Success Story - "Improving Sales for Distributor"
Leading Distributor of Irrigation Products.
Company Situation and Problem
The client had poor performance in one region compared to two others, and had difficulty sorting out the many explanations offered. Paladin interviews of headquarters and region executives, field operating personnel, sales, former employees, current and former customers, and suppliers showed that among other causes, attempts to control costs and drive down inventories without corresponding measurement of customer satisfaction had resulted in lost customers, key employees, widespread problems with employee morale, lost reputation and lost share.
Paladin Actions & Recommendations
Paladin recommended immediate restoration of inventory levels on key items to stop customer dissatisfaction and defection, coupled with an immediate marketing campaign to communicate that they were now listening to customers and enumerating operational improvements, and followed by a larger campaign in the spring offering major promotions and inventory guarantee programs. Underlying, but customer-transparent improvements to the inventory management system were indicated.
Sales force reorganization was suggested, with an outside expert as VP Sales, placing more emphasis on new customers and sales accountability. A comp plan with more upside, but more accountability was drafted. POS Customer Surveys were recommended, with customer sat results impacting executive comp. Paladin personnel assessments identified management individuals that needed coaching or training.
- Implementation was sufficiently underway by the beginning of the spring selling season that sale declines leveled off, giving the Company time to make further improvements.
- By the fall season, employee morale and retention was improved, and sales were growing.
- Significant sales growth in the other Company regions also occurred, returning the business to overall profitability.