4 Pillars of a Healthy Distributor Culture

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Sell More, Sell Faster is A By Product of a Healthy Organization

Many organizations have no values other then sell more product, sell it faster. No guiding beliefs or principles that define the brand. A company that exists for no other purpose than to sell product devalues its customers and employees and treats them like cogs in a wheel. How happy do you suppose that brand’s customers would be?

Now, imagine a brand with a culture rich with commitment and a dedication to being the best at what they do. A company that thrives on innovation and solving customer problems. A company that hires the best people and provides the tools and environment they need to succeed. This company focuses not just on creating a great product and service today, but doing the work necessary to build a great brand for tomorrow.

The difference is night and day. So how do you commit to being a company that is guided by the right culture and reaps the rewards?

Without a strong culture, organizations will struggle to attract, retain and get the best work of their lives from top employees. This will clearly negatively impact customers.  Employees with a lack of motivation to understand customer problems and improve the customer experience can only result in poor to mediocre solutions to issues that arise. When better opportunities present themselves, both customers and employees move on to work with organizations that more closely align with their own set of beliefs and values.

That’s the impact an organization’s culture has.  So what are the main focus points to move in the right direction?

Create A Strong Brand By Empowering the Employees

1) Strong brands are about purpose. As a brand becomes recognizable regionally, nationally or internationally they are at risk of becoming overly focused on growth and survival. Yet, simply putting up good numbers today is not a substitute for purpose that will propel success into the future. We’ve seen companies like Troyer’s Foods and South West Traders focus on the twin pillars of purpose: mission and culture. The company’s mission is to engage customers with technical innovations that make the retail supply chain more efficient. The company’s focus on bringing together the best partners (ahem Ai2) and giving them the tools they need to achieve that mission. This focus on helping customers and empowering employees creates a culture that fosters innovation, employees a customer first mindset, and is the foundation for the company’s future growth.

2) Attract and engages the right people. One of the biggest challenges for companies in the strong economy over the last few years has been attracting and retaining the right people. Organizations face more competition to hire and retain the best people; in today’s highly mobile workforce, retaining employees over the long term is even more challenging and critical to future success ‘turn over kills growth’. Recent research by Gallup indicates that companies with an engagement strategy through technology or otherwise outperform their competition by 147%. The article sites eCommerce shoe retailer Zappos has formalized using an alignment and values fit in all hiring and retention decisions. This has allowed Zappos to deliver a uniquely personal customer experience while becoming one of the fastest companies in history to reach a billion dollars in annual revenue.

3) Who you are differentiator. For some organizations looking for a cultural fit is primary before looking at job fit for a very good reason: who the company is sets the company apart. Distributor can deliver product – not every distributor  can keep customers engaged in the process of buying and working with the sales reps.  This leaves customers feeling positive about inevitable delays in delivery or anything else that happens in the course of a distributor and retail relationship.

4) A Culture of Clarity. The idea of authenticity – being what you say you are – is paramount to success. It’s one thing to claim to be customer-focused and another to actually allow customers to have the resources that leads to customer success. Employees have to make decisions every day that impact customers. Create clarity around how to solve those problems in a way that supports the promises your brand is making by engaging the right partners and investing in the right tools. Culture is what takes your brand from claiming authenticity, to actually being authentic.

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