Category Archives: Distribution Strategy

Customer-Centric Sales Force Reinvention

In April 2015, Forrester Research estimated that one million B2B reps would be toast by 2020 due to digital disruption. They solidified this forecast in a subsequent March 2017 report. The findings were perhaps hyped in order to sell reports, but they are still a helpful warning to undertake an actionable assessment of your reps’ readiness for cloud commerce in 2020 and beyond.

How? Consider viewing your reps through the following analytical lenses to create questions for further investigation.  Continue reading Customer-Centric Sales Force Reinvention

105. Connecting Customer Profitability and (Amazon) Cloud Commerce Effects

Willful blindness and selective denial

Willful blindness is legalese for “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. Other selective denial expressions include, ignoring the elephant in the room, sparing sacred cows, believing in the emperor’s new clothes, shooting the bearers of bad news and groupthink.

Humans tend to deny new facts when they are too shocking, painful and/or scary to confront. But, companies that acknowledge, debate and act on truths beat competitors who remain in denial. And, they will be better able to compete with Amazon in the ecommerce cloud of 2021. Continue reading 105. Connecting Customer Profitability and (Amazon) Cloud Commerce Effects

104. Innovation Two-Step: Core Renewal and a Cloud-Based Value-Channel

The Present Facts

Amazon (AMZ) is building out the first value channel from end-users back to factories. And of course, this channel is a cloud-based digital channel. The customer-centric channel is comprised of 10+ intersecting, reinforcing, winner-take-all platforms starting with the 60MM Prime members in the U.S. (100MM+ worldwide). This monopoly capability will allow AMZ to sell into, and/or collect fees from, all verticals that sell anything to Prime members.

This cloud-based value channel has breakthrough advantages over legacy, product-push channel players. Hence, there is insane loyalty from Prime members and astronomical sales growth. Continue reading 104. Innovation Two-Step: Core Renewal and a Cloud-Based Value-Channel

103. Use Insider Information to Get Rich, Then Innovate

For 140 years fortunes have been made on Wall Street by exploiting insider information. While this tactic is illegal on Wall Street, there is a way to use information your competitors don’t have ethically and with enthusiastic front-line employee engagement. How?

Get line-item profit analytics to generate both customer and SKU/vendor profitability rankings. No competitor has your same internal rankings. Nor, do they have your underlying capabilities that have co-evolved with your history of capturing and keeping your profit winners. Continue reading 103. Use Insider Information to Get Rich, Then Innovate

102. High-Margin Counter Sales Aren’t Profitable!

This is one of the first insights that distributors who subscribe to Line-Item Profit Analytics are shocked to find out. Analytics reveal that:

  • Naturally high-margin percent SKUs and customers are mostly net-profit dollar losers
  • Gross profit dollars on small-dollar lines and orders are less than their cost-to-serve dollars

You can’t ignore small transaction size, or the variable service-people costs for customers with bill-me-later, paper-based trade credit. Continue reading 102. High-Margin Counter Sales Aren’t Profitable!

101. Case Study: Customer Names Price, OptiQuote Calculator Sets Terms

The Scenario

An industrial buyer asks a distributor CEO a question.

BUYER: “Can you beat my last year spend on 20 MRO SKUs? The grand total was $35K.”

CEO: “Well, it depends upon the average dollar size of your orders. We can do simulations with my OptiQuote calculator. The general rule is that prices drop with fewer, bigger orders. We pass the reduction in our line and order fulfillment activity costs on to you. And, on any given order prices will drop at both the line-item level and order-total level as the dollar totals increase. As a best-theoretical case, we could enter the annual SKU totals on one big order.” Continue reading 101. Case Study: Customer Names Price, OptiQuote Calculator Sets Terms