International Office Products Distributor


  • A national distributor of office products and supplies was attempting to grow their share of market in a highly competitive marketplace
  • Margin pressure and price competitiveness eroded profitability
  • The organization placed a high value on the largest accounts; however, the sales force did not have the tools or support mechanisms to introduce additional product categories to these accounts and their various buying locations
  • Customer coverage was inconsistent with mid-market customers being underserved/neglected while large accounts were also limited by coverage bandwidth


The following strategic platforms were established to help increase sales while also improving profitability:

  • Develop methodology to gain customer insights and provide actionable results from that feedback
  • Create a structured approach for mid-market account acquisition and penetration
  • Develop programs to expand product and service offerings to large accounts while also increasing adoption in new non-buying locations of the same accounts
  • Test and implement integrated coverage models, support tools and response systems to increase the scope and effectiveness of the sales force


Several different approaches were used to address each objective:

  • Develop an Integrated Sales Model
    • Ensure coverage of the entire account base
    • Balance the cost of selling to the economic worth at a customer level
    • Use lower cost media to significantly increase volume of customer contacts
    • Create a competitive advantage through relationships with customers
  • Create a Large Account Management and Penetration Program
    • Identify sales opportunities for product/service offerings
    • Identify, target and convert additional non-buying locations within strategic accounts
    • Develop system to identify and fix lost revenue opportunities and product/ service related issues
    • Create criteria to help identify and save at-risk accounts
  • Create new/existing customer response systems and standardize processes for field sales involvement
    • Identify, pursue and convert mid-market accounts and smaller locations of large accounts
    • Drive qualified opportunities to field sales
    • Stimulate repurchase behavior and route small businesses and individuals to self-service solutions
    • Build knowledge base and rapid response to provide higher service levels and perceived value to existing customer relationships


  • Grew year-over-year sales at a 14-18% rate each month through a 6-month pilot
  • Maintained double-digit annual sales growth over 3+ years
  • Drove substantial increases in customer satisfaction and customer retention