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Have Your Salespeople Hit the Compensation ‘Point of Diminishing Returns’?

Written by Mike Marks on Tuesday, 30 May 2017. Posted in Distribution

Have Your Salespeople Hit the Compensation ‘Point of Diminishing Returns’?

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.

What is the Future of Independents in Distribution?

Written by Mike Marks on Friday, 05 May 2017. Posted in Distribution

What is the Future of Independents in Distribution?

I moderated a panel discussion on the future of the independent distributor in the electrical channel at this week’s National Association of Electrical Distributors National Meeting in Boston.

When It Comes to Digital, Don’t Be the Monkey Holding On to the Mango

on Wednesday, 03 May 2017. Posted in Distribution

When It Comes to Digital, Don’t Be the Monkey Holding On to the Mango

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.

3 Questions to Ask Before Changing Your Sales Compensation Plan

Written by Mike Marks on Monday, 17 April 2017. Posted in Distribution

3 Questions to Ask Before Changing Your Sales Compensation Plan

At IRCG’s recent executive workshop, Sales GPS, we spoke with wholesale distribution executives about the need to rethink their distribution sales models to adapt to new market realities. We spoke about changes in how customers are shopping and buying; the growing need for a team-selling approach to meet customers’ needs more efficiently; where e-commerce fits in today’s world; and how to evaluate your sales process to identify gaps in how you’re serving your customers.

Bridge the Disconnect Between Tech and Culture in the Use of Big Data

Written by Mike Marks on Tuesday, 04 April 2017. Posted in Distribution

Bridge the Disconnect Between Tech and Culture in the Use of Big Data

Only 1 in 5 e-commerce executives across industries rate their organizations as having a “world-class” data-driven culture, according to Clearhead’s 2016 Digital Optimization Benchmarking Study. While the study of 144 e-commerce executives found that most have analytics technology in place, staffing shortages, skills gaps and cultural barriers have meant that for many companies, “the technology that can improve customer experience, such as analytics, testing and personalization, sits on the shelf.”

Study: Field Sales Roles Still Key Despite E-Commerce Shift

on Tuesday, 21 March 2017. Posted in Distribution

Study: Field Sales Roles Still Key Despite E-Commerce Shift

Sales roles today are becoming less transactional as more customers move ordering activity online. In a recent survey we conducted with MDM, distributors have predicted that as this trend continues, sales reps will have a harder time getting in front of customers (see Amazon Effect Takes Aim at Relationship Equity). A million U.S. field sales positions may even disappear because of growing e-commerce, if Forrester’s 2015 prediction is to be believed.

What’s Missing in Amazon’s B2B Strategy

Written by Mike Marks on Monday, 13 March 2017. Posted in Distribution

What’s Missing in Amazon’s B2B Strategy

A lot of distributors are worried about Amazon’s growing influence in B2B markets. Despite Amazon’s replacement of AmazonSupply with the somewhat less-threatening Amazon Business in 2015, the increased competition in B2B markets created by Amazon Business still outweighs the new selling opportunities it has created.

New Download: The Distribution Sales Rep of the Future

Written by Mike Marks on Thursday, 23 February 2017. Posted in Distribution

New Download: The Distribution Sales Rep of the Future

To give you a taste of of our upcoming Sales GPS event, we’ve put together a new whitepaper: The Sales Rep of the Future, now available for free download.

Distributors: Take the Long-Term View

Written by Mike Marks on Thursday, 16 February 2017. Posted in Distribution

Distributors: Take the Long-Term View

On a daily basis, you can get news on mergers and acquisitions and the quarterly reports of publicly traded companies. And it seems like every week a new report comes out outlining new industry trends.

Are Your Salespeople Market-Makers or Market-Servers?

Written by Mike Marks on Monday, 16 January 2017. Posted in Distribution

Are Your Salespeople Market-Makers or Market-Servers?

Is your field sales team filled with market-makers or market-servers?

Most distributors would answer that question with “market-makers.” But they would be wrong.

Management- vs. Self-Directed Sales Reps – What’s the Difference?

Written by Mike Marks on Tuesday, 13 December 2016. Posted in Distribution

Management- vs. Self-Directed Sales Reps – What’s the Difference?

The field sales function has been largely self-directed, with salespeople typically making their own decisions about how and where they go to market. Distributors must shift to a management-directed sales model.

3 Reasons the Field Sales Role Must Change

Written by Mike Marks on Thursday, 01 December 2016. Posted in Distribution

3 Reasons the Field Sales Role Must Change

Historically, the distribution sales process has been largely artisan – with field salespeople making their own decisions about how they go to market with little oversight from sales management. Here are three reasons why that has to change.

Distribution Executives: You're Invited to Sales GPS

on Tuesday, 15 November 2016. Posted in Distribution

Distribution Executives: You're Invited to Sales GPS

Join IRCG, Modern Distribution Management and your peers at Sales GPS on March 1-2 in Austin, TX, to reimagine the distribution sales model, and get the tools you need to transform your business to one that is more responsive to rapidly changing customer needs.

Mike Marks to Present 4 Courses at 2017 University of Innovative Distribution (UID)

on Friday, 28 October 2016. Posted in Distribution

Mike Marks to Present 4 Courses at 2017 University of Innovative Distribution (UID)

The University of Innovative Distribution (UID) has opened registration for its March 2017 program. IRCG's Mike Marks is a permanent faculty member at UID, and will be presenting four courses.

What Separates Market-Driven Distributors from the Competition

Written by Mike Marks on Friday, 07 October 2016. Posted in Distribution

What Separates Market-Driven Distributors from the Competition

One distinction stands above all others in separating market-driven distribution companies from the competition: They set internal priorities based on an external, market perspective.

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