Bruce Merrifield: Selling model stress fractures?
Recent surveys find that next-gen B2B digital-first buyers want only-scheduled-as-needed rep calls.
They prefer, initially, maximum e-information and real-time e-support: 24/7/365. And text messages about real issues are preferred over “how’s-it-going?” outbound phone calls.
B2B brands are beginning to oblige new end-users with a flood of new, digital content. How will each brand rethink the rest of their e-buying journey scenarios? Will brands seamlessly re-intermediate distributors or not?
By 2022, what other e-selling competitors, models, tools and skills can be envisioned?
But, “My reps resist all changes,” you might say. If so, do a deep analysis of each rep to find individual solutions.
START WITH ANALYTICAL BASICS
What is the expense per sales call for each rep? This cost is built into the customer’s price. But, if next-gen buyers value these calls less and can find lower prices online for price-sensitive commodities, what will give?
How many calls per year on an account must a rep make to have a worthwhile relationship?
To cover this call-cost investment, what minimum annual margin dollars must an account yield? Hint: $4-$5K. How many too-small accounts are being called on?
What average margin-dollars per order must a rep account have to be net-profitable?
Do you have reps who you would not rehire? Why impose them on customers? Why let them continue to under-penetrate key (potential) accounts?
How can you get A-level-reps calling on all A-level accounts as they also learn e-selling skills?
HOW WILL (BEST) REPS FIT INTO YOUR 2022 SELLING VISION?
Here are some trend questions:
- Consolidation of brands, distributors, end users will continue. (?)
- More key customers will seek sole-supply, integrated, automated replenishment solutions. (?)
- Total-procurement-cost solutions are sold by multi-skilled teams. Not reps to buyers in silos. (?)
- Don’t distributors need cost-to-serve models at the line/pick level to have 3PL, unbundled-services-for-fees flexibility. (?)
- Trends 1-4 have already swept through retail and hospital supply channels. Why not adapt their system-selling models and incentive plans?
- As all channels transition to cloud e-commerce, how many selling models will you need?
- Expand this list of questions and “live into them.” For help, check out the links below to my “rep questions” exhibit and slide-show solutions.
- Do a net-profit analysis for each sales territory, then consider my slide-show solutions.
Do a deep analysis of each rep to find individual solutions.