The team at BreakFront (formerly CompanionCabinet) recently analyzed dealers and the challenges they identified (from their perspective). The sample set we chose was made up of approximately 10,000 unique individuals who work in cabinet dealerships and whose roles ranged from: owner & executive management, sales management, salesperson & designer, administration & back office.

The data was collected over a period of 5 months, beginning on January 1, 2011.

Some General Findings

The issues dealers share with us are very telling and very similar in markets all across the U.S.  CompanionCabinet Software research indicates that approximately…

  • 85% of cabinet dealers do not follow a standard sales process and leave it up to their sales team to perform marketing and sales activities independently.
  • 88% of cabinet dealers struggle with producing a consistent number of leads each month.
  • 92% of cabinet dealer cannot accurately forecast their sales for next quarter.
  • Over 90% of cabinet dealers rely solely on design and accounting software alone to manage their business while salespeople and designers struggle consistently with cumbersome and time consuming paperwork & internal dealership processes.

While cabinet dealers are seeing an up-tick in business as of late, that doesn’t mean they’re taking full advantage of the opportunities in their local markets. Many cabinet dealers are busily quoting for many hours with minimal increase in sales to show for it.

Cabinet Dealer’s Top 3 Challenges

Today’s market conditions are forcing dealers to admit where they are struggling, unlike in previous years where dealers would describe business as booming despite alarming margin erosion figures (before the crash of 2008, cabinet dealers whose businesses were booming were still experiencing heavy losses of potential profit).

Cabinet dealer’s biggest challenges in 2011 and moving forward are as follows:

Cabinet dealer challenges

1. Cabinet Dealers Need a Sales Process & Better Sales Skills

Over 53% of our cabinet dealer visitors, by their own admission, struggle with classic sales process and sales skills.  These include challenges like closing deals & handling objections, educating & qualifying prospects, competition, training, being shopped, paperwork, customer changes, product knowledge, building rapport and the economy.

One of the largest issues facing cabinet dealers today is that they don’t know how to build a successful sales & marketing organization.

2. Cabinet Dealers Need Better Tools

Employees of cabinet dealerships – at all levels –struggle with the need for tools to help them:

  • Quote faster and more accurately
  • Track job information more easily
  • Coordinate ordering, scheduling and communication (internally and externally).
  • Eliminate time-consuming paperwork & rekeying

Cabinet dealer challenges

Quoting remains a significant hurdle for cabinet dealers of all sizes.

3. Cabinet Dealers Need Better Lead Generation Capabilities

Cabinet dealers rarely generate enough leads for their sales team.  Most of them rely on outdated advertising mediums with record low customer conversion rates.  Cabinet dealers have not taken advantage of social media nor have they adequately revamped their websites so they are less presentation focused (talk about me) and more lead generation focused (talk about prospect needs, wants & desires).

A record number of cabinet dealers do not have a mechanism to communicate and connect with prospects in their local market (i.e. a blog).


Over 96% of our cabinet dealer visitors lack the required processes, training and tools required to be successful in today’s market.

If you’re one of the 96% waiting for things to “get better”, it could be a very rough 2011 year for you. If you’re one of the 4% reinventing the way you operate and getting your staff re-equipped with better tools and training, 2011 is going to be a more rewarding year than you think.

Learn more about streamlining your operations and overcoming challenges in our free eBook.