Top Distribution Sales Questions Addressed at This Year’s AD NAM Meetings

Toward the end of the year, we were privileged join AD members to discuss CRM, BI and proactive marketing integrated to leading ERP systems at the NAM meetings for PHCP, Electrical, and Industrial and Safety.

We spoke with many AD members about their concerns with distribution sales, including growing top-line revenues, proactively managing sales processes, executing integrated marketing, delivering self-serve dashboards and of course, closing more sales.

Here were some of the top questions AD members asked us at the NAM meetings.

Can You Help Me with My AD FMS Meetings?

Field Marketing Summit planning was on the minds of a lot of AD members. While some AD members approach their FMS sessions as a simple box to check off, most AD members were looking for a way to focus their planning around meaningful and actionable outcomes. SMP helps you minimize the amount of effort you expend in planning and maximize your results. You can do this through specific AD processes inside of SMP that leverage self-serve access to data so that you can generate new insights during the FMS without waiting for IT support.

Using SMP for FMS creates a unique advantage for AD members who are able to leverage their own business intelligence and data toward advanced business planning. Because your suppliers are a step removed from the end user sale, you have an opportunity to guide them with discussions around new product launches, Sales Stimulator Programs, sales and customer training, creating targeted customer lists, planning for marketing and developing new sales and marketing promotions.

You can read more at our in depth blog post on the topic: Facilitating AD Field Marketing Summits (FMS)

What is the Difference Between “Actionable Analytics,” and “BI?”

When AD members saw how easy it was to get information for their FMS planning using our self-serve dashboards and analytics, many member wanted to know how else they could leverage SMP for better sales insights. We call this “actionable analytics.”

A lot of AD members who have traditional business intelligence tools find it a struggle to use BI and apply it to their sales process. SMP is different than simple BI because our analytics are truly actionable. The biggest difference is that SMP doesn’t just give you a report or a pretty dashboard, we give you the power to take action right from your data. A static report is nice, it shows you what happened in the past for some preset parameters. But SMP allows you to do two very important things that no static report can do:

  1. Explore data in just about any direction. If you have questions about your report, you can’t drill in and dig deeper. With SMP you can. Have you ever thought, “I wish I’d run this report by branches instead of by customers?” With SMP, you’re just a mouse click or two away from reviewing your data in new directions.
  2. Turn insight into action. With SMP, you can easily turn your data exploration into trackable activities. Let’s say you found a group of customers who hadn’t made a purchase in six months. With a static report, you’d have to toss the report on your reps’ desks and hope they made some calls. With SMP distribution CRM, you can select the customers right from your BI dashboard, create CRM activities that you can follow up on and create a call campaign in just a few clicks.

I Have Unique Sales Processes — Can SMP Help?

Every organization has a different approach to their sales cycle, but all prospects must make a journey from unaware suspect to loyal customer. Your team needs to know what the stages are in your sales culture, how will you measure those stages and what activities are expected of them in each stage. Your SMP system is a powerful ally in this process because it allows you to quickly enter and track specific behaviors that you know will lead to success.

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