How Distributors Improve Customer Retention A common rule of thumb in distribution is that it…
We hope you enjoyed our three previous posts that featured 5-10 minute recorded webinar videos:
- Sell More by Growing Your Customer List
- Improve Revenue by Staying Top of Mind With Your Customers
- Close More Sales With Improved Follow Up and Sales Execution
These posts outline the three most important elements of your revenue plan.
But why isn’t every distributor following these simple steps? The truth is that these steps are simple, but they are not necessarily easy without the right guidance and tools.
Everyone in your organization feels busy, perhaps too busy to tackle these strategies. But are the right kind of busy and are these steps something you can just leave to chance?
Some distributors we’ve talked to feel intimidated by it all – what if I fail, or it exposes my flaws, or I can’t figure out the right way to do this for my team?
Other distributors simply don’t know where to begin and don’t act out of a feeling of paralysis.
No more excuses. Here are 10 simple action steps you can take to begin making a difference in your company’s sales growth today.
Your 10-Step Action Plan to Improve Sales Growth
Action 1: Update existing contacts. Do they still work for the company? If yes – ensure you have their work email address for better, regular marketing communications (no gmail, AOL or yahoo personal mail accounts). If no, delete them – that contact is not helping you grow your business if they’ve left their job.
Action 2: Have TWO key decision-maker contacts for the Top 20% of your customers. Remember the old 80/20 rule – 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers – start here by ensuring you have the right people in your contact directory.
Action 3: Profile your contacts. Record title, email, phone number and job role if it’s not indicated by their title on all contacts.
Action 4: Make sure you’re sending out a monthly news blast to your customers. Create broad, brand-building communications – what’s new with your organization, new products, upcoming events, Employee anniversaries, new branch opening/hours of operation, recent awards/honors, etc.
Action 5: Identify one product category where you believe you can sell more product. Identify your product then identify customers who buy complimentary products to your targeted product. Send them email blasts regarding that targeted product category. You could even take this a step further and get your vendor involved: ask for a co-op of the marketing dollars, or a one-time price concession to help get the prospects to try out the targeted product.
Action 6: Implement a Quote/Bid Follow-up Process. Do this for any quote over $X gets a follow-up call on “day one” after quote request to try to secure the PO. A second follow-up X days later, and a third-final follow-up X days later (where the quote is closed out or marked as hold or dead). You’d be amazed at the business you’ll get – simply by asking for it as part of a courtesy quote follow-up.
Action 7: Clone the successes on your team. Who, in your sales rep group, is excelling at adding/editing/profiling contacts – be sure to call out those successes in your sales team meetings. And show progress in the meetings – % contacts added in the last X days, % customers in your top 20% who already have at least two contacts loaded (and profiled), etc. Give them numbers to show progress and push them to the finish line.
Action 8: Share info on recipients for your newsletter. What are the percentage of opens and how that’s growing or contracting each month. Show them that your marketing team is doing the work to keep the contacts they entered into the system engaged in the selling process. Seek suggestions for content from your reps.
Action 9: Talk about the Quote Follow-up Process. Discuss how is it going, where can it be improved. And share success stories and/or statistics – this month we’ve closed X bids with this new process.
Action 10: Don’t put it off any longer, start today. We can help you implement these steps immediately and provide technology that makes it even easier to constantly manage these strategies for continuous improvement. There is no excuse not to start today.