Buyers and brands in Consumer Electronic, Do It Yourself, Sportswear, car and other industries are going through THE significant omnichannel change. Buyers don’t buy the same way they used to and this force brands to rethink their traditional sales methods.
Sales operations used to be more predictable
Stores used to provide the richest experience for customers seeking products and brands. Brands focused on sell through together with retail partners and the external sales force budget was often calculated by preset organizational standards. The external sales force team were either organized under sales or marketing to maintain stores with focus on e.g. share of shelf, getting line-ups in and out, point of sales material, service and trainings. The setup were often complemented with sales promotion or merchandising and the volume of the efforts were preset to match the current sales volume.
Changing consumer behavior
Today we see that the buying behaviour of consumers in the Nordics together with other mature markets is changing fast. Brands often see this new behaviour as confusing and irrational, but when seen from a consumer perspective, it´s not. The parts of the sales processes that doesn´t add value to the customer buying process will stop being used and instead get replaced by the functions that bring more value. If customers don´t see the value of e.g. visiting a store, they simply won´t visit it. Many wonder how far this process can go, and the answer is that this value exchange process is natural and always will be there.
Sales force ROI & budgets?
In order for a customer to keep visiting stores they want more value in return than ever regarding brand experiences, product knowledge, product availability and more. This in turn demands more from the External Sales Force team, during a time when brands now have to focus on meeting customers in multiple channels.
How to optimize the external sales force team budget
In the new omnichannel world the way forward for your sales force team is to: focus on developing their skills further, clearly prioritize their store routs and implement the use of smart management tools.
Allocate resources to develop your Sales Force team skills, when customers visit the store their brand impression must at least match their expectations, otherwise you will not win but instead lose your customers in store.
Spend resources on in depth categorization of your store landscape and make an accurate definition of what services you think is most important to provide.
If you haven't already got a smart retail management tool that allow development of your customer´s in store experience, retailers, team members & regions, you need to allocate resources to implement this.
In order to create a modern omnichannel experience for your customers it´s important that you optimize your traditional retail setup. This way you will develop your customers store experience further and also make sure you have the resources you need to focus on meeting your customers in other relevant channels.
Christian Lystrup - COO & Client Service Director