www.quantumprofitmanagement.com Quantum Profit Management
Staying Effective in the Changing World of Sales

Bruce Merrifield, President — Merrifield Consulting

•competitive strategy •WayPoint Analytics •management strategies •industry perspective •change management •Innovate for the Future •innovation •operational excellence •Randy MacLean •Bruce Merrifield •Merrifield Consulting •business strategy •strategic planning

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Constant curiosity and learning is a key to keeping a business successful over time. With that has to come an ability to forgive oneself. Nobody runs their business 100% optimally, and the ability to acknowledge that you've been running thins ineffectively and then act towards changing them is an important trait that one needs to become and remain successful. We call this "failing forward".

It's okay to continue doing what's worked in the past, but that will inevitably lead to missed opportunities, and an increasing risk of fading into antiquity. In order to take advantage of new opportunities, one must ask "WHY are we doing it this way?", and "does it still make sense?".

Many big changes are in the process of happening in the marketplace, such as the use of "the cloud", warehouse supply-chain innovations, and the methods of how we sell to customers. These are some of the multitude of areas in which the old way of doing things may no longer be the right way, and where your company has great potential to benefit from creating new, innovative solutions.

For a deeper example in regards to the shifting dynamics of sales, the role of the salesperson is changing dramatically. With information on most products easily available, the salesman is no longer needed to educate the customer. Since the customers can get the information themselves, they have no need to spend time with their sales rep. They call the salesperson if they need them, but they're no longer interested in giving them slots of their precious time to listen to their pitch.

As a result of this, the role of the sales rep is becoming more like that of a consultant. The on-demand offering of information and expertise is now what salesmen are valued for; they are more of a secondary source of information; a supplement to that taken from the internet.

One industry where this is different is in highly technically-oriented fields, where a more connected, project-like approach is used. The salesmen in these fields are often experts in the field that can provide unique, valuable wisdom.

Even in fields such as contractor supply channels where the old-school model is relevant and effective (and most likely will remain that way as a consequence of the nature of the business), innovation is necessary. In fields such as this one, the innovation is more focused in the field of analytics. Figuring out who the most profitable customers are and developing strategies to team-sell and capitalize on the best customers with optimal efficiency is the key in this field. For these, using advanced analytics has been the innovative key to success.

For more information about Bruce Merrifield, visit: www.merrifieldact2.com

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