How Distributors Improve Customer Retention A common rule of thumb in distribution is that it…
Customer Spotlight: Wave Electronics
We’re already up 23% year-to-date… I directly attribute this to SMP!
Periodically, we like to shine the spotlight on our great customer partners – giving them the chance to offer insights about why the company chose SMP, how the company is benefiting from SMP and more. This month, we’re profiling Wave Electronics, headquartered in Houston, Texas. A 10-location consumer electronics distributor, Wave Electronics was founded in 2002, and has been an SMP client since 2012. In the last few years, the company has seen steady growth, but has had an explosive start to 2016, thanks in part to how their team has implemented Sales Management Plus, according to Bryan Stewart, Vice President of Sales.
If you could only pick three, what are the top things you accomplish with SMP?
Easily first is data collection and analysis. Second, goal planning as a way to grow our business. Third would have to be holding the outside sales team accountable through activity tracking – making sure they’re logging those interactions with the customer, working appropriately on target account lists. This is also how we show them the return on their time investment – they can see all the sales benefits for the time and effort they put in with the dealers (customers).
What were the challenges you were facing in the marketplace when you implemented SMP?
We really didn’t have a tool that would allow us to do effective and easy tracking of dealer (customer) information. We needed something to allow us to track subjective notes about dealers (customers), log activities, and compile meaningful data in a usable way.
Before SMP, I was literally spending all weekend preparing for a sales meeting. Pulling sales history from the business system, building pivot tables. With SMP, it’s been cut down to just one hour!
What’s the biggest advantage you’ve seen using SMP to analyze information and manage your team?
Time. Time is our biggest commodity, and SMP saves us a ton of time. We can quickly and easily understand what our competitors are doing, identify the business we aren’t getting – and work on getting it! For the first time this year, we’ve integrated all of our goal planning into SMP and it’s really allowing us to execute better. The first few weeks of 2016 have really shown that. As a company, we’re already up 23% year-to-date versus last year, and this is typically a very slow time for us. I directly attribute this to SMP!
In terms of sales team coaching and management, we really use SMP to help with planning and execution. Our inside team is coached on gathering key information from the dealers (customers) when they speak with them – logging notes and profiling inside of SMP – and then this data can easily be seen and verified by the sales rep so they can be more “intelligent” with our dealers (customers) when discussing needs. Everyone on the team is using Activities – to log phone calls, sales meetings, tasks for follow-up, and managers are using it to track marketing initiatives so the sales team knows what dealers (customers) received what promotions.
What tools do you, as a manager, use most in SMP?
I use Business Comparison a lot. It’s so easy to identify the gaps in the business so we can focus on them. I create a lot of customized reports in Data View to help me with targeted information for each group and our brands (vendors). This year, as I mentioned, we’re using Goals for the first time so we can visibly see and track our company goals against sales. It’s been huge.
Rapid-fire questions – fill in the blank for us! SMP has allowed us to…
Be a proactive sales organization versus a strictly reactive one.
When we look at the competition, choosing SMP was a no brainer because…
Our VP of Operations knew of SMP from a previous job with another distributor, and because of the ease of integration with our business system (Eclipse).
The thing we like the most about SMP is….
Well, I’ll have to go with two things. First, their team! The second is accountability with the sales team and managers.
Without SMP we would…
Have to hire additional data analysts to assist us with data mining and reporting. This was our reality – it was either find a hard-working sales management tool or hire staff just to run reports and build pivot tables for us.