How Distributors Improve Customer Retention A common rule of thumb in distribution is that it…
How to Find Your Next Win
Distribution sales is often seen entirely as a numbers game. Make more calls, visit more customers, carry more products and provide better service. Obviously, all of those elements factor into more wins. But the best distributors know how to work smarter, not just harder.
Fortunately SMP puts your sales and marketing in command of their sales data to help identify the most likely paths to sales success. You don’t need a Ph.D. in statistical analysis or the most advanced artificial intelligence engines to increase your competitive odds.
So how do you find your next win inside of SMP? All of the keys to your success are already inside of SMP: goals, data and visualizations.
- A clear goal or objective. What is the single area you want to improve upon? Is it close rates and win-loss ratios? Is it customer profitability? Do you want to increase lines per order? Pick a single measurable to stay focused on your quest for improvement. SMP makes it easy to set goals and track your most important KPIs.
- If you don’t have the data, you have nothing to analyze. Fortunately for distributors, SMP collects all of the data they need to analyze across their CRM and ERP systems.
- Visualize your data. SMP’s simple, drag-and-drop data visualization tools make it easy for you to analyze your data on the fly in any dimension you want. Do you want to measure your goal over time, over region, by sales rep, but sales volume or some other dimension? SMP makes it easy to change your analysis in seconds and create an actionable picture of your data. You can find groups and correlations very quickly, following your data, instincts and market knowledge wherever it leads.
For example, let’s say you want to get to work on improving your win-rate percentage. This is simply the amount of opportunities won divided by the total opportunities you worked (both won and lost). You might also call this your closing ratio. Basically, out of all of the deals you worked in a given time period, how many did you close. This is a great area to work smarter instead of just working harder. By closing more deals you can generate more sales with the same level of marketing and sales execution.
Many distributors don’t measure their win-loss ratio because they don’t use CRM, or they use a CRM system that is difficult to use or lacks real data visualizations. With SMP, it very easy to start measuring your close ratio and learn where you can improve.
- Make it part of your regular sales meeting and coaching cadence to collect and discuss all of your wins and losses. With SMP, tracking forecasts, pipeline, opportunities and can be accomplished in a matter of seconds, leaving you more time for analysis and interaction with your sales reps. SMP’s visualization tools make it easy to interact with your wins and losses across multiple dimensions to stimulate meaningful discussions with your teams. Even something as simple as comparing wins and losses across industries, company sizes, geographies, branches, inside and outside reps, product lines and more can generate new insights to help profile your next win.
- Follow up on both your won and lost opportunities to better understand the specific decision criteria. You might be surprised how many distributors never follow up on a won sale, let alone a lost sale. SMP make it easy to select a specific list of opportunities you want to follow up on right inside your visualization. Let’s say you created a list of lost opportunities among large contractors. With SMP, you can quickly select all of those data points, create a new list and then auto-create call activities for your reps to follow up on. In those calls, you will be able to learn more about how the decision makers made their decision, ranked their selection criteria, and understood your company’s value propositions compared to your competitors. This is the kind of project that might take weeks for a typical distributor to analyze but an SMP user can generate the call list in minutes of discussion with their team.
- Turn new insights into action plans. Once you find an important correlation in your wins and losses, SMP makes it easy to get to work on your next wins. Let’s say you determined that 20% of your lost sales to large contractors were because of perceived delivery limitations. In minutes, you can create a new marketing list of those contacts to promote custom options. Or maybe you noticed a pattern of follow up purchases with your wins. Your marketing team can easily create lists of recent purchases to reach out to with follow up offers.
That’s a simple example, but you can see how powerful visualizations around your customer data can lead to many important conversations around wins and losses, or any other goal you want to achieve with your sales team. For example, your analysis of wins and losses might lead to the following valuable conversations with your reps:
- Win/Loss trending – what segments are increasing and decreasing in terms of their closing ratios? Can you add another layer – purchasing frequency, order size, product line, etc. – to get the reason behind the change?
- Competitive tracking – which competitors are involved in wins and losses? SMP makes it easy to track competition in each customer. Call those customers and learn what influenced their selection criteria.
- Accelerators – what combinations were the most likely to lead to success? Look at your wins and losses through various lenses in your data visualizations. With SMP, this is as easy as dragging and dropping new data dimensions. Overly your opportunities with elements like product, company size, orders size, sales history, sales call volume, sales call frequency, marketing touches and more to understand which of your success elements were the most likely to lead to a win.
With SMP, your success is only limited by your own imagination, not by the ease of access to data or complex reporting and BI tools. SMP make it easy to visualize where your next sales success will come from.