Author: Mark Dancer, NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Fellow

Becoming a Digital Distributor
Buying Behaviors in the Era of Digital Tools
6 Customer Buying Behaviors in the Era of Digital Tools

We asked wholesaler-distributors to share their views on evolving customer buying behavior in light of e-commerce and other digital tools, and then we organized responses into six common descriptions, as shown below. These findings are a starting point for each distributor to understand its own customers and for beginning to develop strategies for a new […]

Getting the Most Out of CRM
Top Concerns Distributors Have About Adopting Customer Relationship Management - CRM
Top Concerns Distributors Have About Adopting Customer Relationship Management – CRM

We found that wholesaler-distributors that have not adopted CRM are cautious, seeking greater assurance that their investments of time and cash will deliver results for their businesses. Few distributors reject the premise that there is a fundamental need for automation of the sales management process, much as automation has improved other aspects of their business. […]

Becoming a Digital Distributor
7 Strategic Findings Regarding the Adoption and Use of Digital Tools
7 Strategic Findings Regarding the Adoption and Use of Digital Tools

We have identified seven strategic findings for wholesaler-distributors, especially for the leaders who will set visions, define goals, and drive execution: 1. Digital tools hold promise and peril for distributors. As intermediaries between customers and suppliers, distributors hold the knowledge, information, and data that drive the value chain. Digital tools can help harness those data […]

Getting the Most Out of CRM
Top 10 Benefits of Adopting a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)
Top 10 Benefits of Adopting a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)

1. Manage customer contact information. Perhaps the most basic of benefits, CRM helps salespeople create and maintain a database of customer information from basic information about names and positions, to personal information about business goals, professional affiliations, and family members.   2. Manage sales pipeline or territory results. CRM has the potential to transform a […]

Getting the Most Out of CRM
What Is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?
What Is Client Relationship Management or Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

CRM can mean many things to wholesaler-distributors. It’s a software and sales automation tool, of course, but CRM can also be viewed as a strategy or process, depending on the business experience, technology affinity, and sales orientation of the wholesaler-distributors we encountered.  Looking for more Benefits of Adopting a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Click here […]

Getting the Most Out of CRM
Why CRM Is Fast Becoming a Standard Business Practice and Essential Tool
Why CRM Is Fast Becoming a Standard Business Practice and Essential Tool

In my research for my book, Getting the Most Out of CRM, I found that the majority (61%) of wholesaler-distributors surveyed already use CRM in implementations that range from basic to advanced. If you’re looking for perspectives to get to a “go” decision for adopting CRM or expanding its use at your company, here are […]

Getting the Most Out of CRM
10 Guiding Principles of CRM
Top 10 Guiding Principles for Designing Your CRM Selection Process

1. Pick a partner, not just a vendor. While it’s important to pick a CRM tool with appropriate features, it is also important to evaluate the CRM vendor’s business strategies and culture ….   2. Know your sales drivers. CRM delivers the best immediate value when it is aligned with the specific drivers that yield […]

Becoming a Digital Distributor
What are Digital Tools: A Guide for Wholesaler- Distributors
What Are Digital Tools: A Guide for Wholesaler-Distributors

Wholesaler-distributors have a very strong awareness of digital tools, but, as of today, relatively low experience, on average. We found that we often needed to provide a simple working definition of the six digital tools that were the subject of our research, and we provide them here for clarity.   E-commerce: buying and selling of […]

Becoming a Digital Distributor
6 Strategies for Competing with Disruptors
6 Strategies for Competing with Disruptors

Wholesaler-distributors are well aware that disruptors pose a strategic threat, and so are developing strategies to survive, compete, and prosper. Here are potential strategies for dealing with disruptors: It’s important to note that all of the strategies have a common thread: wholesaler-distributors must clearly define the solutions or services they offer customers delivered through a […]