Chapter 5

Looking for Channel-Selling Innovation?

Four Industries That Stand Out

Robert Wollan, Anne O'Riordan, Jean-Laurent Poitou, Fabio Vacirca, and John L. DelSanto


Chapter Summary

  • Regardless of how close a company is to the end consumer, companies all along the sales chain are feeling the impact of changing consumer behaviors.
  • Although many regional, regulatory, and purchasing differences exist across industries and countries, four industries stand out from the rest.
  • These four—consumer goods, insurance, electronics and high technology, and pharmaceuticals—have developed world-class capabilities in parts of their selling organization to survive and thrive. In those capabilities are lessons that can quickly make a difference in other companies' businesses.
  • The power comes from understanding not just what has worked, but what hasn't—avoiding the potholes in the road based on their early trials with new approaches.

Companies in virtually all industries are feeling the impact of consumers' evolving preferences, behaviors, and financial wherewithal. And those shifts—along with a variety of regional and regulatory differences—are changing how companies sell. However, one thing has not changed: the opportunity to learn from the successes and setbacks of others—to apply “lessons learned” to an organization's own business.

To this end, most businesses scrutinize their competitors. However, there is an equal and potentially greater benefit to emulating companies in other industries—to ...

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