How Distributors Improve Customer Retention A common rule of thumb in distribution is that it…
Seven Ways BI Advances Distribution Sales
It’s never been more difficult to be a distribution sales rep. Buyers are more sophisticated than ever and new competitors constantly emerge both online and offline. The wide availability of product information has led buyers to complete most of their process long before ever engaging a distribution sales rep. We operate in a digital world where buyers enjoy information from many more sources than they did even ten years ago. Buyers have reduced their interactions with sales reps in favor of online research.
So does this spell the end for distribution sales?
Certainly not. What it does mean is that today’s distribution sales reps have to be better informed, better prepared and provide better insights than they did in the past. If 70% of the purchasing decision happens before a buyer ever talks to a rep, then it is up to the rep to get even further ahead with actionable insights when they do engage their customers.
Here are seven ways SMP’s combination of CRM and business intelligence can give your sales reps the competitive advantage they need to advance their sales.
Engage Buyers Faster
Any rep that can engage a buyer during the right part of their decision process has a definitive competitive advantage. If you just wait for your phone to ring, you’re missing out on countless opportunities where your customers may have sourced through another distributor and you never even new you had a shot. Yet, no one has time to turn over their entire customer list each month with phone calls looking for those opportunities. SMP’s platform combines CRM and ERP data with self-serve BI to help you identify purchasing patterns that help you identify which prospects and customers are the most likely to be in a purchasing cycle today.
Leverage Digital Marketing
In a world where buyers want to control more of their purchasing cycle, marketing is your best friend. Blasting out generic offers to every buyer in your database won’t work anymore. Buyers want the right information at the right time. With SMP, you can combine CRM and ERP data to create the right targeted campaigns to get in front of the buyer when they need the information the most.
By analyzing trends for similar customers you can be more than just an order taker for your customers. You can help them create custom solutions for their own markets and customers rather than just provide commoditized products. Your data gives you a unique ability to partner with your customers to help advance their own businesses. In turn, your customers will learn to come to you first when they have a new project and need your advice.
Nothing frustrates a customer more than when a rep doesn’t understand their situation and history. SMP allows you to record and quickly access all aspects of a customer’s previous interactions with you – notes, purchases, quotes, key contacts, hot buttons, etc. – so that you can quickly get to the exact issues that matter most.
SMP can provide you with unique ways to set yourself apart from the competition. For example, you can easily create self-serve data visualizations that tell your customers story through engaging and interactive visuals all on your mobile device while in your customers’ offices. Using technology as a differentiator positions you as a leader among your customers’ many sources.
SMP’s self-service visualizations allow you to exactly quantify and share the value you bring to your customers. You can easily show them purchasing history, support calls, trends and more.
Work Hard and Be a Good Person
There two things that no competitor can ever take away from you: your work ethic and your customer relationship. By doing all of the previous six things the right way with the right technology, you will have the time and resources to go deep in your understanding of each customer, come up with insightful questions and ideas, help them with their problems and then record all of that information for future interactions. Care about you customers and they’ll stick by you.