How Distributors Improve Customer Retention A common rule of thumb in distribution is that it…
Leveraging Data in Sales and Marketing
More has changed in distribution sales and marketing over the last five years than has changed in the last 30 years. The primary driver of that change is the explosive growth in technology that allows marketing and sales teams to leverage the customer data inside of their CRM and ERP systems. Smart marketing teams are leveraging data more effectively than ever to identify trends, understand customer behavioral patterns and test different messages and offers. Gone are the days of simply tossing out a product flyer and crossing your fingers. Today’s leading distribution marketing teams can tell you exactly which customers should receive which offers based on actual data.
The problem that most distributors have, however, is in granting access to data to their sales and marketing teams. To truly become a data-driven sales and marketing team, you need the ability to analyze and act on your data. SMP provides the right easy-to-use tools that give your teams the ability to create their own self-serve analytics to drive better decision-making. Your employees don’t have to wait for your IT team to create new reports when they want to follow up on a hunch about a trend. They can quickly create their own dashboards to drag-and-drop different scenarios together to generate new insights.
There are any number of ways your sales and marketing teams can use SMP’s powerful data tools to their tactical advantage. Here are just a few ideas:
- Responding to customer requests with speed and relevance. Do your customers call you for custom solutions and unique product mixes based on jobs they are working? You can use SMP’s data visualizations to quickly analyze other customers who have made similar requests and purchases to demonstrate the value you can provide. Overlay complimentary products for a visual story that will win deals.
- Creating and profiling unique lists. Your sales rep is traveling 100 miles away to visit a remote client. Most CRM systems will let you pull together a list of other customers in the area to visit. SMP is much smarter than that. In a matter of minutes your reps can generate that list, overlay customer sales information to develop customer account plans and create activities for each targeted customer in the area.
- Reallocate spending and resources into profitable growth areas. Many distributors plan for growth with only a very basic understanding of underlying trends. They might look at census data, economic growth indicators in various lines of business or in some case monitor spending trends in product areas and industries. With SMP, you can quickly understand trends while they are happening, lay out the supporting data onto graphs and charts and reallocate resources by hiring or reassigning reps and responsibilities to the most profitable opportunities.
- Create competitive replacement campaigns. SMP allows you to track competitors involved in various types of sales making it easy to target customers who source products for different vendors. When one of those vendors makes a critical stumble, drops a product line or leaves a market, you can quickly swoop in with a highly targeted offer.
- Faster time to market. Distributors using SMP can quickly create highly targeted product launch campaigns. In doing so, they gain a foothold on new products and markets before their competitors can mobilize. They also earn the respect and trust of their vendors which can lead to even greater opportunities for future product introductions.