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How to Leverage Sales Analytics for Successful Remote Selling

From the NAW Blog:

A new article by Senthil Gunasekaran, Co-author of Seven Enduring NAW Institute Best Sellers, is live in the NAW Blog: Distributing Ideas


Here is a preview.

As distributors respond to COVID-19, they are noticing the limitations of traditional recessionary responses such as cost reduction and working capital preservation. These responses may not be optimal due to the inherent constraint of this recession: social distancing. This constraint directly affects face-to-face sales. Transitioning sales teams to work successfully in this new environment is key to revenue recovery.




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Know Your Customers From Afar

From the NAW blog:

The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the relationship between distributors and customers. Distributors’ sales processes have changed as travel and onsite visits have become all but impossible. Customer behavior has shifted within this new environment too. The combination of these factors means that distributors now face a unique and challenging puzzle: They must figure out how to make personalized sales without actually having personal contact with customers.

A Playbook for Distributors to SURGE Ahead Using Customer Stratification

From the NAW Blog

Each of your customers brings value to your business. Some already provide a considerably high value that your business relies on, while others have significant potential that you haven’t fully tapped. Then there are the customers who cost more to serve than they provide in value. The question is: Do you know which customer is which? And are you adjusting your approach accordingly?

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Staying Competitive in the Face of Disruption

From the NAW Blog

Many distributors have been doing things the same way for years. In some cases, what worked then still works now. Yet, part of preparing for the future is preparing for the unexpected — whether that is economic volatility or other industry disruption, such as the Coronavirus.

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Which Multi-Trillion Dollar Opportunity Should You Pursue?

From the NAW Blog

Digital marketplaces were a major theme at the recent NAW Executive Summit, and for good reason; B2B marketplaces are predicted to be a $3.6 trillion boon for distributors in the next few years. This new opportunity is certainly good for distributors, but it does make action even harder. How can AI, e-commerce and marketplaces all be multi-trillion dollar opportunities? Further, which one should distributors pursue first?

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Distributors Are Innovating, But Are Manufacturers Paying Attention?

From the NAW Blog

Distributors are a strategic go-to-market asset for manufacturers and many are stepping up to reinvent the traditional distribution business model for the digital age. My recent conversations with manufacturers indicate that many suppliers have not noticed and very few have actively engaged with even their most influential distributor partners. The partnership between distributors and manufacturers remains as crucial as ever, but it will die without proactive collaboration around emerging innovation opportunities.

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4 Ways AI Can Grow Business During COVID-19

From the NAW Blog

The United States is entering a new phase of crisis management. For the first time in weeks, restrictions are easing instead of intensifying. The economy is reopening. And for distributors, that means the biggest changes are yet to come.

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Stress Testing and Strategic Cost Reduction During the Pandemic

From the NAW Blog

We’ve been tracking weekly sales in our Pandemic Revenue Index, in which distributors are reporting double-digit declines week over week. A lot of distribution companies have been handling the COVID-19 crisis moment to moment, with barely a chance to catch their breath.

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Offering Virtual Over Human Services Is a False Choice

From the NAW Blog

As distributors imagine business after the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing consensus that the crisis will lock in a trend toward customer preferences for virtual experiences. While a sustained shift in buying habits is very likely, that outcome does not reflect the full impact on the future of business. Yes, social distancing has forced remote working and online ordering. However, the crisis also reveals that we are all members of cherished communities, and the path forward is about people working with people to solve problems.

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Risk Prediction and Mitigation Are the New Normal

From the NAW Blog

The hard truth about the Coronavirus is that extreme, unexpected events are becoming an essential new requirement of effective supply chain planning. In the current crisis, distributors are doing the crucial work of delivering critical products to essential businesses. As the virus peaks, distributors will play a leading role in rebooting our economy. As industries recover, a new normal will set it. It will be one where customers judge supply chain performance not only on efficiency, but on the ability to predict and mitigate risk.

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Unbundle and Rebuild Your Sales Force

From the NAW Blog

Many distributors are reporting that the Coronavirus crisis is leading to an increase in online ordering and virtual interactions with their customer service reps and inside salespeople. As this trend takes root, it may shift customer interactions away from a distributor’s field salespeople. As a result, salespeople may be defensive or uncomfortable. However, if customer behaviors are changing, there is a huge opportunity for your sales force around creating new value for customers.

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Distributors Must Lead to the New Normal

From the NAW Blog

The conduct of business will change as the Coronavirus crisis recedes, but it’s too early to know the new normal with certainty. Just as first reporting in any emergency often proves to be inaccurate and wrong, so too may early predictions about a new normal for doing business miss the mark.

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Empower Your First-Line Managers to Survive a Crisis

From the NAW Blog

The defining characteristic of a crisis is uncertainty. First-line managers are a powerful force for surviving a crisis, but only if leaders help them embrace a new role. Every employee wonders how long the crisis will last, which work is most important and if their job is secure. Leaders don’t have all the answers, and employees know it. The role of first-line managers shifts from directing activities that drive performance to gathering ideas that may help the company survive.

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