The lighting distribution market is rife with change. In a recent interview with LightED Magazine, Indian River Consulting Group's Mike Marks called the market “the wild, wild west.” Read Welcome To The Wild, Wild West! in LightED Magazine for Marks' take on who the winners will be in this "frothy" market.
If you’re a distributor, you’re going to disagree with your suppliers from time to time. If you’re starting to deploy your sales force more strategically (See: 3 Reasons the Field Sales Role Must Change), these disagreements are even more likely to come up. If you’re reducing your cost to serve by moving some customers to an inside sales model, for example, suppliers with mandates on outside sales representation may take issue.
Regardless of the reason for disagreement, the No. 1 tool at your disposal is to change the dynamic of the distributor-manufacturer meeting.
During the Sales GPS executive workshop earlier this year, I covered why and how field sales must evolve to meet the changing needs of today’s buyers. During my presentation, I talked about research IRCG conducted for HARDI, and I’ll also be talking about it during my upcoming webcast on The Changing Role of Field Sales September 22. I’ve shared this research many times, and I’ll keep sharing it until people take the key takeaway to heart: that a salesperson’s ability to disrupt the current supplier of a product through their own determination is extremely low.
Company CEOs and board members are facing increasing financial accountability for the success of M&A deals, according to a 2017 survey by PWC of Fortune 1,000 executives and senior management recently active in M&A. Are you responsible for an upcoming deal? Early planning can increase the odds of successfully creating value and meeting deal goals.
Indian River Consulting Group (IRCG), a consulting firm focused on the distribution and manufacturing industries, has grown its team to meet increasing demand for its strategic planning and sales compensation services. The team’s expansion also supports IRCG’s partnership with Modern Distribution Management offering live Executive Workshops on a number of topics critical to distribution leaders.
Today’s buyer takes a much more active role in the buying process. These customers – who would much rather do their own research than be interrupted by a salesperson – are turning to company websites and other sources for product and application information before they buy. Some buyers want very little to do with a sales rep in the traditional sense. Companies willing to adapt to these changes have begun to shift resources away from outside sales to inside sales and/or other specialized roles. But this only solves part of the problem.
Some distributors think that when they buy a company that the integration will go smoothly without their having to invest time getting to know current employees. Unfortunately, it’s more complicated than that.
Buying a company can be an emotional experience. The closer many distributors get to completing a deal, the more they tend to fall in love with it. The reality is that M&A transactions should be based on financial return, not passion, but that’s the No. 1 mistake I’ve seen distributors make when buying another company.
Watch the video below to learn the two things you can do help keep emotion out of the equation when buying a distribution company. This video was created to address common questions we’ve received since announcing the opening of registration for the Distribution M&A Executive Workshop we’re hosting in partnership with Modern Distribution Management.
Did you enjoy listening to Mike speak about how to avoid common problems in M&A? Join us for IRCG’s and MDM’s M&A Executive Workshop. Sign up today.
At the Industrial Supply Association’s annual convention this year, I spoke about the transition distributors must make to digital. This goes beyond just selling products online. It’s about using digital tools across your organization to serve customers more efficiently and profitably.
I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of distributors and manufacturers over the past couple of decades, and in that time, I’ve heard more times than I can count that the field sales team is imperative to building customer relationships and gaining mindshare, justifying the massive expense.
Have you heard the story about how to catch a monkey? Tie a jar with a mango inside to a tree. When the monkey tries to get the mango, his hand gets caught. Don’t be the monkey holding on to the mango.