|How do you stand out?
In order to know how to position your sales force brand, you must first understand the industry expectation…also known as the Cross-functional collaboration. “The days of lone-wolf sales tactics have passed.“CPG salespeople need to be brilliant at bringing in the resources and expertise around them,” says one executive. CPG salespeople can help retailers achieve their marketing, supply chain and cost reduction goals, by understanding how functions interrelate and then building cross-functional teams accordingly.
As one CPG executive explains, “We used to hire people in account management roles, and expect them to do it all—be successful, hit their numbers, grow the account. Now the primary question for salespeople is:
‘What support do you need in order to succeed?’” excerpted from the 2009 Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) study “Raising The Bar for CPG Sales People.”
What else does the new and improved CPG Sales person need to be in today’s complex CPG arena?
A CPG salesperson needs to be a merchandiser, a long-term category strategist, a general manager and a thought partner. That all spells one word–solutions Sounds simple right?
|For your client/customer, it needs to be this easy...
For your customer or client it needs to be exactly that simple. You want them to believe that no matter how difficult, complex or life threatening their problem is…..they can relax because they have the utmost confidence that your CPG Sales force will save the day and make it easy
to solve. At that point you have a reputation at stake.
And it starts by doing something highly unusual in this industry….Over investing in the customer business…. As one mass retailer executive explains, “We require CPG sales forces to ‘over invest’ in relationship-building and become advocates that can navigate unique retail environments.”Cross-functional collaboration. What that means is doing much much more than has been or will be required. Make no mistake, if your CPG sales force doesn’t have an identity, and your competition does….don’t be surprised who gets the lion’s share of that retailers’ business.
Invite your sales force to actually solicit non-traditional problems that need solutions from their accounts. Nothing is off limits. If it is keeping the account “Awake at Night,” you want a chance to help.
Once you solve a “monumental” challenge for your client/customer, then you get to toot that horn really loud.
It’s exactly how you stand out! Let that sink in….Until you wrap your arms around the cross-functionality deliverable, (and some of you already have as the survey points out–see Part 1), don’t expect your sales numbers to gain much traction. Honestly, you may have to provide more training first before you can build the brand. That’s a good thing!
The goal of today’s post was to explain the How and Who. How did I do? Please be sure and provide your feedback, topic ideas, or if you have a question, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Technorati code: 9Y43UQSP64J4