A market access strategy provides a framework for distributors to align their investments with real opportunities for growth. This blog is the fifth of five looking at the five keys to unlocking profitable growth.
The fifth key to a successful market access strategy is to invest in new capabilities.
If you are investing to reach aggressive sales goals, think twice before deciding to add more sales reps. These days, high-performing distributors are putting their money into developing new sales and marketing competencies. They are tailoring their capabilities to fit the needs of their customer segments as closely as possible.
If you worry about competing with Amazon you may want to invest more into technology and clean product data. If you aren’t getting sufficient market coverage consider more hybrid or tele-sales reps, possibly supported by technical specialists. If you are struggling to get good market data or customer insight it may make sense to spend on market research or data analysts rather than another field sales rep.
If you have 100 sales reps, arming them with better data and tools could easily make them 10% more effective – the same as hiring 10 more reps.
Evolving to more specialized sales roles can pay enormous dividends. For example, using a hybrid inside/outside sales rep can result in lower cost-to-serve because the same rep can cover more accounts. It also provides better market coverage because the rep is typically in contact with customers much more frequently. We’ve often seen such programs generate higher revenue per account while also reducing selling expense – radically improving sales productivity.
The move to more specialized sales roles has another important benefit. One of distributors’ top concerns these days is the loss of decades of knowledge as veteran salespeople retire. And the truth is: You won’t be able to replace that knowledge. But if you go to a more specialized sales structure you don’t need to. It is much easier to hire an engineer as a technical specialist, a computer jock as a marketing analyst and a personable extrovert as an inside sales rep than to find three people who can do all these things.
This was the final in our five-part series on keys to profitable growth through a successful market access strategy.
Read and share the full series by clicking on the links below or downloading this PDF.