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Thanksgiving Checkup

Sixteen key service areas for 2022 aftermarket success

Everyone in the aftermarket has experienced market disruptions, uncertainty, new coronavirus variants and constraints none of us could have forecast over the last year. We can no longer rely on how we have always done business. 

A recent McKinsey study indicates more than 60 percent of company leaders have restructured their organizations in response to the pandemic. Many plan to continue to adapt.

These suppliers, distributors, retailers and service providers will strategically close any gaps they discover with sales skills training, tools, marketing, systems and coaching.

Bill Wade, of Wade&Partners

These strategically oriented players are gathering data from their transactions — supplier through customer — and are clearly understanding the effectiveness of their sales teams today.

How can your company be one of the top 20 percent survivors … and “thrivers?” The below questions, once answered, will provide the actionable insights to build your profitable revenue and market share growth plan.

They come from Mark Roberts, the founder of OTB Solutions and business development blog, These provide an excellent checklist for review TODAY — during 2022 planning and budget time:

  1. What are your core customer’s biggest struggles you can solve today?
  2. Why do customers buy from you?
  3. Why do customers buy products from other distributors you could have sold ?
  4. What buying criteria do your buyers use today?
  5. Do your buyers like virtual interaction or would they prefer face-to-face?
  6. What percentage of your current customers only buy one or two product categories from you when other businesses like them buy from seven or more?
  7. How effective are your sales team, systems and processes today?
  8. How much more effective could they be? And when gaps identified are closed what will it mean in terms of additional organic revenue?
  9. With so much supply chain disruption, what level of service and terms of trade will you offer your A… and importantly… B, C and D customers?
  10. Do your salespeople know how to sell based on value or just price?
  11. What customers represent between 200 percent and 300 percent of your net profits today?
  12. What customers leak profit each time you ship or serve them?
  13. What is your value messaging for each of your three top buyers by market segment?
  14. Do you have a targeted new customer list that matches your ideal customer profile? (Is the data current?)
  15. Why don’t prospects buy from you? (Interview buyers who did not buy and find out why.)
  16. Price is rarely the No. 1 reason. What is your product or service’s distinctive competence that sets you apart?

Here is the overall Thanksgiving Special:

Do you have the right sales and marketing structure with the right people, in the right seats, with the right skills, tools and systems to deliver the most value to your organization while creating a market-leading buying experience?

When you have the answers to any of the above questions, you are well along your journey to having a buyer-centric strategic sales plan that will deliver results.

Bill Wade started Wade&Partners in 2003 as a consultant specializing in worldwide vehicle parts aftermarket and industrial distribution. Previously, he was CEO of Durakon, FAG/INA Bearings, CR Services/SKF. Wade states that he lives in a barn and has taught the finer points of shark fishing (and cooking) to three children and eight grandchildren. He can be reached at

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