Advanced Sales Management

Developing Competitive Value Propositions in Distribution

Course Overview

This program is intended to go beyond the classical focus of “personal selling” or “designing new marketing brochures”. The intent is to align improved strategies and processes with positive impact on shareholder value. Wholesaler-distributor’s value proposition must adapt to current economic and social environments as well as emerging trends in order to stay competitive. The new horizon demands a cohesive sales and marketing approach, understanding market and customer segmentation, the ability to manage and leverage the islands of data across your company to improve your ROI, coaching for improved motivation and retention of your sales staff, and other cutting-edge best practices. The course is based on the Sales and Marketing Optimization book inspired by wholesaler-distributors consortia, setting out to discover and implement sales and marketing best practices. Positively affecting increased shareholder value for your company is the ultimate objective.

Who Should Attend?

  • Sales and Marketing Vice Presidents
  • Sales and Marketing Directors
  • Strategic Business Managers
  • Regional / Functional Heads
  • Business Owners, C-Suite, Entrepreneurs

What can you do immediately after the course?

  • Educate your existing sales force on consultative selling
  • Obtain a roadmap for successful best practice implementation
  • Utilize a load input formula to develop leading indicators to achieve sales growth and profitability
  • Develop and retain the best sales team for your company and improve performance and culture through implementation of a coaching structure
  • Complete a four dimensional account profile in order to determine proper sales force utilization and efforts (by using key metrics versus subjective measures)
  • Communicate value of best practices to top management


“I am blown away by the scope of this Sales and Marketing Optimization program and the depth of knowledge and real-world experience it contains. I only wish I had a reference like this at the beginning of my career. Fortunately, I have it now and it’s not too late to do something with it! This book and the program is very actionable with constant emphasis on measurable results at the shareholder and stakeholder levels. This is simply the best sales and marketing book for distributors that I have ever read!”

Byron Potter, Vice Chairman and CEO, Dallas Wholesale Builders Supply, Inc.

Course Outline

Motivation and Trends

This course will answer the following questions:

  • Which sales force activities provide the greatest return on time and dollars invested?
  • Are sales force directed toward activities that provide the most value to present and future customers?
  • How to determine the most important opportunities and present them to salespeople?
  • How to follow up and measure the effectiveness of the sales force in pursuing new opportunities?
  • What compensation will direct sales force to optimal profitability in customer relationships?

Sales and Marketing Strategy

A mass market approach is efficient for developing and delivering a company’s marketing mix–products and services, price, marketing communication, and service level. Alternatively, companies can treat each customer as a target and devise its marketing mix accordingly. Given the number of customers, this is not practical. ‘Market Segmentation’ allows for recognizing varying types, needs, and other customer characteristics, and helps determine how to allocate expensive sales-marketing resources accordingly.

Customer Stratification: Best Practices

Best practice techniques stratify customers into core, opportunistic, marginal, and service drain. Core customers are profitable customers that transact in high volume on a regular basis. Opportunistic customers are also profitable customers who buy infrequently when their regular supplier stocks out. Marginal customers buy infrequently in low sales volumes and require either low prices or high service levels. Service drain customers are high-volume customers who consistently require higher levels of service while demanding low prices.

Business Development

For some distributors, business development is a direct responsibility of the sales force; these companies view actual selling as business development. For others, it is simply a function of their daily operations—managing returns, rebates, new products, and so forth. Very few distributors have dedicated human resources (other than the sales force) focused on business development functions.

Marketing Communications

Historically, distributors have not been good marketers. Although they have improved in recent years, they tend to target their marketing message toward all customers instead of using more streamlined approaches tailored to specific customers, market segments, products and so forth. Marketing is a collective function that encompasses creating, communicating, delivering, and sustaining the company’s value proposition. This section focuses on the process of communicating your value proposition.

Sales Force Design

How distributors design, develop and manage the sales force is part of their competitive advantage. Often, distributors perform these functions without fully understanding the strategic importance associated with these functions. This section will address best practices, provide tools (data driven), and expose you to real-world examples from various lines of trade. The topics that will be covered are sales process, sales force structure, sales force size, sales force deployment, and sales force compensation.

Sales Force Management and Development

Often the sales force is not provided with the required information and tools to help make better pricing and service delivery decisions. While many firms place a great deal of emphasis on sales force output, most do not understand how to direct the sales force on a path optimal to the firm’s success. The topics that will be covered are sales management – performance evaluation, sales force training, sales support tools, sales force recruitment, and sales force culture.


The action plan and roadmap will contain the following:

  • A five-step methodology with clear how-to-implement ideas and tools
  • 30 best practices that can provide your firm a competitive advantage
  • 122 detailed real-world examples / exhibits that walk you through the business processes
  • 60 action steps that you can implement today and over time

Course Packet – Tools and materials

What will you receive at the program?

What do you need to bring?

Slides as a course booklet

Laptop or tablet for class activity

Workbook for exercises and activity

Financial metrics and numbers for you to use in the session

Best Practices Framework Map


Sales and Marketing Optimization Book

Customer Stratification Book


Course Instructors

Barry Lawrence, Pradip Krishnadevarajan, Senthil Gunasekaran, and Norm Clark

Course Timings

Day 1: 8:00am-5:00pm
Day 2: 8:00am-5:00pm
Day 3: 8:00am-noon