How Distributors Improve Customer Retention A common rule of thumb in distribution is that it…
Creating Value with Vendor Insights
One of the most overlooked strategies in driving new sales in distribution is providing key vendors with important insights and data. Your vendors are like free salespeople who work your territory – as long as you can provide them the information they need to help you. They can become an important extension of your sales staff when armed with actionable sales and customer analytics.
SMP can provide your vendors with important insights just like it does for your own employees. And vendors love seeing the information and working with distributors who are better prepared. They will end up spending more time with your distributorship than they do with your competitors because the value of working with your organization is much higher. Just like your own sales team, vendors have limited time so they want to spend it with partners who will move the most product. By demonstrating your plans and history with data, they will spend that limited time with you and your team.
There are numerous ways you can collaborate with your vendor with a strong sales management solution, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Profiled lists: Many vendors struggle keeping good end-user data. This presents challenges any time they need to communicate price changes, product announcements or other messages. The challenge becomes even more daunting when considering the universe of potential customer and not just current customers. With SMP, your ability to profile customers and prospects (e.g., SIC or ZIP code, company size, functional role, etc.) brings an enormous amount of value to your vendor.
- Email Campaigns: If list profiles are a challenge for your vendors, successful email campaigns may seem impossible. But the power of email to deliver big results for small budgets is undeniable. SMP is tightly integrated to your ERP system. That means you can build dynamic lists based on your ERP data and communicate directly to the customers and prospects who would be most receptive to a message from your vendors.
- Volume targets and comarketing funds: Many sales and marketing relationships exist in a data-free environment. How do you currently prove to you vendors that you deserve special incentives or comarketing funds to go after new targets and markets? SMP gives you the dashboards and reports to prove to your vendors that you can deliver results.
- Special promotions: Most vendors require support from their distributors when they offer industry-wide promotions. Your superior sales performance relative to your non-SMP-enabled peers will attract your vendors’ attention the next time they put a special program in place to increase sales, penetrate new markets or introduce new products.
- Market data: Vendors often need help deciding where to put their energies in new products and markets. Your relationship with your customers and your mastery of market data make you an indispensable partner in your vendors’ future plans.