Distributors, there’s a high level of product research and purchasing taking place online today. Don’t miss the boat on this one.

Distributors are the absolute best when it comes to face-to-face sales. It’s difficult to stray from something that’s worked so well for so many years. Now that the mask mandates are starting to be lifted, I wonder what the sales landscape will look like for distributors. I imagine not much different for your existing customers, but what about your efforts to bring in new business? Will things go back to how they were before COVID? And if so, will that even be good enough?

The Writing is on the Wall

At an event this past November (2022), I listened as two case studies were presented by two very different distribution companies who, during 2020 and 2021, went “all in” on a new sales enablement program. They achieved remarkable results.

In listening to some of the more candid parts of the discussions, it was clear the process was tough-going. But in looking at their numbers, it was undoubtedly worth their efforts!

Both companies went through significant changes, which was, at times, uncomfortable for the employees involved. But as both distributors pointed out in their presentations, if you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing.

How About Your Company?

Perhaps you’d instead like to take your time in moving toward becoming more digital, avoiding the possible chaos and drama, taking it one small step at a time. Or, perhaps you’re waiting to see the results some of the other distributors achieve. Or (and I hope it’s not this one), perhaps you believe things will go back to how they were pre-COVID.

Whatever is holding you back from your digital sales transformation, don’t be too late to the table. There’s a high level of product research and purchasing taking place online right now — today. So, if you think people might be looking for your products, solutions, or services online, YOU’RE RIGHT, they certainly are!

Some Tips to Help Distributors Move Forward

When planning your sales transformation, include longevity in your formula for success. Pursue only those strategies that you can leverage for years to come, and please, only invest in technology that’s been fully vetted.

One of the most significant benefits of launching digital sales and marketing strategies is that everything can be intentional and measurable. If a strategy or tactic doesn’t work, you’ll know right away what and where it went wrong, and you can immediately tweak your campaign to get it on track.

Whether you’re already on your path forward to a more digital presence, or you’re still mulling it over, be sure to have the following success markers in place:

  • Your digital collateral should attract and drive buyers through your sales funnel and move them in the right direction (i.e., toward a sale.)
  • Your strategies MUST be measurable. If they’re not, you won’t know if they’re working.
  • Your buyer’s journey should be a positive experience for all who enter it – easy to follow by your intentional targets and 100% frictionless. When planning out your workflows, go through each workflow as a customer would, and be sure the journey forward is crystal clear.

Take advantage of digital and start to deploy (even slowly if necessary) strategies designed to increase your sales team’s conversion rate. There’s no question it will be a game-changer, especially if you’re trying to capture new business.

About the Author

Susan Merlo, Founder of The Digital Distributor, isn't just a consultant; she's a catalyst for growth. She and her team deliver strategies, tools, and training that bridges distributors' traditional selling methods with digital marketing and lead generation.

"I believe the digital sales and marketing strategies that are available today can level the playing field for any distributor, regardless of size. In fact, today there's no reason for any distributor to be left behind.

For that reason, we provide Done-FOR-You Services for those distributors who do not have the staff, bandwidth or budget to implement these strategies on their own.

We also deliver Done-WITH-You Services that include everything from getting your staffing in place to training your sales and marketing teams on what works and how to implement and manage these strategies on their own."

To learn more about the value distributors can glean from even the very basics of implementing digital sales and marketing strategies, be sure to subscribe to our blog, below.