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I spent many years of my sales management career managing industrial distributors for a Fortune 500 company. We were selling factory automation and control equipment, but most of what I see now, as a consultant, makes me believe the situation is the same if you are selling saw blades or software. It just seems that manufacturers and distributors are always headed in different directions. I admit it took me a long time to gain a real respect for my distributor partners, but I finally had an epiphany that made all the difference.
At a sales meeting my company had us play a board game
called Apples and Oranges. We divided into teams and ran a distribution business
for about five hours, simulating three business years, rolling dice and selling
little gray chips. We had to manage
inventory, set pricing, survive economic downturns, turn down orders we
Tim McMahon is the bestselling author of four books on Sales and Technology including Selling 2000 - The Vision and Promise of CRM and The Sales Management Equation. He is a frequent conference keynote speaker and advises clients around the globe on sales process and technology strategies. McMahon is the founder of SalesConference.Net headquartered in Merrimack, New Hampshire.
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