Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 

Aug 13, 2018

David GordonBy David Gordon

We’re at mid year and we’re hearing a wide array of distributor and manufacturer performance. Industry forecasters state the market should be around 6%, which begs this question: are you above the industry forecast and growing or are you letting rising seas to lift all? In essence, are you generating growth, content with market performance, or lagging the market?

And if you are floating with the market, consider:

  • the impact of increases in steel and aluminum. Are your unit sales higher than last years or are your sales artificially inflated?
  • What about lighting? With continued price erosion, are you selling more units? Closing more projects? Improving your close rate?
  • What about operational costs? Are they growing less than your sales and gross margin growth rate, thereby enabling you to improve your net profit? If not, are you treading water?

Why think about this?

Could your sales and marketing team inhibit your growth?

Yes, it’s a strange question because, aren’t these the departments and people that are supposed to generate, ideally lead us to growth?

According to a study conducted by Jim Dickie of CSO Insights, sales and marketing challenges can lead to sub-optimal performance. For some companies this can explain declining or static performance (defined as flat or only market level performance.) If you want to outperform the market, your sales and marketing teams need to outperform the competition.

Sales Mastery/CSO conducted a survey of sales and marketing executives at the end of 2017. Respondents shared what they see as barriers within their companies:

Marketing Chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The question becomes, are you willing to positively critique your company? We’re not saying every salesperson needs to be, or will become, an “A” player in sales or that your marketing department can do everything, flawlessly and the most cost-effectively while anticipating sales, customer and supplier needs. What we are saying is that everyone can be reviewed, opportunities identified, and performance-impacting trends (or barriers) noted so that improvement can be made. The first step to a different tomorrow is a change today.

Or consider it from a third perspective.

If you segment your customer base, your salespeople and your activities into segments of one third each, how can you get one third inside that one third to incrementally do better? But what do they need to do it?

In the above chart, the #1 issue is sales manager coaching. How can this process be improved within your organization, if there is a process? How can it be standardized based on reviewing how top performers do?

Consider this exercise

  1. Ask your salespeople what inhibits their performance
  2. Ask marketing what inhibits its performance
  3. Survey the audience about the degree of impact on each issue
  4. Identify top sales performers and your agreed upon marketing successes to identify trends
  5. Promote, and train, to the new processes and expectation

And the hardest part is honesty. When you look at the top four answers in the chart — sales management, value proposition, training on communicating ROI (i.e., selling vs. relationship and order acceptance), and agreement on strategy/collaboration — the question becomes, for the second half of 2018, do you need a quick reset? Or is this a systemic issue that needs to be addressed as part of your 2019 planning process with a continuous improvement process developed to strengthen the organization?

Not all things can change, but if you leave it to the individuals can you affect change?

David Gordon is President of Channel Marketing Group. Channel Marketing Group develops market share and growth strategies for manufacturers and distributors and develops market research. CMG’s specialty is the electrical industry. He also authors an electrical industry blog, www.electricaltrends.com. He can be reached at 919-488-8635 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Flir Application SpotlightWithout power, factory operations cannot continue. That’s why regular scheduled maintenance is important to ensure your electrical distribution system is in working order. A combination of a thermal imager and a clamp meter can help you detect hot spots and diagnose electrical issues at the point of failure before an outage occurs, quickly and safely.  Download the Application Spotlight today.

 

 

 

 

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3M Canada WebinarRegister for 3M Canada’s upcoming webinar: How TTS™ Heat Trace Cables can help you on site.

3M Canada will be hosting a heat trace cables webinar, where you’ll learn about heat trace, heat trace applications (i.e.: pipe freeze protection, roof and gutter, and surface snow and ice melting), and the benefits of self-regulating heat trace cables—TTS™ Heat Trace Cables.

 

 

 

 

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Stephanie MedeirosBy Blake Marchand

Stephanie Medeiros leads ABB Canada’s Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure team, as well as transit bus charging in the United States and Canada. She has been with ABB in various positions for 10 years, compiling a diverse skillset that includes work all over the world. 

After receiving a degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University, Medeiros got her start in the industry by volunteering with the Canadian government as an electrical engineering intern, where she travelled to Peru to help improve their water treatment infrastructure. 

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Wholesale SalesWholesale sales rose 0.6% to $64.1 billion in June, partly offsetting the 1.9% decline in May. Sales were up in four of seven subsectors, representing 54% of total wholesale sales.

In dollar terms, two subsectors — miscellaneous, and machinery, equipment and supplies — contributed the most to the increase in June, while the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector posted the largest decline.

 

 

 

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Endress+HauserEndress+Hauser has broken ground for its new $28 million Customer Experience Centre for Central and Eastern Canada. When construction of the approximately 47,000 sq ft facility in Burlington is completed late next year, it will provide customers from Manitoba to Atlantic Canada with a generously equipped, state-of-the-art training and support hub for selecting and familiarizing themselves with the company’s latest innovations for process automation.

Last week’s official groundbreaking included a traditional Land Acknowledgment Ceremony performed by Chief R. Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations.

 

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Lori BagazzoliBy Blake Marchand

Lori Bagazzoli, Regional Sales Manager for Viscor, is a 20-year industry veteran that has built an interesting career from the bottom up. Beginning as a 19-year old just out of college in customer service with EXM, she gained an intimate knowledge of the electrical and lighting supply business by working her way through various organizational levels.

“I was definitely able to learn the different roles, and understand all the different aspects of the business,” she said, “starting so young, I really had to put in my time to be able to move up.”

 

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