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..

 

OlsonBy Katrina Olson

A recent CEW article by David Gordon caught my eye. The headline was, Are Your Sales and Marketing Teams Inhibiting Growth?

As a marketing consultant, writer, and trainer, I recognized the challenges and barriers that David was writing about. We agree on many issues (and their causes) facing electrical distributors and marketers. But I also hear from marketing people all the time that the C-Suite is hindering their efforts which, in turn, hinders the company’s growth.  

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Study


A confirmation: the winds of change are now howling.

Several years ago, in a workshop at Electro-Federation Canada’s annual conference, a roundtable session described and debated the numerous disruptive technologies that are forcing us to think differently.

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Looking BackIn the 1930s to 1940s, CEDA’s Western Canada membership was very stable with old line independent companies like Horsman, Ashdowns, Brettell, Marshall Wells, Electrical Supplies Ltd., etc.

Small electrical distributors just were not acceptable for membership as they did not carry the main-line manufacturers’ goods, publish a wiring device catalogue, or employ four to five salesmen as CEDA requested.

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Changing Scene

  • Prev
Flextherm Celebrates 25 Years With a Big Bang PHOTO: EIN-37/CEW-18-CS-Flextherm-400.jpg The floor ...
Electro-Federation Canada’s 6th Annual Future Forum, Thinking Smarter — Channel Products, Energy, ...
In partnership with Habitat for Humanity Québec, Convectair is donating two heating units ...
Do you know an industry member who has greatly contributed to the Canadian electrical industry and ...
Kendra Smith will be joining the company’s Nationals Accounts team as the Key Accounts ...
Blueway has been added as a division within Sonepar Ontario, reporting directly to Sonepar Ontario ...
Pilz Canada has added Marcus Graham to its family. Marcus is now serving a wide base of customers ...
Christopher Balleine has been appointed Stelpro’s Sales Representative, Maritimes, ...
Based in Ottawa, Lafontaine will be responsible for building on Schneider Electric’s ...
Bill Smith from Electrozad Supply Company Limited has been selected as this year’s recipient ...

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
Sales of electrical supplies from full-line electrical distributors capture the geographic ...
I've known John Sencich since CEW began publishing. He agreed from the outset to be part of the ...
Laura Dempsey has been working as an outside sales representative for E.B. Horsman & Son for ...
Michael Gentile, President and CEO of Philips Lighting Canada, has had a long and distinguished ...
Gordon MacDonald is a cheerful, driven individual who loves to be challenged, a trait that suits ...
  Jordan Prins is an account manager at Wesco Distribution in Abbotsford, British Columbia. ...
Mike Marsh, President and CEO of SaskPower, has been a leading figure in Saskatchewan’s electricity ...
I didn’t wake up one day and go, “I want to work for my dad!” Actually, it was ...
    Ouellet Canada is celebrating 50 years in the Electrical Heating ...
  On February 27th Lumen opened their 36th branch in Ottawa, Ontario. ...

Laura Dempsey

Owen Hurst

Laura Dempsey has been working as an outside sales representative for E.B. Horsman & Son for over 15 years, and is a member of the BCEA U40 network of young professionals. She lives in Langley, BC and is proud of her position and work with E.B. Horsman, particularly as she is the second Dempsey generation to work for the company.

Laura’s mother Shelly has worked at E.B. Horsman for over 25 years, and instilled in Laura a determination to succeed. Laura followed in her mother’s footsteps after witnessing how much her mother enjoyed her work and the people she works with at E.B. Horsman.

Read more: Laura Dempsey

Laura Dempsey

Line Goyette

I've known John Sencich since CEW began publishing. He agreed from the outset to be part of the newsletter’s Editorial Board. His contribution was regular and sustained. Always present to answer my technical questions, and refer me to the right person for additional information as needed. Always available despite his role as senior leader of an influential company.

Over the past five years, many industry insiders have cited John Sencich when I asked them to name someone who had made a difference in their lives or had inspired them as a leader.

Read more: John Sencich

Looking Back

  • Prev
  As 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we take a look back at an aspect of ...
The resource-based industries of the Maritimes are looking to electronics to make their operations ...
  Electrical distributors must remain in both the electronic and electrical ends of the ...
  The public’s strong interest in energy-saving products should continue in the ...
  Even in a principally agricultural province like Saskatchewan, the impact of electronics ...
Electrical distribution companies operating in British Columbia will continue to get larger while ...
Golden anniversaries are celebrated by the mature, and our industry is allowed to celebrate ...
The last 50 years have been exciting ones for the electrical industry but they won’t compare to ...
The ceiling that had been placed on membership fees remained a point of contention among ...
The year 1982 started on a relatively good note for electrical distributors. Sales in the first ...

DIgitalDigitalization is set to take a strong hold of all business models, transforming how companies access, monitor, engage with and service customers. Today’s customers are not passive consumers; they rely on real-time digital access to information to make purchasing decisions. Businesses must consider how to apply digital technologies and digitized data to connect with customers to help reshape their paths to purchase. This digital lens provides improvements to business functions, operations and overall processes by creating stronger insight and knowledge so businesses can take action.

The path towards digitalization has put the electrical supply channel at an important crossroad: the entire electrical value chain (suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, customers) will need to strongly consider how to move from a traditional model that has served the market well for decades, towards a new model that is connected, smart and highly efficient. But how does the industry evolve from a traditional model to an integrated ecosystem?

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EFC 2018 Scholarship Program

This year Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) will award $156,250 across 62 scholarships supported by manufacturers, distributors and associations.

The annual EFC Scholarship Program reflects an industry that understands its responsibility to attract future talent. In the face of technological, demographic, and socio-economic evolution, the employment landscape is in constant transformation resulting in substantial challenges for companies as they work to define and redefine their recruitment practices. Furthermore, as competition for the brightest and the best of the next generation of business leaders intensifies, it’s more important than ever to engage young people. 

Read more...

 

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