Are you doing mid-year reviews?
As we roll into mid-summer, many distributors are in the process of doing mid-year reviews with their teams. Under even the best of circumstances, distribution experts recommend periodic reviews of team performance. In these tumultuous times, the practice is even more important.
Our friend Frank Hurtte, speaking in IMARK Today, proposed 20 questions distributor leaders should ask their salesforce. He went on to say this:
Why ask your sellers questions? I believe sales managers must understand their teams. Not all the answers will be the same. Each member of your team has their own individual strengths, weaknesses, and outlook on business. Customer mix makes a difference. Yet we must ask to understand. The COVID situation has impacted our industry. If you haven’t done a mid-year review with your team, I suggest you do so. I recommend you use some of these questions in your review conversations.
The concept of questions got us thinking, we believe KYKLO users should ask some questions of their own. Here are five questions you might toss out to your team during a mid-year review of your own:
How have you put the KYKLO system that powers our website to work in your selling efforts?
The system can produce online quotes which feature extensive product data and specifications. In addition, many of the product pages provide suggestions for add-on sales. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to suggest that bracket for a customer’s sensor application.
Do you use the KYKLO system to help find product information faster?
Here’s a truism, many of our manufacturers provide literally hundreds of permutations of the same product. Have you practiced drilling into the right product for the application but simply selecting the features your customer needs for their installation?
Have you taken the time to direct customers to the web-store?
Getting customers into the web-store isn’t a matter of build it and they will come, although many will find their way. Experts tell us it is 5-10x easier to sell more to an existing customer than find and convert a new account. The same applies to the web-store. The best prospect for the web-store is an existing customer. They know and trust us. They need to know orders can be placed in whatever manner proves easier at the time. Sometimes, they want to review all the variations of a product at their leisure. Our KYKLO solution offers that option.
Which of your customers do you rarely call on who should be pushed to your web-store?
These customers might be too small to warrant lots of attention. Some say the cost of doing business with this type of customer is prohibitively expensive. Helping them develop the habit of shopping electronically brings in low-cost sales dollars. In the long run, we’ll still be there for them when they have an issue.
Understanding nothing replaces the in-person work you do to assist your customers, what do you see as the biggest benefit of directing customers to your web-store?
This question primes the pump for salespeople to understand the web-store is just another selling tool. Knowledge-based distributors will still provide expert guidance, develop complex solutions, and aid their customers in improving their operations. Not using the web-store in today’s market environment is akin to not giving customers product catalogs back in the 90s. Even high-tech solution-centric distributors provide plain old parts. And sometimes getting the right part at the right time is a solution.
Ask questions and understand your team’s skills
The KYKLO system isn’t just world class software or one of the largest libraries of product content on the planet, it’s a solution. Sometimes, training is part of your solution. It’s part of ours, too. If your team’s answers to these questions doesn’t ring true, give us a call. We have training and we can help.
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