It was reported that in 1916 Clarence Saunders started the first self-service grocery store called Piggly Wiggly. These events have been attributed by many authors as to what revolutionised the concept of shopping in numerous ways. It changed the relationship dynamics of the old face to face concept of the “counterman”, it introduced a customer to amongst other advantages visible choice, pricing on shelves and a plethora of other areas that would change the way the world interacted with retail clients.
However, in the World of Client Acquisition and Maintenance, despite technological breakthroughs, inventions such as the computer, the internet, the cell phone and tablet; it still seems as if we still structure our teams remarkably similar to what we did in the past.
So, if the convenience store could transform itself, what three areas could change the structure of a Sales team in order to embrace the changes of the past few decades?
1. Transformational Clarity in terms of “Client Reach”.
“Client Reach” or New Business Acquisition and Maintenance of Existing Clients have to be conducted as a scientific process. Use of Media Advertising, the Internet, mailing Campaigns, Telephones or Face to Face interventions to engage with prospective or new clients is to be seen as a process and should not be used as isolated or independent tools.
2. Correct application of Market Segmentation
Market Segmentation transcends Business Size, Industry Sector or LSMs. The successful Sales Strategy will understand the heterogeneous nature of clients in loyalty and purchasing that must be accommodated in the “Client Reach” process.
3. Management of Client Acquisition and Maintenance costs
Client facing teams are either revenue generating or treated as wasteful cost centres. The structure of a Sales Force must form a complimentary relationship between the different “Client Reach” components. And effective hybrid of Media, Telesales and Face contacts in the outbound sales environment is a good example of balance.
One of the most common used phrases that ring true is by Author Steven Covey “Begin with the end in mind”, a phrase that rings true in the field of Effective Sales Force Transformation.
It’s not necessary to suggest that we have to reset all our processes as Sales Leaders to be successful, but it is certainly wise to suggest that we constantly re-evaluate the relevance of our current structures and how effectively they communicate with our customers