The term added value has been a significant part of sales strategy discussions in the last several years. In the digital age, its importance continues to grow. In a recent webcast by Distribution Strategy Group, Erik Gershwind, President and CEO of MSC, talks about the need for his company’s sales force to deliver added-value analytics — it’s the difference between selling and leading. “MSC is adding value deeper into its customers’ organization while simultaneously expanding the portion of its sales that come through digital channels.”

Helping the Customer

MSC’s new brand proposition which says, “built to make you better” is timely. This means that the digitalized world has changed the way we sell. A sale doesn’t end when you deliver the product. Through a decentralized sales effort, MSC’s sales model assists customers in tackling their “mission-critical” channels on the plant floor. These include assisting customers with emerging issues, such as a lack of expertise. With the pandemic as well as subsequent COVID-related business acceleration, customers are experiencing a skills gap that can be extremely difficult to bridge. To address this, MSC has initiated an assessment needs evaluation. The company’s technical experts will perform onsite analysis audits for its customers.

A Changing Sales Force

MSC recognizes the need for a change in its sales force. They are segmented by the traditional account managers and have created new teams of experienced technical experts to meet the demands of shifting customer needs.

Also, the company is heavily investing in recruiting and training staff to better understand customers’ businesses. MSC focuses on digital integration to measure performance. Clients need an added-value analysis mining in key areas such as metal working productivity, eCommerce, inventory, and purchasing.

Raising the Bar

Lastly, Gershwind believes the sales qualification bar has gone up. The sales force today must be prepared to present more than a good product. Reps have to be creative and able to share ideas that can also improve the client’s performance. In the new digital world, business is winning with better added-value propositions.

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