The National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors (NAW) is publishing a new series of quarterly, downloadable white papers on critical wholesale distribution sales management topics titled, “Innovations in Distribution Selling Research Series.”

The first white paper, “…But What Did It Cost Us? How to Reduce Selling Costs in Wholesale Distribution,” has just been released for free. For more information, click hereor call (202) 872-0885.

NAW said each white paper will be 20–30 pages and will tackle a different area of distribution sales performance and sales management. These topics will deal with some of the toughest challenges wholesaler-distributors face today. Each white paper will present real-world problems or challenges that distributors face everyday and will offer immediate solutions that distributors can apply at their firms, according to the group.

Here is what these white papers will cover and when each will be released:

“…But What Did It Cost Us? How to Reduce Selling Costs in Wholesale Distribution”(available now) - This free 26-page white paper shows the sales management team how to determine whether the sales force is spending valuable company resources wisely in pursuing customers. As the white paper explains, there is a critical difference between capturing sales and capturing sales efficiently.

“Nobody Is Perfect: The Role of the Distributor Salesperson in Effectively Handling Service Failures”(available in November) - This white paper looks at customer expectations during service failures and how the sales force can best match (or how it mismatches) resources in its recovery efforts. It provides recommendations and probing questions for sales managers to use in coaching sales reps on how to effectively handle service failures.

“The Recipe for Successful Distributor Key Account Managers”(available in February 2012) - This white paper provides a thorough understanding of what a key account management program is and best practices for launching one with maximum success. It offers key techniques for sales managers to use to increase the effectiveness of key account managers.

“Shaping the Offensive (and Defensive) Distributor Selling Strategy”(available in May 2012) - From an offensive selling strategy viewpoint, this white paper looks at how a company can get its foot in the door with customers who already have strong ties and established relationships with competing distributors. From a defensive selling strategy viewpoint, it shows how one can formulate a defensive message to protect established relationships with customers from outside competitors.

These white papers are generated from research conducted at the Florida State University Sales Institute (FSUSI), the NAW Institute’s research partner on this series. The NAW Institute/FSUSI partnership aims to advance the state of knowledge about sales excellence in the wholesale distribution industry.