Distributors: Fortify Your Workforce to Strengthen Profits

By: Andrew Horvath Distribution, Revenue Growth Strategy, Sales Talent

Technology and innovation continue to affect the way manufacturers design products and how customers gather information, interact with supply chains, and ultimately purchase goods. In response, distributors who have long relied upon legacy sales structures and relationship selling are searching for new ways to maximize growth profit dollars.

Part 1 noted distributors’ challenges with consolidation and e-commerce. Here in part 2, John Drosos and Andrew Horvath offer advice around two additional trends that also affect distributors, both of which are associated with talent: 1) the transitioning workforce, and 2) the need for the development of new roles. A rapidly transitioning workforce has made finding and retaining the right talent daunting. Customer-savvy clients demand sellers trained with a variety of skillsets, not just selling aptitude. And the need to reach each customer segment calls for the development of new sales roles.

At 2:46 in the podcast, Andrew illustrates the importance of designing sales managers’ roles that focus on coaching teams and staffing those teams with managerial talent, not just “super sellers.”

Episode 2: Top Trends Impacting the Industry – Part 2

Visit our Distribution Sales practice to learn more about Alexander Group’s approach to distributors’ unique challenges.

Access Part 1 of the podcast series.

Co-author: John Drosos is a principal in Alexander Group’s Chicago office.

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Andrew Horvath

Andrew Horvath is a principal in the Chicago office. He co-leads the Distribution practice, monitoring trends and creating strategies to help growth-focused organizations stay on top of a rapidly changing market. He also supports the firm’s Private Equity practice, working with portfolio companies of growth-focused private equity firms to grow revenue organically. Andrew applies his expertise in customer segmentation and go-to-customer coverage to help clients optimize complex sales models. He also works with Fortune 500 companies across other industries, including manufacturing and high tech.

Prior to joining the Alexander Group, Andrew was a consultant at Stax, Inc., where he managed market due diligence, competitive intelligence, go-to-market strategy, new product testing and marketing strategy engagements for corporate and private equity clients. He designed and executed voice-of-the-customer studies for clients in multiple industries and across several geographies. Andrew has also worked in commercial banking as an internal strategy consultant.

Andrew has an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.A. in economics from the College of the Holy Cross.

John Drosos

John Drosos is a principal in the Chicago office. He serves as a national lead for the firm’s Manufacturing and Distribution practices and the Midwest lead for the Technology practice. John has been with the firm since 2006 and brought with him diverse experience in strategy consulting, general management and technology consulting. John is a key thought leader on complex sales model transformations, global coverage strategies, productivity and analytics.  He has also helped shape the firm’s talent recruitment and development practices, playing a key role in the rapid and consistent growth of our Midwest consulting practice.

Prior to joining the Alexander Group, John worked as a general manager at Home Depot and as a consultant at both Bain & Company and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). John holds an MBA and a B.A. from Harvard University.