The Wholesale Dilemma
When it comes to staying current, wholesalers have their work cut out for them. With thousands of brands, immense competition and fickle consumers, wholesalers have to stay agile in order to survive. Wholesalers have to understand what they are selling and who they are selling too. If you’re a wholesale distributor of soda and your main business has primarily come from selling to upscale offices, you may want to rethink your strategy as more health reports come out and workplaces continue to embrace healthier alternatives. You could be slowly losing due to small shifts that cause decreasing sales without even knowing it. The opportunity cost of trying to sell to non-desirable customers is huge. Problems like fickle customers and heavy competition are in no way specific to wholesalers, but the lack of inventory flexibility and limited customer base do make these problems more acute for wholesale and DSD sellers.
The Realities of Modern Commerce
Many retail locations offer a wide variety of items, which can easily be swapped out should the need arise. Wholesalers and DSD sellers don’t have this luxury, as they sell a much smaller range of products and in much greater quantities. Changing strategies for wholesalers is more difficult than for most other businesses. Wholesalers really need to know who their desired customers are, as their potential customer base is already quite limited. If this soda company had tracked its sales and statistics more diligently it could have caught the problem and adjusted accordingly, before it was too late. The advent of e-commerce has also upped the analytics arms race, as many websites and online businesses have access to important stats in regards to themselves and their customers.
The E-commerce effect
E-commerce has completely changed the game. Today’s consumers want everything at their fingertips, and would much rather do their own research than deal with salespeople. Having an online presence is key, but just having a website isn’t even enough anymore. A mediocre, disorganized website will cause potential customer to exit your site in favor of one with a more appealing web presence. Aesthetics and convenience really matter to people, so pay close attention! Having a good web presence is doubly important for distributors as these sorts of companies don’t get too much “walk-by” traffic. Blogs are also a nice touch, as these help your website out on the Google algorithm. By focusing on keywords and writing blog posts with SEO in mind, you can increase your standing in search results, which could lead to increased sales. Having a website with a good aesthetic really helps, but even this doesn’t really give you a huge advantage any more as every distributor with merit has a nice, user-friendly website. You need other tools, the most powerful of which is data! Keeping up with what your customers want is the single most important thing for distributors, because in the end, the product is what customers are buying.
Solutions are out there
Information is power, and you cannot continue to use pen and paper to track how your company is doing. With the powerful field sales software embedded in inSitu Sales, detailed analytics, and field sales rep tracking are at your fingertips. With this salesman app, you can pivot on the spot and reassign your sales staff at any moment, allowing you to optimize your outside sales team in real-time.
6 keys for distributors
1. Know who your desired customers are.
2. Get a web presence! A website is most important but social media is helpful as well. Make sure your website is clean and user friendly. A bad website is just about as bad as having no website.
3. Make sure to have a B2B E-commerce presence.
4. Make content such as blogs for your website.
5. Data! You need to know what people want in order to sell to them.
6. Always stay flexible. What worked yesterday may not work today, as people and trends are always changing.