15-20 percent of total gross margin into field sales, he says. "In most situations, the need to fund their field sales function is the difference between winning and losing."

According to Marks, many field sales reps – especially in established territories – are not actually bringing in new clients.

Instead, they are just facilitating repeat orders from current customers and performing other value-add tasks – an inefficient use of such a large investment that "could be completed by lower-cost resources," Marks says.

Read more about how to make the sales function more effective in Why Field Sales Must Evolve: The Gorilla in the Room, part 1.

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