This leads us to four areas for the sales team to focus on:
1. Develop a deep understanding of their customers’ needs (and their customers’ customers).
The sales team must build a granular understanding of their customer’s profile, journey & needs, and they need to develop an understanding of their customer’s customers to the same level. Developing this deep understanding is something we see is all too frequently missing in organisations. Find ways to get ‘back to the floor’ and re-engage with your customer at multiple levels and especially at the frontline. This will help grow your understanding of the operations & the people that deliver the customer experience, and bring great insight back to their cross-functional teams into the micro-moments of the customer experience.
Even in a very challenging Grocery environment, Metcash and IGA stores have listened to their consumer needs by ranging and carrying products from local smaller manufacturers – “local heroes.”. Milk that is manufactured literally down the street from the IGA store, is purchased more regularly by locals even know it costs $1.12 more per 2 liters. This phenomenon has extended to the beer industry where a local craft brew is more likely than a hard cold VB
2. Identify the commonalities between the two customer profiles, journeys & experience.
There are of course differences and complexities, but instead of getting bogged down in these, find the commonalities in what matters most to the Sales’ customer and the end-consumer. Use this to find ways to integrate both what you do and how you work together.
3. Get involved early in the design of the desired customer experience.
The sales team has a responsibility to ensure the ‘voice of the customer’ is regularly fed into the business. This is done most effectively through the integrated strategy & planning process, covered in http://www.superiorsales.com.au/sales-marketing-joined-at-the-hip/ which can bring together multiple brand, product, or service customer experiences. However, customer experience studies have uncovered that over 70% of companies don’t involve sales teams in developing CX strategies.
PepsiCo have done this well when they have brought complementary brands together, such as Lay’s, Gatorade & Pepsi MAX in a ‘friends having fun together’ space and in footy final combos. They developed an end-to-end experience for consumers, shoppers & customers across hundreds of markets.
4. Ensure everyone, including the Sales team, knows the role that it plays in delivery of the customer experience
Too often the Sales teams themselves aren’t clear that they have a critical role to play in the customer experience, and they haven’t got a team purpose that is centred on the vision of the customer experience. Alternatively, Sales teams want to play that role, but the rest of the organisation isn’t on board, so they don’t get invited to the right forums or at the right time. The best companies harness the ingenuity & invention of everyone to enhance the experience. Sales teams have a unique front line position. They need to take responsibility for offering up their ideas and their insights, to enhance each brand’s customer experience.
If you would like to understand more about how Independents are listening to their customers better, please find the link below to the industry leading breakfast being held on the 6th of March by the ASMCA.