Premium Member Dashboard

All your exclusive premium content in one location.

The rise of Amazon, other digital platforms and fast-changing customer expectations of the buying process have disrupted the role of the traditional field salesperson. More than 100 distribution industry leaders met in Denver in late June at MDMs Sales GPS 2018 event to discuss the evolution of the distribution sales model to one that adds more value and helps them adapt to a changing market.

This article includes:

  • The traditional sales force as a margin killer
  • Why customer size doesnt equal customer potential
  • Proceeding with caution

Subscribers should log in to read this article.

Project selling is a value-added service that building products distributors can offer their customers that truly differentiates them from pure digital (online only) competitors. Who will sell the project of building moats for your company?

Subscribers should log-in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • Top Trends for 2018
  • When Good Distributors Do Bad Branding
  • Key Drivers for E-commerce Demand

Project selling – an area where there is room for simple, high-value improvements – stands out as one of the most critical and lucrative ways a distributor can create a value-added service component. Here’s a primer on how to develop project selling as a competitive moat and some important keys to success.

This article includes:

  • Helping Customers to Shop
  • Annuity from Follow-on Sales
  • Project Selling = Competitive Moat

Subscribers should log in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • MDM-Baird Distribution Survey: Storms Stunt Distributor Growth
  • Distributors Up Search Marketing Efforts
  • Amazon Business: The Burning E-Platform
In the prior two articles of this series, we explored the pitfalls of bad branding and damage branding agencies can do. We outlined the Branding Matrix and how you can use it to understand how much time and money to focus on developing your branding strategy. For the final article in this series, lets talk about the branding strategy itself how should you develop your slogan and your supporting messages?

This article includes:

  • The Branding Process
  • The Branding Ladder
  • Defining the Role of Branding in Your Company

Subscribers should log in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • MDM-Baird Distribution Survey: Storms Stunt Distributor Growth
  • Distributors Up Search Marketing Efforts
  • Amazon Business: The Burning E-Platform

In part one of this three-part series, MDM President and COO Ian Heller explored the dangers of working with a pure branding agency and how the wrong partner can do more harm than good for a distributor. In part two, Ian uncovers how you determine the value of branding for your distribution company.

This article includes:

  • Sizing the purchase
  • Emotional attachments
  • The Branding Matrix

Subscribers should log in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • MDM-Baird Distribution Survey: Storms Stunt Distributor Growth
  • Distributors Up Search Marketing Efforts
  • Amazon Business: The Burning E-Platform
Branding-Slider

This three-part series examines why distributors struggle with branding. In this, the first article in the series, MDM President & COO Ian Heller contrasts the difference between what branding agencies promise and what they actually deliver. He outlines why such agencies have objectives that conflict with yours, and why you should consider pure B2B advertising agencies that do more than just branding.

This article includes:

  • Convincing distributors to rebrand
  • The myth of branding
  • The reality of branding

Subscribers should log in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • MDM-Baird Distribution Survey: Storms Stunt Distributor Growth
  • Distributors Up Search Marketing Efforts
  • Amazon Business: The Burning E-Platform

Over the last several years, private equity firms have invested billions of dollars in distribution. This analysis examines how consolidation has impacted the foodservice sector and the opportunities private equity sees in the segment.

This article includes:

  • PE Impact on Foodservice Distribution
  • Market implications: threats & opportunities
  • Call to action

Subscribers should log in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • MDM-Baird Distribution Survey: Storms Stunt Distributor Growth
  • Distributors Up Search Marketing Efforts
  • Amazon Business: The Burning E-Platform
In October 2017, we surveyed MDM readers about how they use or plan to use CRM. This article looks at the strategies employed by companies that reported ROI with those that didnt to uncover best practices that lead to success, as well as common problem areas that may sabotage initiatives.This article includes:

  • Thinking beyond outside sales
  • Why outside sales buy-in is critical
  • Prioritizing features that fill gaps

Subscribers should log in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • MDM-Baird Distribution Survey: Storms Stunt Distributor Growth
  • Distributors Up Search Marketing Efforts
  • Amazon Business: The Burning E-Platform
3-questions-pricing
Online giants continue to disrupt distribution, making effective pricing strategy more important than ever. In the recent MDM Webcast, What Distributors Need to Know about Pricing Disruption, Brent Grover, managing partner of Evergreen Consulting LLC, discussed how distributors can improve their approach to pricing in order to survive disruption.

This article includes:

  • Implementing your pricing strategy
  • Communicating your service strategy
  • Keeping the barbarians from crossing your moat

Subscribers should log-in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • Distribution M&A Playbook, pt. 3: Integration Best Practices
  • Grainger’s Pricing Initiative, pt 2: The Quest for Optimization
  • Commentary: Harvey’s Stark Reminder on Disaster Planning
grainger-part2

Since the January launch of its pricing initiative, Grainger has seen significant declines in profitability. While this margin trend is expected to reverse in 2019, its existence may signal that the pricing process Grainger is pursuing is less than optimal. This article, part 2 in a series, analyzes the challenges Grainger faces in implementing its pricing approach and provides additional lessons for other distributors looking to improve their pricing strategies.

This article includes:

  • What we know to be true
  • Are Grainger’s web prices more optimal?
  • Did Grainger miss the boat?

Subscribers should log-in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. This article is available for purchase as a special report.

What can other B2B distributors learn from watching Grainger’s pricing story unfold? Three tips for distributors.

Subscribers should log-in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • Distribution M&A Playbook, pt. 2: The 8 Fatal Flaws in M&A
  • Top Trends for 2017
  • MDM Interview: Watsco Aims for ‘Bigger, Better, Faster’
customer-service

Customers today demand more services, and distributors need to evaluate what they offer – and at what cost. This article examines the drivers behind these changing customer expectations and steps a distributor can take to give customers what they want while remaining profitable.

This article includes:

  • ‘Amazonification of the supply chain’
  • Which services to add?
  • Create services as a line-Item charge

Subscribers should log-in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • Distribution M&A Playbook, pt. 2: The 8 Fatal Flaws in M&A
  • Top Trends for 2017
  • MDM Interview: Watsco Aims for ‘Bigger, Better, Faster’
Internet business and basket design, blue digital shopping cart on black background
In the past, distributors would often sacrifice margins to gain market share and drive the topline. However, such tactics negate a strategic pricing process, rendering it nearly nonexistent. Without process, your people must make pricing decisions in a vacuum. As hard as they might try to compensate for and cope with inefficiencies, and as effective as their efforts might be in the short-term, you can’t expect them to sustain healthy margins in the long run.
Web
Distributors are responding to customer concerns and increased demand on staff in a variety of ways, including limiting new business to meet existing customer demand; open communication on shortages and supplier allocations, and discouraging panic by not accepting returns beyond normal usage patterns. Face the crisis with a sense of flexibility and resilience, experts say.

Investment Banking Directory

The MDM Investment Banks in Distribution directory is a listing of firms with expertise in the wholesale distribution industry.

Featured Content
Top 5 Trends_400x225

5 Top Trends That Will Drive Distribution Technology Investments in 2022

Among the pandemic-era trends that have impacted distributors, a deeper focus on robust technology investments may be…
Distributors Rethink Supply ChainWord Press Banner

Distributors Rethink the Supply Chain in Light of New Challenges

Supply chain disruptions are expected to continue throughout the coming year and beyond. But…
MicrosoftTeams-image (17)

The Growth of E-Commerce Investments in Wholesale Distribution

Take a closer look at statistics around e-commerce revenue generation, areas of investment and…
2021 Customer Insights Survey-Embedded Graphic V2

2021 Customer Insights Survey

Digital technology adoption among businesses has grown dramatically during the pandemic, with some estimates…

Market Prospector

  • Build strategic sales plans.

  • Determine market and demand.

  • Create smart prospect lists. 

Turn your sales data into actionable data with Market Prospector.  A web-based SAAS tool that gives you insight into your market, your territories, your customers and new prospects too. 

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

Our daily newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.