Retail Digital Transformation and 4.0

Sales and Distribution Management – Introduction

Sales and Distribution Defined: An Easy Guide To The Basics Of Sales And Distribution Management

These days we look at sales and distribution as the engines of corporate and economic growth. But the truth is the exchange of goods in return for some form of payment (sometimes in the form of other goods) has been a cornerstone of life throughout the ages.

The Barter System

Perhaps the oldest form of sales is the old-fashioned barter system, which has been around a lot longer that there’s been currency to buy and sell goods and services or distribution channels to move product to market. Basically, the barter system is a simple exchange of goods or services.

Example of a Barter System

Let’s say a farmhand has trouble finding work. At the same time, a farmer has a field of corn that must be harvested right away but not enough cash to pay someone to help do the work. So, the two come to an agreement. The hand helps the farmer harvest the corn in exchange for a percentage of the harvest, which he is then free to sell on his own. The hand exchanges his services for some of the farmer’s goods. No money is exchanged between parties.

Sales And Distribution Management

Sales management includes the means and methods by which a sales force, sales techniques and sales operational strategies are built. Distribution describes the manner by which a product or products are made available to the consumer.

Conditions of Sales

Every sale includes a primary seller, who provides the service or product, and a buyer who purchases the service or product.

Direct Distribution

Using this type of distribution strategy, goods are sold by the manufacturer directly to consumers.

Indirect Distribution

Indirect distribution involves at least one third party, often a retailer, who purchases goods from a manufacturer and then sells them to customers. This type of distribution can also include wholesalers and distributors who purchase product from manufacturers at a discount price and then resell to retailers at a slightly higher number.

The Importance of Sales and Distribution Management

Sales management is vital to the success of any business seeking to grow market share. The following are a few reasons sales management it’s so important:

 – A good sales and distribution management team is first and foremost a revenue generator. It facilitates sales at a given price that generates profit for the company.

– Sales and distribution management plays a key role in setting and meeting corporate sales and performance goals.

– Sales and distribution teams stay abreast of customer preferences, government regulations, competitive sets and other factors impacting sales.

– Sales management involves understanding customer preferences and building lasting relationships, which help guide the marketing efforts of a business.

– Sales management helps build stronger relationships between a business and its customers, growing customer satisfaction and earning long-term loyalty.

Objectives of Sales and Distribution Management

There are many objectives an organization might have regarding its sales and distribution channels. However, every business under the sun is planning for the big three. They are the following:

Sales Volume

One of the principal goals of sales and distribution is to increase the overall volume of products sold in order to generate net revenue for the business.

Profit Contribution

Sales and product distribution strategies are also crucial to the profit margins a company enjoys.

Long-Term Growth

This is the last one, and, arguably the most important of the big three sales and distribution objectives. Capturing more market share over time, which includes building repeat business and attracting new consumers.

Sales Executives And The Skills Required To Be One

Sales and distribution strategies are led by sales executives and managers. These are demanding jobs that require individuals who possess a diverse set of skills. These include:

Conceptual Thinking

Sales doesn’t work unless you think out of the box. A good sales team needs a leader who is both creative and willing to try some unconventional approaches to selling.

People/Communications Skills

Being a sales executive means you’ll work with business associates, different vendors, marketing departments, the sales team, and, perhaps, wholesalers or a distributor. It’s important to be able clearly, confidently and respectfully communicate with all parties.

Technical Skills & Product Knowledge

It’s imperative that anyone guiding sales and distribution has a firm understanding of the products or services they’re selling.

Strong Decision Making Skills

One of the toughest parts of driving sales is making hard decisions. A good executive is abreast of product development, marketing, pricing, customer preferences, distribution channels, and more. Because when you know more, you can make more confident and impactful the decisions to drive sales and grow the business.

Excellent Management/Multi-Tasking Skills

A good sales executive or manager is involved, directly or indirectly, in monitoring and managing sales force performance, sales volume, new products, customer relationships, distribution channels and more. Keen management skills are must to make it in this business.

Technology’s Expanding Role

Sales management has come a long way since the days of the barter. Today, major manufacturers and retailers are using advancements in digital data capture to track and measure sales and distribution with real-time visibility and unmatched accuracy.

These solutions give businesses instant insights into sales performance by store, region, product, time period and other variables. They also provide important information about operations, merchandising, inventory, customer shopping patterns, competitive brands, and a whole lot of other areas that impact sales and retail distribution strategies.

Real-time data insights saves companies time and money, while providing more accurate and actionable information to help them better manage and measure sales, distribution, market conditions, and general operations.

If you’d like to learn more about how technology is revolutionizing sales, and explore the solutions that are leading the way. Be sure to check out otherblogs featuring topics pertinent to today’s retail and sales industry.

Mobile Insight® is the only retail and merchandise management solution designed to meet the brick and mortar sales challenges of high-value brands and retailers. Unlike hardware and software providers that focus on fast-moving goods, the Mobile Insight® platform delivers assisted sales solutions for more complex, interactive, and customer-centric environments. Combining data from in-store systems, 3PLs, employee and partner activity, Mobile Insight® enables informed, smarter decisions that drive sales and operations excellence. For more information, visit


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