best growth strategies for distributors, including pricing optimization, marketing automation, and more

Best Growth Strategies in Distribution: From Pricing Optimization to BI

Mid-market distributors face stiff competition in today’s market from larger enterprises equipped with more resources. It’s tough to match the efficiency and scale of your larger competitors when organizational challenges and evolving market dynamics abound. 

The distribution sector as a whole is undergoing substantial changes due to variations in customer expectations and market dynamics. To stay competitive, distributors must adapt to these changes, and technology plays a critical role in facilitating this adaptation.

Marrying Strategies & Tools to Unlock Growth Opportunities in Distribution

Top distributors are optimizing their sales process with data-forward tools like a CRM, ensuring that their teams are connecting with the right customers at the right time. Research shows businesses that leverage a CRM often see a 29 percent increase in sales, plus a 34 percent increase in productivity and a 42 percent increase in forecast accuracy. 

Their sales teams can predict buying behavior with greater accuracy to close more deals, faster. And with these growth strategies, your team can gain ground to realize your 2024 revenue goals, too.

Data-Driven Decision-Making with Business Intelligence for Distributors

Good data drives better decision-making, yet for sales teams, a collection of data isn’t enough. They need easily accessible, actionable insights into buyer behavior to act swiftly. Business intelligence for distributors is quickly becoming table stakes for success. With a clear picture of your organization’s progress against revenue goals, you’ll be able to adjust strategy to optimize team performance.

With a tool like White Cup BI— natively integrated with White Cup CRM — sales teams are empowered to identify trends faster and unlock new sales opportunities, thanks to distribution-specific reporting and data visualizations. 

Revenue and sales performance, retaining existing customers, inventory management… the power of BI automates tracking of all the KPIs that matter most to the health of your organization and makes them easily visible within executive dashboards, sales rep scorecards, and customer-specific reports. Being able to access insights and automated workflows in your CRM is invaluable, and the power of BI integration makes them immediately actionable. 


Personalized Customer Experiences to Enhance Customer Relationships

Like any business, a distributor’s primary marketing goals are increasing awareness and generating qualified leads. Yet, distributors have a unique role in the marketplace as the intermediary between manufacturers and customers; this business is all about relationships. 

In our “Secrets of Top Distributors: How to Increase Revenue and Market Share” webinar, Relevant Industrial Senior Vice President John Butts stressed the importance of relationship-building and maintaining customer satisfaction.

“Our customers have less time — they’re looking for more value from their distribution partners,” Butts said. “And the relationship component of the customer-supplier dynamic is significantly more important.”

Customer behavior needs to guide targeted messaging, marketing automation strategies, and sales conversations — and that hinges on data. Top distributors know this and leverage business intelligence within their CRMs to surface actionable insights and shape their marketing automation strategy.

By integrating BI within a CRM, you can successfully target relevant content to specific audiences and leverage marketing automation tools and AI to create a tailored experience that enhances the sales outreach your reps are already doing. White Cup CRM also offers the unique ability to marry ERP, eCommerce, and sales data to personalize those customer interactions even more to drive trust and loyalty.

Drive Efficiency and Growth by Integrating Online and Offline Sales

Disconnected data between online and offline sales is a significant blind spot for most distributors today, making it one of the largest areas of opportunity to drive greater efficiency. As the role of sales reps shifts to a more consultative approach, giving reps visibility into eCommerce data will provide valuable customer behavior insights. 

eCommerce is so much more than a revenue generator; when best leveraged, it can be a tool for understanding customer behavior and enabling smarter decisions throughout the customer journey. By tapping into eCommerce activity within a CRM, you’ll also have more accurate sales and inventory data to optimize operations and planning.

Pricing Optimization to Maximize Profits

Pricing is a key driver for increasing profitability, but managing it is complex, and inconsistencies can be costly. Customer segmentation, product segmentation, and pricing analysis… gathering and organizing this information can take weeks or months without the right tools. 

Distributors can keep pace with competitors and eventually outshine them through price changes that meet customers’ needs and, ideally, exceed expectations. Additionally, understanding where to raise prices with the appropriate customer is essential to recapture the margin that you’re leaving on the table.

Different customer segments require various pricing strategies, but using tools to segment customers and pricing products by adapting the right price to the right person reaches customers in substantial ways.

White Cup Pricing streamlines all of this complexity and allows distributors to set pricing based on real data for more informed decision-making. It enables intelligent customer segmentation by grouping audiences by buying habits, profitability, and cost to serve, uncovering new opportunities for price adjustments. 

This technology also ensures consistency in how pricing decisions are made across the team with a systematic, data-driven approach to dynamic pricing to minimize overrides.

Growth Opportunities: From Data to AI Adoption in Distribution

Staying competitive with larger distributors may seem like an uphill battle, but mid-market distributors have the advantage of being nimble and adaptable. The key to effective growth and expansion lies in the effective utilization of customer data with the right tools. Business intelligence housed within a CRM can help your team pinpoint areas for improvement that enhance your customer relationships and secure their trust.

“Being able to monitor or watch and see where our opportunity decks are by manufacturer, where our activities and our sales calls are relative to each manufacturer, allows those quarterly meetings that we all have to go through to look at distributor performance,” Butts said. “They now become more data-based than they become subjective. It’s not how we feel about how you’re performing, it’s, ‘Hey, let’s look at the data.’”

Staying attuned to industry trends and technologies, such as artificial intelligence, can also help distributors adapt and innovate to drive continuous growth in the ever-evolving marketplace. 

While some may be hesitant about artificial intelligence adoption in distribution, there are practical use cases for AI that can help your customer-facing team members identify their next best actions, from enhancing demand forecasting to personalized messaging for better customer experiences, making it an essential resource for gaining a competitive edge and bolstering revenue.

In our webinar panel, Clayton Controls Owner John Allard said adopting AI will ultimately help with relationship-building and marketing as well, which is key for growth among distributors.

“The data that we’re capturing is part of our value proposition to our suppliers because we can help identify where we’re going and what we need to do,” Allard said. “And that’s where I think some of these tools are really going to help us.”

Gain a Competitive Edge with Growth Tools Designed for Distributors

From dynamic pricing optimization to AI, you can equip your team to surpass revenue goals with the right data and technology. White Cup provides a suite of powerful tools and integrated solutions designed specifically for the wholesale distribution industry. 

White Cup CRM, White Cup BI, and White Cup Pricing combine business intelligence with actionable insights so distributors can seize their quickest wins faster.

Find out more about how the White Cup Suite can help you reach your revenue goals today.

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