A company in the packaging industry that was struggling with flat revenue and a turnover of the sales force did not know which channel to focus on or how to align their sales resources.
We interviewed current customers, large and small, to determine their decision criteria, use of suppliers, how they like to buy, suppliers used, suppliers’ strengths and weaknesses, etc. We determined that the largest 175 accounts out of 1100 (which accounted for 90% of their revenue), were not as satisfied as their smaller accounts.
After retooling their current sales strategy and updating it, including organization structure, compensation etc., we determined channel was not an issue; rather the potential revenue of each account was critical to focus on. We also determined that their customers did not have a requirement for frequent in-person sales visits. What mattered was that someone be available and responsive to their needs.
With feedback in hand, we determined what was needed was a "Market Responsive" Selling System. We recommended they give their large accounts "preferred status"; i.e. under 2 hour turnaround on quotes, delivery when needed and more attention by the sales force; we further recommended a team approach between the telephone and direct salespeople.
After one month of our new selling system and "preferred status" for large customers, daily revenue increased over 40% and the President received unsolicited emails from some of the larger customers praising the company's responsiveness. One large account, that had been dormant for 8 years, received a quote in 15 minutes and placed a large order the next day. Their direct selling effort was also reduced by half, and is much more effective now that it is teamed with inside telephone sales. This company was sold recently for a good multiple.