Why Are So Many Wholesale Distributors Adding Product Specialists?


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A recent survey of Wholesale Distributors indicates that over 80% either have Product Specialists or plan to add Specialists in the next 12 months. The Queswtion becomes why?

Wholesale Distributors find Product Specialists perform an important role in their sales playbook. This is exacerbated by five factors:
• An acceleration of new product introductions
• The growing tendency of industrially based distributors to offer numerous product silos – Electrical Distributors selling Automation Products and Industrial MRO distributors selling Safety Equipment.
• The increasing dependence of manufacturer/supply partners on distributor sales activities
• A right sizing of many manufacturer/supply partners own sales force
• The proliferation of low cost technology-based products which require specialized expertise to program and configure
Customers are demanding more value-add serve and distributors find the old model “line salesman” simply cannot master every task required to meet customer needs. Product Specialists provide a solution.

Unfortunately, many Wholesalers and their vendor partners are adding Specialists to their team without thinking through the plan. And, the as we say in Iowa – “the devil is in the details”.


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