IRCG's Top 5 Most-Read Blogs of 2017

Written by Mike Marks on Wednesday, 20 December 2017. Posted in Distribution

Throughout 2017, Indian River Consulting Group's Insights blog kept you informed on the latest trends and events affecting the distribution industry. Certain topics caught your attention more than others; in case you missed them, here are 2017's most-read posts:

  1. Why Old-School Distributor-Manufacturer Meetings are a Waste of Time

By far the most popular among readers this year, this post outlines how many distributors are squandering the No. 1 tool at their disposal to improve supplier relationships: the distributor-manufacturer meeting. Read the post to learn to stop wasting time and start strengthening relationships.

  1. What’s Missing in Amazon’s B2B Strategy

A lot of distributors are worried about Amazon’s growing influence in B2B markets. Amazon Business's announcement that it will extend free two-day shipping to its customers wasn’t great news for distributors, but not all products distributors sell are a match for Amazon's self-service buying model. Read the post for more on Amazon's strengths and weaknesses.

  1. The No. 1 Reason Distributors Fail to Make the Digital Transition

The ongoing shift to digital from the buyer’s perspective has necessitated changes to distributors' field sales structures, but fear has prevented some distributors from making needed changes. Worried that their best sales reps will walk away, many have failed to make the transition. Read the post to learn why – despite the required cultural changes – the transition to digital is necessary.

  1. 3 Questions to Ask Before Changing Your Sales Compensation Plan

To adapt to new market realities, many distribution sales models will need to change. After all, if you want your distribution sales team to sell shovels, but their comp plan incentivizes rakes, they’re going to sell rakes. That said, many distributors rush in. Consider the points outlined in this post before starting down this difficult path.

  1. Overinvested in Sales, Underinvested in Marketing

Many distributors are spending a ton of money on sales but almost nothing on marketing. Before you dismiss marketing as being tangential to your business, consider this: Many potential customers are nearly two-thirds of the way toward making a decision before they even talk to a salesperson. Read on to find out why investing more in marketing can save you time and money down the road.

Several of these posts were inspired by speaking engagements, webinars and other IRCG events in 2017. Connect with us in 2018 by attending one of our upcoming speaking engagements or by contacting us directly.

About the Author

Mike Marks

Mike Marks

Mike Marks co-founded IRCG in April 1987. He began his consulting practice after working in distribution management for more than 20 years. Over the years, his narrow focus in B2B channel-driven markets has created an extensive number of deep executive relationships within virtually every business vertical in construction, industrial, OEM, agricultural, and healthcare.

Mike has led project teams that improve market access by aligning resources to growth opportunities serving manufacturers, dealers, and distributors. Clients have ranged from small privately owned firms to many of the industry’s market share leaders. Ownership structures have included owner-operators, private equity, ESOPs, and publically traded firms. Mike is proud of the teams work and the confidence clients have shown with additional project work.

He has written extensively, and is frequently quoted on many industry issues. He has substantial board experience on both public and private distribution firms. His contributions to the field include serving multiple terms as a Research Fellow with the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, permanent faculty at Purdue University’s University of Industrial Distribution, eight years as Graduate Adjunct Faculty in the Industrial Distribution Program at Texas A & M University, and rendering several precedent-setting expert opinions in contract disputes between manufacturers and distributors.

Prior to forming IRCG, Mike held the position of Executive Vice President at Lex Electronics, an $800 million vertically integrated electronics distributor in Stamford, CT. Mike’s path to management in his early career was through increasing responsibilities in sales and sales management. He also completed a tour of duty as a manufacturer’s representative.