Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 

 

By Frank Hurtte

HurtteOctober 3, 2016

I recently attended a day-long distributor planning session, a sales meeting that ended with a “round-robin” planning session. Vendor salespeople and distributor specialists were assigned tables around the perimeter of the meeting room. Salespeople spent a few minutes at each table talking about existing opportunities and future targets. After eavesdropping, I noticed salespeople discussing accounts where they felt additional actions could push the selling process forward. 

Soon after the meeting, it hit me like a ton of bricks: salespeople knew their assigned accounts but didn’t fully understand the targeting process. At the end of the day, nearly every salesperson listed the same three or four accounts as their targets – the same accounts and contacts were given for a diverse group of products and technologies. Later, I asked a couple of salespeople and their managers to define “target” – the results were interesting:

      “A target account is a new account”

     “exploratory”

     a target should be “one of my top 5 accounts”

All answers came from the same sales team, same management, attending the same meeting.

Vendor salespeople were no different. When asked for a “target” for their new product line, one district manager rattled off: forest products, mining, food processing, and automotive industry. Why was this particularly bothersome? The nearest forest and mining businesses were thousands of miles away. To a salesperson thinking about targets, this sends two messages, “My vendor doesn’t even know a target for my territory,” and “This product may not deserve my selling time.”

Proper targeting is the key to successfully launching new products. Human nature drives a desire to produce fast results. Dr. Robert Atkins, inventor of the Atkins Diet, stressed the need for an initial quick success in weight loss to drive future behaviour over a long period of time. Dr. Shinichi Suzuki discovered that children who experienced quick success in music were more likely to continue their studies, even once practice became routine.

Specialists can drive a result by “stacking the deck” for early success. This creates the initial one or two wins that build long-term success. Since you are responsible for getting the new products into your company’s sales pipeline, time invested in early thinking about targets pays important dividends.

For each new product answer the following questions:

     Which customer types would best benefit from the product? This should be answered in as specifically as possible. A bad example would be General Motors. A good answer would be the painting department of a large metal assembly company (General Motors) where explosive paint fumes create the need for tools with special arc proof coating. This opens the door to thoughts about a number of different companies where the environment is similar. Vendor partners and nationally based organizations like to use SIC codes to make these decisions. Unfortunately, the SIC registry is not an exact science. I suggest you put your personal knowledge and your team’s knowledge to work in developing a short list.

     Who at these companies is most likely to understand the impact of the benefit? Hopefully your salesperson has multiple account contacts. Careful thought should be given to selecting the right contact. If your product has a safety feature, showing it to a maintenance person may prove to be disastrous. She may judge your product based on it being difficult to use rather than the importance of added safety. This is as important as selecting the client company.

     Do you (or the vendor salespeople) know of companies experiencing success in some other part of the country/territory? What drove their success? Nothing can jump start the success of a new product like an introduction to the local plant of a company that has already experienced success. Before adding these people to your list, it is important to know a few details. What were the situations leading to the use? What went well? What was learned? How well has this been publicized within the company? Make contact with the key decision-maker at the remote location. Call for these details to make the success story more valid for local users.

Once you have this information and the opportunity presents itself, specialists can gain buy-in from the salesperson. Discuss your ideas for quick successes. Whenever possible, overlay your choices with her own top accounts. It is easier to sell more to existing accounts. When you are finished with the initial process you should have the following information:

  • Target account names: no more than 6
  • The right contact by name or title
  • Proper collateral materials: literature, demos, samples, joint call dates
  • A few specific bullet points to use in selling the product: Remember salespeople have dozens of accounts
  • A mutually agreed upon time frame for initial contact

Targets need to be revisited. After the salesperson’s first customer meeting, the specialist can help fine tune the targeting process by discussing the high and low points of the call. If new collateral is needed, it can quickly be brokered to the salesperson. If the demo didn’t go smoothly, a personal tutorial will rebuild confidence and drive better demos at the next target. If this meeting produces major discoveries (e.g., the competition has the same thing at 10% lower price), adjustments can be made for the entire sales organization.

Targeting accelerates business growth, but is this worth the effort? Here is a parting thought: new research indicates that organizations who are great at targeting are 47% more effective than those with average targeting skills. Specialists are uniquely qualified to make an impact! Good luck and happy targeting.

Frank Hurtte is the Founding Partner of River Heights Consulting. The Distributor Channel is a service of River Heights Consulting. Find out more: www.RiverHeightsConsulting.com    

Jean-Pascal TricoireBy Jean-Pascal Tricoire

The challenges facing industry at the moment are tough: supply chain disruptions, recurring lockdowns and lingering travel restrictions, to name just a few. We’re all trying to find the balance between overcoming these challenges while working to a future where we are more resilient, sustainable and efficient.

But today’s efforts are not enough. We’re being too conservative. More of our collective energy needs to be spent on the practical “how” — the “how can we get there with immediate actions.” 

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RittalIt is April 1, 1961, when an international success story begins in a small weaving mill in central Hesse — the standardization of enclosures. Rudolf Loh founds the Rittal company and changes the industry with one idea. The standard enclosure is used in millions of product solutions in over 90% of all industries worldwide. Rittal is the innovation and world market leader for enclosure technology and IT infrastructure.

10,000 employees worldwide work on new innovations, industry solutions and business models. A small steel manufacturing company has become a global digital enterprise. 

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David GordonBy David Gordon

Electrical distributors are at a unique moment in time where they have an opportunity to leverage technology to utilize the data it can unleash to accelerate profitability and sales cost-effectively.

Being in an information age is only beneficial if the information is utilized. Enhanced sales models, sales opportunities and servicing systems are combining to help differentiate distributors. Aside from a distribution divide being created by digital and supplier selection, analytics can either widen or tighten the divide.

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Both goods-producing (+1.5%) and services-producing (+0.4%) industries were up in January as the 20 industrial sectors were nearly evenly split between expansions and contractions.

 

 

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Swati Vora-PatelBy Swati Vora-Patel

April has been a flagship month for new milestones: it has been one full year since many of us began working from home; Zoom and other such virtual platforms have been in play for a year to keep us connected – and the reliance on digital systems has heightened over the past year to populate the influx of online catalogues and eCommerce sites.

April also marks one year since I took over the reins of EFC’s Supply Chain Network to support the electrical industry’s digital transformation journey. 

 

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Leviton

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Date : May 5, 2021
Time : 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm EST
Location Zoom meeting
Cost : $20 (plus taxes)

More than ever, interpersonal relationships are a crucial factor in the success or the failure of an organization but also in the fulfillment of its individuals. Far away from being an easy competence to develop, soft skills might be the determining factor that will make the difference in your professional career. This webinar will give you tools to help boost your motivation and your performance in order to reach your goals, both professionally and personally.

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With his vast knowledge and experience from the PAC world and his engineering background, Bogdan will lead the ISG team in continuing to provide value-added services such as proof of concept design support, MCP design, training, and other technical services and support for our customers.

 

 

 

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Over the quarter, changes in market prices led to a $345.3 billion increase in Canada's net foreign asset position. Major foreign stock markets outperformed the Canadian stock market in the fourth quarter. 

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The process of selecting the correct fixture is easy. Select a housing and trim that include a few customized features to create the fixture Product Code. Orders can be placed at orders@verozza.com or by phone at 833.VEROZZA.

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BridgeportBridgeport Fittings’ patented Mighty-Align® Steel Slip EMT Couplings eliminate the need for additional components when installing Prefab EMT racks. The couplings can also be used to join two lengths of conduit in tight, limited space applications.

Bridgeport Fittings’ center set screw feature provides the UL-required conduit stop while a convenient sight window allows for visual inspection of proper assembly. The steel slip couplings’ ability to back out the center screw allows the coupling to be temporarily placed on one conduit end while the other conduit is moved into position. The slip coupling can then be slid into place, joining both conduits.

 

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My first question to David was, what has happened in those six years? “Everything,” he said, and he started to laugh. “Obviously, we faced a lot of disruption from LED technology. 

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