If you’re a manufacturer who sells through a distribution channel, you need to think about training. A recent survey by BlueVolt indicates that distributors who are trained online recommend and sell more.
It makes sense – most distributors stock over 20,000 items and it’s impossible for them to know about each one of them. It stands to reason if they feel comfortable about a product, it makes it easy for them to recommend it.
Think beyond new product launches as well. Look at some of your core product that might be considered by the end user as a commodity. What better way to differentiate your product from the pack than by training the people who have influence over what users buy?
And what’s more interesting is that these folks are requesting online training mentioning manufacturers by name. Talk about an opportunity! You need to think of training as a selling tool, not a marketing expense.
About the study:
BlueVolt, starting in the fall of 2009, sent out a survey to employees of distributors who took online training within the major buying groups and associations. Among the industries covered were Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, PVC, Construction, Industrial and Flooring. Job titles included sales (inside and out), counter people and CSRs, to name a few. A total of 1291 surveys were sent out and 1210 were returned for a 94% return rate. The respondents were given the opportunity beyond just answering the questionnarie to identify, by name, those manufacturers they wanted more training from.
Regarding increasing sales and improving customer service:
- 81% said that they sell more as a result of learning through BlueVolt
- 94% said their customers rely on them to recommend products or manufacturers
- 89% said that they service their customers better as a result of online training from BlueVolt
- 63% said they recommend products at least once a day
- 57% said they recommend products 2-5 plus times a day
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