Since the wholesale industry offers a plethora of opportunities, it has become an attractive avenue for entrepreneurs globally, and with the rise of the internet, many existing wholesalers are finding innovative ways to grow and scale their businesses.
This article will discuss ten key things you must have to run a successful wholesale business. We will discuss hiring the right workforce, setting up an online wholesale store, investing in B2B eCommerce, and more.
So, if you’re keen on learning how to run a profitable wholesale business, keep reading to discover these ten key things.
1. Recruit the Right Talent
Hiring the right people is critical to the success of your wholesale business. You need to identify the skills and characteristics that are essential for the job and assess each candidate against that benchmark. Behavioral interview questions are a great way to understand how candidates have handled specific situations in the past.
When hiring sales reps, in particular, you need to look for people who are self-motivated, confident, and have excellent communication skills. You also have to provide comprehensive training to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed.
2. Streamline Order Management
Processing manual orders can be time-consuming and prone to errors. To streamline this procedure, you can invest in web-based order management technology that allows sales reps and customers to access product catalogs and an order submission interface right on their smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
With a web-based order management system, such as using WooCommerce wholesale plugin for the wholesale WooCommerce store, your sales reps can easily place orders on behalf of your customers while on the go. This saves them time and eliminates the need for manual paperwork, thus preventing mistakes.
3. Manage Inventory Effectively
Running a profitable wholesale business requires good inventory management. To achieve this, you must understand your inventory levels and ensure that you have enough stock to meet demand without overstocking.
One way to manage your inventory is to use an inventory management system that allows you to track incoming/outgoing inventory and conduct regular physical inventory counts. You can also use sales data to forecast demand and adjust your inventory levels accordingly.
Another strategy is to adopt a Just-in-Time (JIT) inventory strategy, which involves replenishing stock levels only when they reach a minimum threshold. Using this method can help you reduce inventory carrying costs and improve cash flow.
4. Provide Sales Reps with the Right Tools
To succeed in sales, your reps must have access to the right information and tools. You can provide them with digital catalogs with customer-specific pricing so they don’t have to waste time looking up pricing.
You can also provide your sales reps access to customer order history, most ordered items, and stock levels for each product. This information helps your sales reps provide personalized service to your customers, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
5. Differentiate on Customer Service
In the highly competitive wholesale industry, customer service is a key differentiator. You can differentiate your brand by providing exceptional customer service that sets you apart from your competitors.
Fulfilling your orders quickly and accurately is an easy way to provide great customer service. Additionally, by offering online ordering and 24/7 support, you can create a convenient and modern customer experience. In short, maintaining a good reputation and gaining repeat customers are crucial elements of business success.
6. Keep Track of Cash Flow
Cash flow management can make your wholesale business make or break. You need to be diligent about collecting receivables and avoid giving an overextension of credit to your customers.
Accepting credit cards, invoicing online, and outsourcing collection can all help you improve cash inflows. You should generate regular flash reports that include information like cash availability, daily/weekly/YTD sales, payables, key inventory, best/worst selling items, etc.
This way, you could prepare ahead of time for any uncertainty in the business environment.
7. Invest in B2B eCommerce
According to a recent report by Accenture, 86% of leading B2B companies surveyed are already offering their customers the option of ordering online. Offering online ordering is no longer an option – it’s a necessity.
Investing in B2B eCommerce allows your customers to place orders online anytime, anywhere. In turn, which increases convenience and makes it easier for your customers to do business with you.
B2b eCommerce can also help you streamline your operations and reduce costs. By automating the ordering process, you can eliminate the need for manual paperwork and reduce the risk of errors. Additionally, it helps you with real-time inventory updates and order tracking, which lets your customers stay informed about their orders.
8. Prioritize Proper Sales Territory Management
Territory management is critical to ensure that your sales reps are putting the right amount of time into the right accounts. Effective customer segmentation and tracking sales performance are imperative to improve sales prospecting strategies.
Creating detailed customer segmentation strategies and plans that are ultimately aligned with your company’s overall objectives can help you maximize your sales reps’ productivity. So, to increase your sales and profitability, focus on the key accounts with the right sales strategy.
9. Optimize Your Order Fulfillment
In the highly competitive wholesale industry, speed is everything. You need to be able to fulfill your orders quickly to meet customer expectations and outpace your competitors.
The best way to optimize your order fulfillment is to digitize the order writing, submission, and delivery process. Further, with the digital order fulfillment system, you can consolidate orders from multiple channels, like field sales and a B2B eCommerce portal, for faster fulfillment.
10. Build and Maintain Strong Relationships
At the end of the day, building strong and lasting relationships with your customers is an integral part of operating in the wholesale industry. When you offer exceptional customer service, add value during sales conversations, and prioritize faster order fulfillment, you can build a long list of repeat customers.
Additionally, you can deepen your relationship with your customers by offering loyalty programs, personalized service, and regular communication. Keep in touch with your customers and understand their need to build trust and loyalty that lasts for years to come.
Running a successful wholesale business requires a combination of effective strategies, smart decisions, and the right tools. From hiring the right talent to streamlining your order processing and building long-term relationships, you can set your business up for success if you follow what we’ve discussed in the article.
Moreover, continually evaluate your business and make adjustments as needed to ensure that you meet the changing needs of your customers and the evolving the marketplace. Be open to new technologies and strategies that can help you streamline your operations, reduce costs, and improve your customer experience.
Ultimately, being successful in wholesale is not easy, but everything is possible with the right approach and tools. So, take action today, implement these strategies, and start building a successful wholesale business that will thrive for decades.