Grainger Adopts a Proactive Strategy, powered by N3

Founded 90 years ago in Chicago, W.W. Grainger, Inc. has long dominated the sale and distribution of commercial supplies to industries including healthcare, manufacturing, government, and hospitality. Grainger offers more than 1.4 million products like safety gloves, tools, ladders, and janitorial supplies, and services like inventory management and technical support. Traditionally, customers could order items from a catalog by mail or telephone, or purchase them at one of Grainger’s 400+ regional distribution centers.

The rise of online retailers has upended Grainger’s business model dramatically. With the increased competition, Grainger needed to secure their worldwide customer base of +3 million businesses while continuing to expand revenue.

N3 has a customer-centric culture combined with solution-based selling that is the key to meeting goals. For us, they ramped up a large, fully trained and proficient, sales team in record time.

Senior Director Medium Business, Grainger

Building Customer Loyalty to Stay Competitive

Grainger realized they needed to undergo a transformation of their sales approach to include a very robust Inside Sales model. This also meant shifting from brick-and-mortar retail and distribution and catalogue to a bigger focus on online sales and a reduction in the number of distribution centers.

To support this shift and secure their medium-business customer base, Grainger developed an incentive program targeting existing customers and providing extra value through competitive pricing and free parcel shipping. The program was designed to foster loyalty and grow revenue within Grainger’s middle-market customers. 

Grainger looked to N3 to help them drive program success. The N3 team was charged with promoting the program, driving enrollment, activating memberships, and selling additional products post-enrollment.

Through engagement with Grainger’s large customer base, N3 analyzed buying habits and delivered insights about customer preferences. N3 then developed a digital marketing plan that built on these interests and ensured customers received timely and relevant messaging. 

Once enrolled, customers in specific verticals (such as manufacturing, office buildings or hotels) were offered competitive pricing while being exposed to additional and different product categories and services, in addition to the free shipping, all of which made Grainger more competitive than other online retailers. 

Throughout the initial year of the program, N3 gathered valuable insights through customer interactions. These became a key ingredient for Grainger to make course adjustments and refine the offer messaging and sales practices, ensuring greater engagement and customer adoption.

N3’s program enabled Grainger to retain their existing customers, accelerate revenue, and expand their reach.

N3 has been a true partner for Grainger. Not only has N3 delivered quality results, they have shared best practices and valuable market insights with us.

Senior Director Medium Business, Grainger

Inside Sales Success

In the first 9 months of the program, N3 successfully enrolled 5,000+ customers and nurtured them to think “Grainger first” when it came time to placing new orders.  N3 drove significantly higher enrollment than anticipated and provided immeasurable value from the captured market intelligence and collaborative approach. N3 continued working with Grainger to enroll more customers and helped increase average spend by customers in the program by over 30%.

Faced with an increasingly competitive market, Grainger partnered with N3 to transform their sales approach model for middle-market customers and enabled them to achieve retention and revenue targets.

That’s how N3 helped Grainger successfully transform their business model. Contact Us to learn how N3 can power your revenue growth.


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