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Commercial follow-up - How to optimize it?

Having a great product or great service is a real challenge - but alone it won't make the business successful. Today's customers are more demanding, that’s why it is important to have more follow-up to ensure more sales than competitors.

Follow-up is at the heart of a business relationship

At the industrial level, what is commercial monitoring and how is it implemented?

Definition of commercial follow-up

Commercial follow-up starts from the first contact. It is the sum of the techniques and tools used by the sales representatives to ensure the satisfaction of his customer or distributor. It has the benefit of nurturing the business relationship and fortifying connections.

Retail distribution networks

In the world of retail, the commercial follow-up is done with distributors who work on several entities such as hypermarkets, supermarkets, proxi, online sales... The commercial follow-up is therefore done through visits to the points of sale of its distribution network. This last one is composed of several entities which require a high level of organization for each one to receive the same quality of follow-up. It is a challenge that also requires good management tools.

Profile and role of the sales force

At the industrial level, the sales force is generally made up of five profiles: Sales Promoter; Area Manager; Regional Manager; Area Director; National Sales Manager.

  • The Sales Promoter is responsible for operations. He or she implements actions such as relocation, reframing, shelf placement, filling of crates, etc.
  • The Area Manager is in charge of the commercial follow-up of a number of stores directly assigned to him. He ensures that operational tasks run smoothly and is in direct contact with the department managers.
  • The Regional Director manages the Area Managers for a given region. He ensures the success of the sales objectives for the region.
  • The Area Manager is in charge of a wider area: south - north. He enables the National Sales Director to refine his analysis by zone.
  • The National Sales Director is responsible for implementing the Sales Director's strategy and ensures the successful selling of products on a national scale.

Why set up a sales follow-up with distributors?

Improve customer relationships

To take care of your customer relations means to be available. Whether it is via your telephone or your e-mails, the important thing is to be reactive when you have requests. It also means taking responsibility in case of a problem and being present as soon as possible to solve it.

It is also important to communicate well and to ensure regular visits to strengthen ties. The distributor will grant more favors to the supplier with whom he has the best relationship.

Finally, keep in mind that retaining a customer is much cheaper than acquiring new ones.

Improving competitiveness

As mentioned above, the attention paid to your distributors is perceived positively. This makes it easier to negotiate the implementation of your promotional operations and the promotion of your offer. The result is better sales for both parties. You multiply the chances of developing your turnover and exceeding your targets.

If a good promotion allows you to gain in competitiveness, access to information also contributes strongly to it. Whether it is at the economic or operational level, it is essential to bring back as much data as possible from the field to headquarters to help management make the right decisions.

Valuing the sales with a digital assistant: eCOS® Sales

Today, there are a multitude of software solutions that promise to improve your business follow-up.

But how many are really adapted to the processes of sales forces in the retail industry? How many are able to offer a tool that is so adaptive, easy and intuitive to use from the moment it is implemented? And what are the points that really make the difference?

eCOS® Sales acts as memory and an intelligence - available to your field teams on a daily basis. Acting as a real assistant, it enables them to be more efficient, more relevant and more reactive to all circumstances. So, how does it work?

A digital memory

As we said earlier, access to information makes a difference, but it is also important to have access at the right time. That's what eCOS® Sales offers by suggesting all the customer information you need: location, contacts, history, stocks, investments, preferences, etc. Preparing for your visits becomes child's play, as five minutes is enough to refresh your memory and make sure you don't forget anything during your appointment. Your investments are also tracked more clearly, because it is possible to work by organization or by point of sale with an ergonomic display of expenses. Communication with the head office is also more fluid. An editorial is available to the head office teams to communicate challenges, promotional operations and information related to the life of the group to the sales forces. And the latter have the possibility to send back their analyses of the field via different supports (questionnaire, text, photo, video, document...).

An intelligent assistant

eCOS® Sales is also an assistant that makes operational recommendations based on performance indicators defined upstream. These KPI's (ND, WD, share of shelf, missing products...) are updated in real time and can be consulted by category and specificity. A perfect store score also allows you to monitor the performance per point-of-sale. Depending on the level of achievement of these indicators, eCOS® Sales offers intelligent routing suggestions to help you organize your business. It provides you with the documents related to the missions you have planned in your calendar. It ensures your promotional follow-up and helps you to identify the business opportunities available to you.

If you would like to know more, you can download the product sheet or request a demo:

Externis Group

Externis, the creator of eCOS® Blue Eagle, the first all-in-one SaaS suite designed exclusively for optimizing your retail execution. Trusted by a wide range of industry players, including brands, distributors, wholesalers, and more, across all distribution channels.

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Externis Group

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