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Growing your TOP Line in 2014!

Are you set for growing your business this year?

I was on a recent call with a group of distributors and asked them if they were interested in growing sales this year. I wasn’t joking and it wasn’t a rhetorical question. Of course, they all said yes. Quite honestly, I would have been shocked if anyone had said no. Every wholesaler wants to increase sales, right? However, most wholesalers don’t have a solid business strategy to yield the sales growth they have set for their business.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have customers that are buying products from competitors that YOU could be selling?
  • Do your sales people walk by product sales opportunities at existing customers every day?
  • Do your inside sales and counter personnel neglect to add items to customer orders that they could really use?
  • Are you missing product sales opportunities with your suppliers at key customers?

If you answered yes to most of these… you need to take a hard look at what your sales growth objectives are and how you’re going to achieve them. Execution is critical.  There are best practices that your competition is using that are helping them be more effective in these areas.

Here are some ideas to start with:

  1. Analyze the mix of products you’re selling by customer and identify complimentary products are that you currently aren’t selling
  2. Analyze sales trends for customers and identify which accounts are trending down [year over year] by X% (<50%?) and make sure your sales team starts having conversations with them. Is this business going to the competition now?
  3. Leverage your suppliers! Share with your key suppliers sales [by customers, by sell category] for their items. Plan joint calls to help your sales team grow those categories.
  4. Share strengths across your team. Take a look at product or customer segments by rep and identify your superstars. Allow those reps to share what they are doing differently with the rest of the team.

Most of you probable already know this, so the big question is… are you doing this consistently to get the most out of your customer base?

If you are interested in how SMP can help you with your sales organization and growth objectives please email us at or visit

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