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Distributors’ ‘Opportunity in Chaos and Change’

Presented by: Mike Marks, Managing Partner, River Consulting Group

Tradition and complacency are poor foundations for strategy in today’s world. You will find no shortage of information out there on analytics, innovative talent management, digitization, sales enablement and sales transformation.

The famous management guru Dr. Peter Drucker said that there is opportunity in chaos and change.

It is time to think about adapting your traditional business model, so disruptions become a wind at your back instead of in your face.

So what should executives do is? Have some thoughtful discussions with your team, but don’t think of it as reacting to change. Rather, think about all of this as a means to go on the offensive in your own market. Once you gather your insights try the three-step market access model:

Analyze the market to identify where your real growth opportunities lie. This often involves some behavioral segmentation based on the customer buying behavior and value proposition design.

Identify your firm’s selling costs including selling, rebates, identifying profit-losing customers, trade shows, etc. When we do this for clients they are always surprised at the scale of their investment and their money-losing customers. Once the list is complete, identify areas where the investment is wasted activity and build a plan to reduce or eliminate them.

Reallocate these recovered costs in the second step to areas of growth opportunity. This is easy to describe, but hard to do as it requires a fair amount of analysis in areas that are new. The net result, however, is higher growth with no increase in costs.

Remember how much fun it was to grow fast? The fast-growing firms have gone through a process similar to the one just described. Whether you choose to go down this path or not, please make your choice conscious and intentional.

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