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The Power of Your People

Rich VurvaWhenever I ask distributors what makes their particular company special, the most common reply I receive is, "Our people." Now, there's empirical evidence that suggests their claim is more than just bragging.

As the article Building a World-Class Sales Team explains, research conducted by Chally Group Worldwide discovered that the sales representative, particularly within the distribution business, has become the single biggest factor in a customer's purchasing decision. While factors such as the product, its quality and pricing also impact a customer's purchase decision, none equal the impact of the salesperson.

That's powerful information to know when distributors evaluate the quality of their sales teams. When you take a look at how your sales force stacks up against the competition, what do you see? Do they have what it takes to lead your company into the future?
No matter how you answer those questions, take time to read the article. It offers useful ideas not only on the tools that companies should provide their sales teams to make them more effective, but also suggests the skills and aptitudes required by world-class salespeople.

When DGI Supply, the Chicago-area industrial distributor featured in this issue's cover story, took a hard look at its sales team a few years ago, the company decided to make a few changes. In order to get salespeople to focus more attention on what matters most to their customers – uncovering cost savings opportunities – DGI Supply developed a Web-based Productivity Form to track documented cost savings. That tool, coupled with a revamped compensation plan that rewarded salespeople for completing cost savings documentation, has helped DGI Supply salespeople make a lasting impact on customers. Customers increasingly view DGI's sales force as a valuable resource.

That's an enviable position for any salesperson to occupy.

This article originally appeared in the Nov./Dec. 2010 issue of Industrial Supply magazine. Copyright 2010, Direct Business Media.


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