An Integrated Sales and Operations Model Spurs Organic Above-market Growth
A building supply company reimagines its customer experience to target share gain.
A national building products distributor serving residential and commercial contractors derived much of its historical success from inorganic growth, having acquired a number of small and medium distributors across the country. Newly energized after setting an ambitious growth objective to gain market share, the company turned its attention to driving above-market organic growth. We helped BuildingSupplyCo* achieve this goal by collaborating on a five-year strategy and developing a repeatable model to gain share.
The heart of our strategy to increase organic market share was to reevaluate and refine the customer journey and experience. The first step was to identify the customer journeys that matter: relationships, ordering, delivery, issue resolution, and billing. These journeys are integral to the daily decisions contractors make to shift wallet share from one distributor to another. Given that 70% of BuildingSupplyCo’s customers said the company wasn’t differentiated from its competition across those five journeys, there was ample room for improvement. We also realized there were more growth opportunities within existing accounts than there were in landing new customers in other geographic regions.
To pursue those opportunities, we codesigned and ran in-market customer experience pilot programs in select regions. The first step was to set up an accelerated account management process targeting customers with high growth potential. Using our proprietary MoneyMap® tool, we learned that 50% of the organization’s spending in the market came from 100 customers, so gaining share of wallet with those customers through service excellence became a priority. We then advised sales teams on account planning, collaborated on new strategies to guide our sales process and keep in contact with potential customers, and helped implement feedback loops to capture and act on customer feedback.
The distributor implemented rigorous internal processes on customer moments that matter to shift their wallet share. BuildingSupplyCo’s team-based approach provided priority customers with differential coverage, making sure clients knew whom to contact, and built redundancy within the team so no calls went unanswered. The new system drew a clear definition of what on-time delivery meant and included a no-excuse checklist system to make sure orders were complete. It also deployed a roving troubleshooter in the market to resolve the inevitable simple problems on the spot. For bigger issues, the company set up a new way to resolve disputes that prioritized keeping a contractor’s job moving while determining fault later.
The success of the pilot program paved the way for a fully scaled deployment. We worked closely with BuildingSupplyCo to create the necessary sales play infrastructure, including roadmaps and a detailed playbook to support each stage of the national 18-month rollout. We also codeveloped “train the trainer” sessions so that teams across the country received comprehensive, uniform training on the newly implemented processes.
What began as a broad ambition to drive share gain propelled the local market teams to focus on the moments of the customer journey that matter. One notable example was on-time delivery, which increased from 50% to 80%. Over the course of six months, these moments culminated in a 30% increase in revenue while maintaining margin. The preliminary results of BuildingSupplyCo's five-year strategy indicate that the company’s customer-centric approach is proving successful, paving the way for further progress in the coming years.