Within this group of initiatives we can address various activities:
1. To anticipate the opportunities that may occur and a firm commitment with them.
To anticipate opportunities forces us to work within the organization to discover them before they are clear for the rest of the market and to raise them openly to our business partners.
Distribution formats with more future, organizations whose strategy is complemented with our own, companies that have clear ideas about how to address the problems we face (rationalization of assortments, price positioning, focus not only on the buyer but also on the consumer,…), companies highly targeted to improve the shopping experience at the point of sales, those which have identified gaps on which they must work to generate a greater return on the investment.
If the resources are scarce, we would link them to those companies, both from the manufacturer’s and the distributor’s standpoint, with which we know we can get a higher return.
2. Sales teams better prepared and very focused on customer management with well defined characteristics.
The manufacturer and distributor should not consider what the other party needs based on what they know of it, but they must openly state their demands and lacks to face them together.
There are about 20 attributes grouped into 5 categories according to which the profile of the partners in the market must be defined.
The categories are: Business skills, Analysis, Creativity, Consumer / Buyer and Demand Generation. Within them some of the attributes are:
- Planning skills
- Communication skills
- Capacity analysis
- Innovation and creativity
- Understanding of purchase / consumer dynamics
- Understanding of the customer and domestic market
- Understanding of the category and its drivers
- In-store marketing
- Retail Merchandising
To evaluate how our teams are in these attributes and to design development or training plans to cover any possible gaps will allow us to focus the manufacturer / distributor relations towards unexplored cooperation areas which can provide additional revenues for both.
3. To increase the extent of the dialogue
It is desirable, on the other hand, to intensify the meetings among the leaderships either in specific forums or customized interviews. This allows us to address different issues, cooperation in buyer studies for specific chains, product launch and to unblock situations that hinder the progress in business development
4. To segment to achieve a greater impact
To segment the points of sales jointly with the manufacturer and distributor allows for addressing them more efficiently. It is necessary to use segmentation variables to include category sales by point of sales, sales of the manufacturing company, development potential and extent of free implementation at the point of sales.
To carry this out will allow us to known which points of sales we should visit and decide what own sales force is required in terms of the points of sales I should visit and what role and performance they should have; in addition, they will allow us to decide what portion of the sales force can be outsourced depending on the role to be assumed by the remaining points of sales and all the activities to be performed
5. To build customer-focused organizations
It is necessary to redistribute the resources available to the companies by removing generic management functions (define assortments, prices, implementations) to assign them to specific teams working with a customer or group of customers or a supplier or a group of them. Thus, these generic functions become specific programs with a focus on the buyer (shopper) or collaborations in areas of benefit for both organizations.