However, there was a silent battle between what we ordered and what we received. Among other failures, the arrival time of the dishes was excessive, we had to request a drink more than three times because it seemed that we had never requested it, the dessert arrived differently from what we saw on the menu and the 2×1 promotion on drinks that was offered to us at the beginning, did not apply just for the cocktail that we chose on that occasion without being warned.
When paying the bill, the visibly embarrassed waiter asked me the classic question “do you want to add service?” And it was with mixed feelings that the reflection that gave rise to this column came: could the seller have done more to improve our experience or is he just another victim of the system that does not focus on the customer?
I then tell him about the multiple occasions in which the process established by companies or brands simply complicate the work of the seller and of course, with examples that occur in the agricultural sector.
LOGISTICS AND DELIVERY DATES: One of the bloodiest commercial “wars” are those that occur when the arrival of a product breaks the promise that the seller established with his client.
It is essential that the routes and their monitoring be duly communicated to the commercial representative so that he can share reliable information with those who trusted him, however, this should not happen until a delay has occurred, but rather proactive. We cannot ignore that on some occasions it is the members of the sales team themselves who come to overpromise what is logistically impossible.
PROMOTIONS: In an effort to create competitive advantages and share benefits with customers, we seek to launch a discount plan for volume and purchases in consecutive years; If the acquisition of products was made without interruption, they agreed to better conditions than a first-time buyer. When adding two other factors to the proposal, such as the method of payment (credit and cash) and the term (whether it was at planting or at harvest), the plan was frankly impossible to explain.
After the first round of presenting these benefits, the sales force provided consistent feedback that complexity clouded the benefit, which is why we simplified the program, trained salespeople, and improved the structure in subsequent years. .
THE PRODUCTS: In the agricultural sector, inputs such as agrochemicals or seeds, purchase contracts for the product resulting from the harvest, risk management tools, and even machinery or irrigation systems, have been previously tested to generate the best possible experience for customers. However, there is a fundamental issue: training.
Few are the factors that the seller is able to control regarding the performance of the products once applied or used by the farmers, but it is basic to understand that the sales force is the face of the organization in front of the clients, reason For this reason, doing pilot implementations, for example, is a way of preparing them to carry out efficient post-sale management.
THE PRICE: The sticking point by definition is definitely the price and it is the most dangerous empathy link that can be generated with customers. It is essential to provide value reasons that support the determination of a price or its rise, especially in an industry so sensitive to this factor.
The areas related to pricing, but mainly Marketing, must focus time on sharing arguments full of clarity and transparency of the reasons that support the price levels that sometimes generate friction with customers. Without the right arguments or in the absence of potential objections, we will make the already challenging job of salespeople very difficult.
Finally, let’s remember that there is an ever-lively debate about the role that the sales force should play in the design of commercial proposals, which I will talk about in a future installment.
We cannot avoid the enormous responsibility that vendors play in the market and as part of this idea, it is essential to understand that all areas of the organization are responsible for the experience that our brand or company can deliver. A good recommendation is to generate a area tour in order to sensitize the sales force in the work of support areas and vice versa. In addition to instructive, it can even be funny.
Get involved instead of blaming them. Support them instead of exposing them. Train them instead of forcing them to improvise.
Comment on this column in any of My social networks and tell me how easy or complicated they make life for sales in your organization.