The Distribution Blog

3 Proven Tactics for Boosting Revenue and Improving Margins in Distribution Sales

December 16, 2022

Table of Contents

Imagine a sales organization where your sales reps interact with more customers, more frequently and at a lower cost. Imagine a sales organization that allows your salespeople to become product consultants, instead of relying on boilerplate messages. To build a solid foundation for the next generation of sales, it’s time to take a hard look at your current sales models and consider modernizing it. By implementing the 3 sales model changes proposed in this post, you can expect to see your margins increase, your sales reps become more efficient, and your customer experience improve.

Turn Outside Sales Reps Into Hybrid Reps

Turning outside sales reps into hybrid reps means fewer customer visits and managing more accounts. According to a 2020 analysis by McKinsey, more than 90% of B2B companies shifted to a virtual or hybridized sales model as a result of the pandemic. If you haven’t already, it’s time to re-evaluate the responsibilities of your outside sales reps, and the tools they need to do their jobs effectively in a hybrid environment. If they have the right ERP/CRM combo (which, by the way, needs to work exceptionally well on mobile), they should be able to consult customers proactively and effectively both when they visit a customer, check in, or provide support remotely.

Increase Inside Sales Reps’ Dough Per Dial

Congratulations – you’re data rich! Your business has years of transaction history and tons of product and customer data. Put millions of data points to use to guide sales reps to the right customers with the right insights, giving every call a purpose. Several of our customers have built proactive inside sales teams from the ground up using Proton. A few of them have partnered with DSG as a consultant through this process. We’ve seen countless times that even green sales reps can drive results on par with outside sales reps when guided by AI. The average inside sales rep generates $147K in incremental sales when using Proton.

Turn Order Takers Into Order Makers

Yes, your customer service reps are busy. No, their inbox will never reach zero. But, customer service reps have the potential to be revenue generators even if they’re not making calls. Some of our customers lighten the manual burden of order-taking by using an order entry automation solution like Conexiom. Freeing up even a marginal amount of time in a day can afford your customer service reps the ability to make specific product recommendations that help customers and increase order sizes and margins. CSRs are great candidates to pitch reorder reminders if your business is transactional and cyclical. If your business is project-oriented, have your CSRs follow up on open quotes or items the customer browsed online. The time is now to turn your cost center into a profit center. Proton’s average CSR user generates $36K in incremental annual sales. If your inside sales reps are reactive, we recommend asking them to spend 1-2 hours each week doing outbound calls with the support of a tool like Proton. Successful CSRs can be ramped into proactive sales reps.

Love it or hate it, the world of distribution is evolving. Customers are demanding a consultative approach, and your sales reps need technology that makes them more efficient (without adding busy work). Face it: the sales processes at your distribution business are overdue for an overhaul. To build a defensible business, embrace the hybrid sales model, put your transactional data to work with AI, and empower your customer service team to make tailored recommendations.

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