Monday November 1, 2021

Sales Transformation Strategies & Methodologies in Practice

This hands-on half-day workshop unwraps the sales transformation best practices employed by hundreds of distributors during the past few years. This foundational style workshop has been developed from the research and programming co-developed by MDM and Indian River Consulting Group utilized throughout the wholesale distribution industry. Whether you are planning changes or already well down the path of modernizing your sales process, this workshop will boost your team’s efforts with proven strategy and methodology – specific to distribution sales models heavily weighted to traditional outside sales roles.

Topics covered:

  • How to execute sales transformation effectively
  • Shifting generalist to specialized outside-inside-service sales roles
  • Best practices for migrating dysfunctional sales compensation plans
  • What the best omnichannel sales models look like
  • Overcoming inertia and fear: Change management

You’ll learn from the experience of distributors who have created more effective and profitable sales processes and are moving beyond outdated sales models. You’ll gain the combined experience, knowledge and perspectives of those who have solved many of the challenges in this change process.

What you’ll gain from this workshop is the working knowledge of the best practices taught at prior Sales GPS conferences that are being successfully employed today. Plus it will prepare yourself and your team for the new material to be presented in the 2021 Sales GPS Conference with a common understanding of core sales transformation best practices.

Arm yourself with workshop foundational concepts and materials to more effectively articulate your sales transformation mission and gain alignment within your organization.


Mike Marks, Founding Partner, Indian River Consulting Group

Tom Gale, CEO, Modern Distribution Management

Cost:  $495.00 includes materials

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*The pre-conference workshop is an add-on to your full conference registration.

Whether you were able to attend the pre-conference workshop or are just arriving, please join us at our welcome reception to meet with speakers and other attendees.

Tuesday November 2, 2021

Sales Transformation Strategies for 2022

Competition from new players, smaller margins and technology pressures are squeezing the profits from distributors that aren’t evolving their sales models to address these threats. 

The sole purpose of Sales GPS Conference is to bring together the latest innovations on the most successful sales models and sales transformation tactics.  We address the entire transformation journey from strategic planning to tactical execution and on-going process refinement.  No matter where you are in your journey – just starting out or working to refine your program to ensure on-going success – we’ve got you covered. 

This year we’re providing analysis of more successful case studies throughout different steps in the process and strengthening peer-to-peer Roundtable discussions (with non-competitors) so our experts and former Sales GPS attendees can share their challenges and successes during their multi-year sales transformation journeys.  

The author of The Machine outlines a radical yet common-sense approach to transition the traditional outside sales model – where the economics are broken – to a process with a profound impact on profitability based on team-based specialists and a redesign of the entire organization. This keynote will challenge your thinking and give you tactical ways to exponentially increase the number and quality of meaningful sales interactions and wins with Sales Process Engineering.

Justin Roff-Marsh, Founder, Ballistix and author of The Machine


A champion of driving innovation for distributors, Mark Dancer will provide pathways and examples of how to break free from the constraints of traditional gross margin-based sales models and liberate your sales force to perform optimally and keep ahead of the constant stream of disruptors impacting markets and customer expectations.

Dancer will discuss several pain points for distributors, and how they can overcome them during his presentation. He plans to cover three main areas: mindset, infrastructure and sales models. Dancer says distributors should examine the capabilities that they need for a salesperson, customer service, marketing and support and other roles when creating their sales models. They can do so across three areas: platform, creating a champion and delivery.

Mark Dancer, Author and CEO, B2B Innovation Network

This investor-backed outsourced sales & marketing firm specializes in MRO and safety products, representing a small portfolio of top-tier manufacturers. LineDrive partners with distributors to create a unique and unbundled value proposition based on delivering safety and productivity to over 61,000 end users. Regardless of company size, learn valuable lessons from this evolving channel-efficiency case study to improve your current sales model through data optimization.

Michael Abdella, CEO, LineDrive & Managing Partner, Mauve Capital Partners

Sponsored by:


Enjoy some refreshments while you visit with our 2021 Sales GPS Sponsors or get an updated headshot at the PunchOut2Go headshot booth.

Each year, we check in with distributors on their progress and learnings from multi-year sales model transformation work. This year we check in with Kirk Zehnder, CEO of Earnest Machine and Matt Wisniewski, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Gustave A. Larson Company, to discuss the challenges and successes they’ve seen along their sales transformation journey. 

Kirk Zehnder, CEO, Earnest Machine
After attending a Sales GPS conference several years ago, Zehnder has transformed his company by implementing an integrated sales model that includes specialty teams for some of the fastener company’s top customers. Earnest Machine now has three integrated sales teams, including two that manage special accounts, such as one for Fastenal. The specialist teams launched in April and Zehnder says he expects to create more of them down the road.

Matt Wisniewski, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Gustave A. Larson Company
Wisniewski’s company started exploring its “inside out” sales model three years in order to stay ahead of the curve, but it served the 85-year-old company well when the pandemic hit last year. The hybrid approach allows the company’s customers to check out pricing, availability and ordering of products across websites using their phones or other devices, but the company has kept in-person sales meeting in place for customers that prefer the face-to-face sales model.

Roundtable discussions follow their remarks, with speaker Q&A to get answers to your specific challenges and questions. Always one of the most highly rated aspects of our program.


Kirk Zehnder, CEO, Earnest Machine



A portrait of Matt Wisniewski, Vice President Sales and MarketingMatt Wisniewski, Vice President Sales and Marketing,  Gustave A. Larson Company

Many sales managers know they are supposed to be conducting one-on-one coaching sessions and effective group sales meetings, but it’s tougher than ever to consistently execute the right sales management behaviors. This session outlines tactics and strategies distribution sales managers can use to drive optimal results, including:

  • Pre-briefing sales calls. Avoid rear-view sales management.
  • Coaching to the right end of the sales performance issue – training is not always the answer to improved sales results.
  • Running more effective sales meetings – stop roll-call and groundhog-day rituals.
  • How CEO’s cause ineffective sales management.

A portrait of Colleen Stanley, President and Founder, SalesLeadership, Inc.Colleen Stanley, CEO, SalesLeadership, Inc.

There are specific tactics distributors can use to successfully shift their sales models. This session will provide a playbook to avoid common mistakes and ensure a successful transition to a more adaptive sales model.

Mike Marks, Indian River Consulting Group

Enjoy some refreshments while you visit with our 2021 Sales GPS Sponsors or update your photo at the PunchOut2Go headshot booth.

Every distributor feels the stress of a traditional outside field sales model with decreased effectiveness and ROI. But how do you determine the best path forward? This session maps a data-driven approach to evaluate your best solutions for increasing individual sales rep performance, as well as measure the incremental ROI you can extract from your sales resources. It will also help you evaluate the best options to your current operating model – elevated inside sales, omnichannel, hybrid or other combination.

Mike Emerson, Managing Partner, Indian River Consulting Group

McKinnon Shisko, Senior Associate Consultant, Indian River Consulting Group

Roundtable discussions follow their remarks, with speaker Q&A to get answers to your specific challenges and questions.


Ken Bradley, President, Allied Electronics & Automation

William Bland, Senior VP Sales, Hisco, Inc.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

We are diving into a world where digital dominates and it is increasingly harder for distribution sales teams to cut through the noise and be a part of a more virtual solution. What’s the answer? Maria Boulden will share Gartner research on the tectonic shifts in B2B buying behaviors, how distributors can rewrite B2B selling for the new world of digital buyers and how to create new opportunities to drive profitable growth with your supply partners and your customers.

Roundtable discussions follow with conference speaker Q&A to wrap up.

Maria Boulden, Vice President and Executive Partner for Sales, Gartner

Enjoy some refreshments while you visit with our 2021 Sales GPS Sponsors or update your photo at the PunchOut2Go headshot booth.

Many distributors don’t have the resources today to turn internal and external data into actionable insights to direct the sales process. This session gives you the analytics fundamentals for data-informed sales planning and the playbook for segmentation, cost-to-serve, market and wallet share, customer lifecycle management and forecasting.

Nelson Valderrama, CEO, Intuilize



Bob Jordan, VP Analytics, MDM



Tom Gale, CEO, MDM

Nothing produces more fear and stress than the threat of change to comp plans. This two-hour session focuses on best-practice sales compensation strategies based on more specialized roles. Aligning comp plans to strategy is the most critical component to create more productive and profitable selling teams. Bring your challenges and questions to this interactive session.

Mike Marks, Founding Partner, Indian River Consulting Group

Mike Emerson, Managing Partner, Indian River Consulting Group

Cancellation Policy

Written cancellations received prior to October 15, 2021 will be refunded in full. MDM will continue to monitor COVID-19 and any impact it may have on an in-person 2021 Sales GPS Conference.

Please contact with any questions.