August 1, 2019
Stanley Black & Decker: Building Momentum in the Channel
Stanley Black & Decker is a world-leading provider of hardworking, powerful tools that professionals around the globe count on for building, protection, and repair.
Jeff Waychoff, Regional VP of Field Sales, has been with Stanley Black & Decker for 30 years. He has taken on many different roles devoted to independent channel sales and industrial construction distribution. Currently, he oversees local market sales in the Central United States, involving the full gamut of distributors and associations including Grainger, MFC, Specialty Tools and Fasteners Distributors Association, Industrial Supply Association, and buying groups like Sphere 1 and Evergreen.
Stanley Black & Decker proactively invests in online training, believing it vital to growing channel revenue. “In today’s marketplace,” Waychoff states, “having great product is table stakes: it isn’t enough. Salespeople want support and training that help them bring value to customers. That’s what being a channel partner means.”
Easier said than done. Excellent training and support is only part of the formula. Successful partnership requires planning and effort, especially in a highly competitive market.
“First you need awareness,” says Waychoff. “Then you have to cut through competitive noise and misinformation with the right message. Timing is essential. You want folks trained and looking for your product before it’s on their shelves. People can’t sell what they don’t know.”
“We invest heavily in online training because it builds momentum,” emphasizes Waychoff. “Sales come faster and easier. It’s a game-changer. Soon you hear folks saying, ‘This is how I want to learn. This is what helps me sell.’ Once you get momentum, you never let up. We’re developing more courses in a month than we did in a quarter last year. It’s like the old adage: know more, sell more.”
With online training, Stanley Black & Decker is in control of product message. They can track effectiveness, update courses to be in line with marketing initiatives, and ensure customers always have the most relevant product insights. Convenience is also a driving factor. “Gone are the days of getting in front of someone for 30 minutes,” says Waychoff. “Now, reps are extremely busy. They don’t have 30 minutes to take a course. Online, where courses can be broken into shorter, more convenient formats, reps can train when and where it works for them.”
Working with so many distributors and associations, each with its own unique way of doing things, Stanley Black & Decker felt it important to partner with a true channel-focused eLearning solutions company.
“In our experience, and according to our customers, BlueVolt has become the standard for a channel LMS. They give us the flexibility to tailor training tracks to a specific distributor and give us a built-in audience primed for training.”
Stanley Black & Decker immediately reaches a wider set of learners thanks to the BlueVolt Ecosystem: an integrated network of manufacturers, distributors, and trade associations who benefit from sharing courses with each other.
Waychoff and team are also seeing value in BlueVolt’s integrated incentive program. “We work with distributors on incentives that increase course completions. The incentive program is baked right into the online courses themselves. In just one sales call, an incentive program like this can pay for itself.”
“People are always starving for information even if they don’t know it,” claims Waychoff. “We have an uptick in sales with almost every training. It’s a topic in every planning conversation and every strategy session with channel partners. We’re seeing new distributors sign up and increasing penetration with existing customers.
“It’s not only product training that we provide,” continues Waychoff. “We like to offer a deeper look into the organization to let people know what’s going on with our company and our brands. Which is so important when you consider the speed of innovation today, with products and the market changing so quickly. Beyond features and specs, reps need to know the philosophy behind a product line and the character of its manufacturer. At Stanley Black & Decker, we’ve got a lot of good stories to tell.”
Stanley Black & Decker has proven their deep commitment to channel partner training. Since 2014, they have consistently outperformed all other manufacturers on the BlueVolt platform.