The New Sales Model
MSC Industrial Supply Co’s new brand proposition — built to make you better — is an important strategy to note. The digitalized world has created major changes in the way we sell. The sale no longer ends when you deliver the product. MSC’s refocused sales model involves helping the customer tackle their “mission critical” channels on the plant floor through a decentralized sales effort.
Assisting customers with emerging issues, such as a lack of expertise, is part of this process. Due to the pandemic and subsequent post-COVID business acceleration, customers are experiencing a skills gap. As a result, MSC has begun evaluating assessment needs. Customers of the company can have their analysis audited onsite by the company’s technical experts.
Distributors need to look closely at their sales model and make changes where appropriate. As early as 2010, the distributorship I was with added a Productivity Enhancement Team. Further, this group was tasked with assisting our outside reps by touring key accounts and helping to develop areas for manufacturing improvement. They considered welding process selection, robotic applications, machine tool transitions, safety product adaptions, etc. In the mid-2010s, my company built a team to initiate vendor-managed inventory (VMI).
Where Information Meets Experience
The younger generation in our workforce has the ability to find information quickly, but they don’t necessarily have the experience to use it to their greatest advantage. Develop a sales force that has a balance of fresh new ideas and hard-won experience. This provides you with the best opportunity to deliver value-added proposals to meet your customers’ needs.
Lastly, the sales qualification bar has gone up. Today’s sales force must be prepared to present more than a good product. Reps have to be creative and able to share ideas that can improve the client’s performance. In the new digital world, business is won by finding better ways to meet customer needs.