The New Blueprint to Engage and Educate your Distributors: 3 Pillars to create higher performance



How to Consistently and Effectively Grow Outside Sales

The good news is it IS possible to growth your outside sales network (including independent third parties like dealers and distributors) with a specific blueprint that makes it possible to repeat over and over as you grow.

The part of this that most companies get wrong is the process piece. When there isn’t an existing way to do something, it can feel hard to figure out and it’s easy to get it wrong. 

It requires new thinking. Innovation. 

Fortunately, through our work with hundreds of companies, we created a road map you can follow to create predictable and repeatable success in your sales growth engine. 

Two two key parts here are the three Transformation Pillars and the 5 C’s. 


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Transformation Pillar #1: Emerson’s Law of Compensation 

In his essay “Compensation” (c. 1841), Emerson made a timeless observation. “Each person is compensated in like manner for that which he or she has contributed.” 

In other words, the move you give, the more you get. 


Transformation Pillar # 2: Trust

trust equation 

The level of trust you have is proportional to the levels of trustworthiness, credibility, reliability, integrity and intimacy, while inversely proportional to your self-orientation. 

This is critical because with your dealers and distributors, you must establish trust first to create a relationship of mutual benefit. You are depending upon them to represent your brand, sell your products, provide service to your customers. 

So take care of them as if your business depends on it (and it does). 


Transformation Pillar # 3: It has to be Easy 

math simple equation on chalk board


The harder and more complex you make a task to perform for your front-line sellers, the less likely they are to do it. 

Why would you make it hard to sell? 

Selling is already hard enough. Distributors will be more effective, more confident, if they can follow a by the numbers system. 

To make it really easy you have tools you can put in your tool box:

  1. Playbooks
  2. Questions to ask customers
  3. Answers to frequently asked customer questions 
  4. Battle Cards
Playbooks are just like they sound. Most commonly thought of in football, plays can be called based on what the other team is doing. If they are sitting back in deep coverage, you might run a a short play to the sideline. If they are in a goal line defense, maybe you run play action and go over the top. There's a play for every situation. 
In sales, a playbook can provide a LOT of support to your sales network by giving them what they need. If a customer is earlier in the process, lead with questions and help them figure out what they need. If they're later stage, provide facts and figures such as via sales calculators to show the ROI and economic impact of a purchasing decision.
Questions to ask customers provide a starting point for sales conversations. Typically there are 5-10 questions every rep should ask a buyer to qualify the prospect and get some context. Questions might include: can you tell me about what you're looking for? The specific project you're working on? Any budget range in mind? Are you looking to buy or lease? How soon are you looking to make a decision? What are the top three factors on which you will make a buying decision?
Answers to frequently asked customer questions are helpful. The marketing team at HQ gets questions all the time from distributors who call and ask for information. This forms the basis for an information bank that HQ can then use to keep current top questions and best answers always on hand. This makes reps more self-sufficient and can provide information to customers faster. 
Battle cards are condensed information on a product or line for easy reference while talking to a customer. By having everything in s single location, it makes it very easy for sales reps to quickly look up information, ask and answer questions, and steer the buyer to the right decision. 

Sales Growth Framework – the 5 C’s

Are successful sales people born or made?

Well, there are certainly some who are born to be sales stars. They have such a way with people, it just clicks. It could be a natural charm or charisma or it could be the ability to tell powerful stories. It depends on the product and the sales process.

But there are a also a lot of people who just need a little help. A system, a guide, a framework. 

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And that’s where the 5 C’s come in. 

  1. Current – you can’t sell with outdated information
  2. Consistent – you can’t get repeatable results without a process
  3. Consultative (Educated) – you can’t understand a buyer’s situation without asking the right questions
  4. Confident – you can’t win over a client unless you project confidence
  5. Capable – you can’t achieve your potential in one dimension


The Pareto Principle or "80/20 Rule" 

Only 20% of dealers and distributors are “high-performing” according to the manufacturers whose goods they sell.

Why is that? It usually comes down to a few reasons. 

  1. Keeping distributors up to date on products is difficult with a geographically distributed network
  2. Training is hard to coordinate across geographies, so many reps are left without proper training
  3. Buyers are more informed than ever, making it particularly difficult for reps to be proactive 

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And that’s why we built the BAM! – to create a platform that could be a single repository instantly accessible via mobile app for the dealer.

The result? All of the information needed to support customers in their buying cycle.

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Reach out with any questions if you want to see how BAM! can help your business increase marketing and sales productivity.