Rethinking B2B Go-To-Market Strategy and Resource Allocation

You need a go-to-market strategy to successfully bring in repeated and dependable business. To create this plan, distributors have different teams in charge of certain aspects of the strategy. Over time, though, that strategy will likely need to change to stay competitive and successful.

Because of this, here at Dorn Group, we’re seeing a large shift in the way distributors are doing their B2B go-to-market strategies and resource allocation. As a result, manufacturers are coming to us with questions about whether they should be redesigning their programs or changing the way they resource and support distributors in new ways.

These are excellent questions because the more you understand what’s going on with the distributors, the more prepared you will be to face these changes as time goes on.

To get a better look at this, let’s break down the distributor marketing and selling teams into three different groups:

  1. Field Selling Team
  2. Inside Selling Team
  3. Digital Selling Team

It’s also important to talk about what shifts are being made to the teams, the overall go-to-market strategy over time, and the reallocation of resources. Let’s look at each team in more detail.

Field Selling Team

This is typically the largest team or has been in the past. They are the group of people who are out in the field doing market research or performing certain areas of customer service.

This group is changing by as much as half, losing a fair number of its members.

In addition, the type of work they’re doing has shifted from things like processing orders and tracking deliveries to a more strategic market development. Essentially, they’re working to understand what their buyers need, and what moves the market.

Inside Selling Team

The Inside Selling team is taking on a lot of responsibilities that used to be done by the field selling team. This group is often split up, taking on service tasks and campaigns, or working with outbound development.

The inside selling team’s responsibilities can include such tasks as pitching sales remotely via phone or email instead of face-to-face and ensuring that their customers’ needs are met through the company’s services or products.

The shift for this team isn’t quite so drastic as the field selling team. They are projected to grow by about 25%.

Digital Selling Team

Originally in charge of e-commerce, digital sales, and websites, the digital team isn’t seeing as much of an increase in members so much as a reallocation of responsibilities.

A few years ago, the Digital Selling Team was working with static websites and e-commerce pages. Now, we’re seeing a dynamic shift in the way they are driven – through active websites, studying buying behavior, creating recommendations, and incentivizing and customizing for their buyers’ needs.

These updated responsibilities require new and different kinds of resources than this team has had in the past. The digital team is more critical today than ever before, and may require new infrastructure that isn’t in place yet, or resources you haven’t needed before.

These resources will be key to the success of the digital team.

What some of these shifts mean is that the digital team is supporting both the inside group and the outside group, which allows them to focus more on a broader range of customers than before. The attention of the business is becoming more distributed between large customers, mid-sized customers, and customers in the long tail (those lower opportunity customers) that have largely been ignored until now but are increasingly accessible with cheaper means of outreach and engagement.

What This Means

The combination and reallocation of these teams allows them to spend time appropriately on all of the customer bases.

The inside selling team and digital selling team are also working well together in order to go after some of the lower-opportunity customers. This increases revenues and the return of those customers, but through cheaper ways of outreach and engagement for the company.

What does this mean for distributors and manufacturers?

What can they do to make sure they stay competitive and win in today’s markets?

Distributors will need to be mindful of these reallocations, understand the roles of each of these teams, and leverage them in the market.

It’s also important to look at how these things will migrate over time. Updating your strategy and reallocating responsibilities in your teams will make a substantial difference.

Manufacturers can help distributors by meeting them where they are in the market, giving them the necessary resources, and essentially making sure they’re in a position to win. By doing so, they’re setting themselves up to win as well.

We suggest looking at your current strategy. Ask what changes need to be made and start today. Put in the resources and set up the new infrastructure to set yourself up for success.

If you need help redesigning your go-to-market strategy and rethinking how to allocate your resources, feel free to reach out to Dorn Group to learn how we can seamlessly align our team with yours to craft and execute transformational growth strategies.

Thoughts? Questions?

As always, feel free to reach out to talk in greater depth about these and other issues impacting your business.