May 28, 2012

Double your sales revenue through training of your Sales Force!


Sales teams often complain about seniors who repeatedly demand target achievement but do not provide with solutions to their problems.  Teams require leadership that could lead by example but that is easier said than done. By the time a sales pro shifts into corner office there are many changes in the sales universe.  Only solution to such crisis would be to institute regular training to the sales team based on the primary as well secondary feedback.  Following three rules could proper assist you in galvanizing your sales force.
1.       Do you have a Sales Bible? Does your company have a written plan for selling?  A senior sales guy had told me once that he had the eye to spot a good sales person from an average one, and therefore success of his job depended upon recruiting a sales professional with healthy resume & pay him on time each month.  According to my friend a great sales guys would find his/her way to achieve target. Companies generally forget to standardize the selling process leaving the teams to their abstract devices. A Sales Management bible is essential to minimize the risk of weak calls to closing ratio.  A comprehensive manual of sales management would reduce the time in induction and preliminary training of new recruits.

2.       Can your team asses a prospect? A star sale pro would tell you the difference between various types of prospects and align the sales strategy to suit the situation. Need & immediate want may not be the trigger for customer to reach into his pocket.  A sale pro can walk into an office and analyze the personality type of the buyer. Subsequently the sales wizard could assess the nature of the buyer and pull out matching sales-speak.

3.       What’s New you got to offer? Everyone loves a new experience. People seek excitement through consuming new experiences. A marketing professional knows it fully well the value of keeping the offer in the ‘new & fresh’ quadrant. Not man would buy an iconic cult brand of yester years howsoever good that may be. A sales team requires regular infusion of new product, sales style, markets, customers & promotion to keep them engrossed in the process.  Just look into what new your sales team has got in the current cycle and analyze how much it has contributed to expansion.

Gurinder Ahluwalia is a marketing consultant & professor of marketing from Chandigarh, India. You could contact him at ananhadmc@gmail.com or www.anahadmc.com.   

Strategic Marketing for SMEs

You know very well that in order to continue to thrive, companies must acquire, satisfy and retain customers. Marketing usually does that job for you. Anahad MC is a strategic marketing management firm with a focus on improving our client's return on marketing investment.

AnahadMC specializes in measuring and improving marketing productivity and developing strategies for driving top-line growth with innovative marketing. You could be B2B or B2C player within various verticals such as FMCG, Retail, Education, Durables, IT & Telco, Manufacturing and Services, you can benefit from us.

All too often in India, businesses do not have a clear plan or strategy. Several companies follow unplanned trial & error approach, at the most they try follow the competition with the hope to survive & beat the competition some day? They invest in the typical advertising such as yellow pages, newspaper ads, even radio and television just to throw it out there to see what sticks. Then sit back and wait to see what happens. Isn’t it? Without planning, research, tracking and analysis, your marketing efforts could lead to wastage of resources thereby postponing the break even and/or a healthy top line. A successful marketer connects & bonds strongly with customers, never takes off his eye from them.

Your marketing must be able to convey your message consistently to your ideal client. We help you discover what your customers want and need and where to find them that will most likely buy repeatedly. Our integrated marketing process consists of understanding your customer’s needs, developing a marketing strategy, building and implementing an integrated marketing plan, and tracking the results. Although the process appears to be simple, most companies have a hard time developing a marketing strategy that includes an interactive approach that actually ENGAGES their prospects & customers.

Most firms ends up focusing inwardly on their products& processes alone without realizing that it’s the customers who need greater attention. To be effective, a company must decide its targeting and positioning carefully depending upon strategic parameters and make it as an integral part of a marketing plan. A marketing strategy consists of a cohesive melding of whom you are targeting, positioning to differentiate yourself from your competitors and what features your product or service will have. It also addresses what message to send and how to send it and how you will respond to customer service.

Anahad MC helps you formulate a marketing strategy that reflects the needs, interests, habits, and behaviors of your customer through research and by getting to know your business. A comprehensive marketing plan differentiates a great company from just good ones. Let us find out what your customers want and then help you give it to them.

May 25, 2012

Will Walmart do to big Indian retailers what Samsung, LG did to BPL, Videocons?


Indian corporate has not understood that mass marketing in India is completely a different ball game as compared to the developed countries. India is unique diverse country therefore mass marketing needs qualified strategic approach different from the west. Our masses are divided by many factors other than economic or color of skin. Therefore despite opening up of the organised retail almost a couple of decades ago and entry of India's largest business houses alongwith unprecedented GDP growth resulting into 300 million middle class no domestic retailer can claim victory. Most companies are operating at scaled down version gasping for breath. In fact the large players in retail industry in India are looking forward to government's nod to FDI in multi-brand so that they could sell their companies to Walmart & Carreffour.  

Indians people lack the social skills to run service industries based on trust. See what is happening in our service sector like telecom, electricity, education & medical services etc. Service sector survives on values like trust, fairplay, equality & honesty. We have many religions, castes, languages, skins colors, eating habits but most uniting feature of our Indian society is overwhelming distrust of other. We put too much currency on smart play over fairplay. One retail company believes that India was a Sone Ki Chiriya ( Gold Sparrow) & they shall once again strive to achieve it. I would prefer India to be a Sone Ka Hathi ( Elephant of Gold).

We must keep in mind that we are not USA or Europe where people generally trust each other. We are a society that’s fractured by insidious mistrust that keeps people from behaving like a cohesive them. First step towards success of retail is to build a trustworthy team that in turn could inspire trust of the buyers, Till such mindset is achieved even Walmart would have to struggle in Indian market. Without inculcation of pride among the team working at the outlets its impossible to run such an operation.

If you examine the reasons for failure of organized retail in India many factors have been cited by various experts but no one has pointed out the most critical issue of absence of trust as the prime culprit. After all there is enough growth in economy leading to healthy demand for goods & services, some players have deepest pockets too, there is reasonably good transport backbone and India has quite a few well established fmcg majors present for long enough periods too.

We witnessed huge customer interest in buying at such outlets in the beginning & any research could reveal that customers could return to buy from organized retail if the players could get their act together. Quantity, prices, packaging, buying convenience, availability, variety and experience are few given factors that are in favor of organized retail.

Though most retail players failed due to absence of managerial competency for such operations particularly in marketing function lacked the understanding & creativity required to maintain a robust interest of customers in the stores. Across the board players focused on product images to lure the customers without strategizing the brand pull in an effective manner.

I have deep conviction that most Indian retail players would happily sell off their unmanageable companies to the new entrant into the market. Without exception Indian companies lack the competencies to take on the competition in b2c space. We are heading into times when Indian corporations would be relegated to b2b space whereas b2c would be dominated by the global giants. World's largest democracy would have global companies operating in b2c arena going into next decade. 

May 19, 2012

Watch the Stars on your Sales Team


Whenever you want to pump up your sales team, take them to the nearest multiplex to enjoy a hindi potboiler. Hindi cinema has predictable storyline comprising a hero, heroine and the ubiquitous villain. You would wonder how it would help in improving the target achievement. Well let me explain the relationship. The sales guy (hero) has to constantly fight the villain (competition) to wrest the heroine, which is the sales target. And the story is complete with few songs & dances. Therefore lots of rehearsals would be required before the actors face the audience. So training sales team can not be a onetime activity, it must be an ongoing process.
India is land of SMEs and these businesses face unique challenges, particularly in organizing the sales & marketing function. Many a SMEs that have regional & national sales organizations are still straddled with teams that were relevant 20 years ago.  Sales teams are full of people who have minimal education & have never received formal training. Such teams function in a loose bureaucratic manner and lack creativity essential for real success in the market.
Few years ago I got an assignment reengineer a b2b sales team at an enterprise led by an amiable technocrat engaged in manufacturing of capital equipment of high speed packaging machines for FMCG companies. When they decided to scale up their manufacturing operation sales team refused to generate enough orders. Such businesses traditionally depended on agents led sales team to generate orders while they concentrated on manufacturing & finance. Most companies are currently going through this transition of restructuring their sales teams from agent led model to captive & committed sales force. If your company also depends on agent led least control model then chances are that you may have to invest more time in training the sales-force to achieve targets & give a real fight to competition. But shifting from existing traditional sales teams to modern hyperactive sales teams needs careful planning. Agent based teams are hardest to control and scaling them up is extremely difficult.

Another company engaged in manufacturing of bath fitting had similar problems as half of their production was dependent on one agent only over whom they had no control. Such challenges are to me met with robust knowledge management systems. It is time to organize professional sales teams rather than depending upon self taught sales people.

There is an interesting case of one of my client in b2c space where the sales & marketing head refused to achieve the higher targets & kept pointing figures in the direction of poor product quality & commercial issues. It is common for sales team to blame everyone else for non achievement of higher targets except their own limitations. And generally no company would take head on with their stars on the sales team. The way out is periodic training in sales tactics & motivation of the team.

Several SMEs are in awe of the power & hold of their sales people on the market. The company is held hostage to the ways of the existing team that controls the top line. There is need to create & train the sales teams to face the challenges of the contemporary market scenario in India. SMEs need to audit their sales team periodically and organize them based on their objectives such as nature of the competition, product handled, type of market and demand structure in the market. The top management must keep two paces ahead of their sales force to get the desired results. Companies need to have a set calendar of training for sales team to achieve the stretch targets

May 4, 2012

Its time for Marketing


We assist our clients to grow fast by strategizing their marketing for
Optimal Returns on Marketing Investments

You would agree that in order to continue to thrive, companies must acquire, satisfy and retain customers. It’s the Marketing function that usually does that job for you. Does your marketing team have enough innovative ideas to beat the competition? Are you satisfied with the motivation level of your Sales team? Have you identified your star products needed to convey your branding to customers? Does your marketing communication reflect your vision clearly?

All excellent companies face such situations when they examine their portfolio & identify the stars. This involves review of your Marketing plan? Don’t you think it’s time to revisit the plan to infuse new life in your Marketing & Sales teams? We would be another support to you for communicating your thoughts to you sales & marketing team.  

A Strategic approach to marketing: A comprehensive marketing plan differentiates a great company from just good ones. Anahad MC helps you formulate a marketing strategy that reflects the needs, interests, habits, and behaviors of your customer through research.
Please be assured that while plan for long term objectives we never lose sight of short term targets. We would assist you on cutting the wasteful expenditure so that you won’t have to expand the marketing budgets. We would assist you on significantly improving the quality of marketing communications & boost up morale of the sales team.

AnahadMC assists its clients to have a strategic view of marketing to take on the competition. You would get better return on marketing investment. We specialize in measuring and improving marketing productivity and developing strategies for driving top-line growth through innovative marketing. We serve both B2B & B2C clients across several sectors.

Better Quality Marketing Communications: You must have noticed that some companies do not have a clear plan or strategy to achieve their marketing goals. Several companies follow a trial & error approach. Some try following the competition with the hope to survive & beat them at it someday? Others may invest in advertising such as yellow pages, print, radio, television & internet without setting clear objectives. Isn’t it? You would agree that without research, planning and analysis, the marketing efforts could lead to huge wastage of resources thereby hurting a healthy top line.

Sales Motivation Training: Sales is an exhaustive profession that depends upon psychological motivation of the each member on the team.  Sales teams have often been referred to as Sales Forces. This requires periodic timely interventions on sales tactics to enable them achieve targets.   Do you want your sales team to become a true force?

Differentiation thru Innovations: Innovation is the key to success. We would design marketing innovations as per your demand in any area of product, packaging, promotions, selling, new launches & branding to bolster your positioning & enhanced productivity. Innovations help in cutting lot of costs from the marketing budget.

Your marketing must always convey your message consistently to your customers. Our integrated marketing approach consists of understanding your & customer’s needs, developing a marketing strategy, building and implementing an integrated marketing plan, and tracking the results. Although the process appears to be simple, most companies have a hard time developing a marketing strategy that includes an interactive approach that actually ENGAGES the prospects & customers.

Please feel free to call us anytime as per your convenient timing. Thank you,

Gurinder S. Ahluwalia
P: 9417723313, 0172 4679791



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