Business Strategy

Stump the Consultant: When Will Distributors Realize Their Sales Model is No Longer Relevant?

Written by Mike Marks on Tuesday, 26 November 2019.

Stump the Consultant: When Will Distributors Realize Their Sales Model is No Longer Relevant?

Margins are declining. Growth rates have become lower than the market standard. What's going wrong, and how can you fix it?

Stump the Consultant: Biggest Mistakes Made with Sales Compensation

Written by Mike Marks on Wednesday, 20 November 2019.

Stump the Consultant: Biggest Mistakes Made with Sales Compensation

The biggest mistake management teams make, when it comes to sales compensation, is using the pay plan to manage salespeople.

Webcast: Your Playbook for Growth in 2020 featuring Mike Marks

Written by Mike Marks on Tuesday, 05 November 2019.

Webcast: Your Playbook for Growth in 2020 featuring Mike Marks

Forecasters are pointing to market slowdowns in early 2020. And while things are expected to pick up again in the back half of the new year, this is no time to abandon your playbook.

Manufacturers: What’s Happened to Your Market Access?

Written by Mike Marks on Thursday, 17 October 2019.

Manufacturers: What’s Happened to Your Market Access?

We know market access starts with coverage, but do all your potential customers see you how you want to be seen?

Distributors: Want to Know Why Things Are Getting Harder?

Written by Mike Marks on Tuesday, 17 September 2019.

Distributors: Want to Know Why Things Are Getting Harder?

Back in the day, the path to distributor growth was to sell service with excellent people.

The 2 Areas of Business Distributors Must Focus On If They Want to Win

Written by Mike Marks on Tuesday, 03 September 2019.

The 2 Areas of Business Distributors Must Focus On If They Want to Win

There are two trends distributors should be paying close attention to in today’s market. One is understanding the role of technology, and the other is attracting and retaining talent.

To Thrive in a Changing Market, Know Your Customers

Written by Mike Marks on Tuesday, 27 August 2019.

To Thrive in a Changing Market, Know Your Customers

Disruption is probably the one constant in today’s market.

Think you know your customers? Think again.

Written by Mike Marks on Thursday, 20 June 2019.

Think you know your customers? Think again.

Most distributors think they know their customers. Until they actually talk to those customers.

Often, when distributors think about value propositions or differentiating themselves to appeal to customers, they are in an echo chamber, only talking to each other, or watching what competitors do.

5 Areas of Your Business to Examine if You Want to Stay Relevant in 2020

Written by Mike Marks on Thursday, 18 April 2019.

5 Areas of Your Business to Examine if You Want to Stay Relevant in 2020

When the ball drops, and 2019 flips to 2020, will you have closed some of the gap between you and your most innovative distributor competitors, or will that gap have widened so far you can no longer cross it?

Take action now to ensure your distribution company stays relevant with a sustainable plan to address the following five areas of your business:

The Value of Data is in How You Use It

Written by Mike Marks on Thursday, 04 April 2019.

The Value of Data is in How You Use It

Distributors who are thriving – and there are many -- in today’s digitally driven market are those who play to win and not to lose. But adopting a winning strategy doesn’t mean throwing money at a bigger sales team or at new technology.

Set Yourself Up Now to Beat the Next Recession

Written by Mike Marks on Monday, 07 January 2019.

Set Yourself Up Now to Beat the Next Recession

Digital transformation. Consolidation. Growing concerns over manufacturers’ going direct. With all the shiny objects in front of distributors right now, it’s easy to ignore (and not plan for) the next big thing: the next recession.

Students of history recognize that there are two things we know about the economy. One is that cycles of growth and recession are inevitable. The second is that we rarely see the downturn coming, and we can’t always rely on economic indicators to warn us.

3 Ways to Minimize Risk in Your Business Investments

Written by Mike Marks on Monday, 12 November 2018.

3 Ways to Minimize Risk in Your Business Investments

A strong economy has provided distributors with more investment capital in 2018 than they've seen in over a decade. Even small, independent distributors are making investments, adding ecommerce and other technologies to reduce their cost to serve, create frictionless buying experiences and strengthen their value proposition. The most successful investments will be based on long-term goals. 

5 Value Drivers That Don't Involve Cutting Prices

Written by Mike Marks on Monday, 29 October 2018.

5 Value Drivers That Don't Involve Cutting Prices

Most customers will ask for a price cut if you ask them how you can provide more value. But discounts are the surest way to erode margins and start a race to the bottom.

Distributors: Get Out of Your Echo Chamber

Written by Mike Marks on Monday, 06 August 2018.

Distributors: Get Out of Your Echo Chamber

A lot of distributors have been operating in an echo chamber without realizing it. Distributors in an echo chamber don't measure anything, so they don't understand what's working and what isn't. They also focus a lot on the day-to-day minutia without seeing the big picture.

In the News: 5 Things Your Customers Need Less Of

Written by Mike Marks on Wednesday, 18 July 2018.

In the News: 5 Things Your Customers Need Less Of

Most distributors are offering customers things they really don't want or need.

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