To build a solid SFE concept, it is important to make sure all the elements achieve a harmony between your goals, strategy, and execution plan.
Think of it like erecting a building, where all the different parts must work together to support the overall structure. Each pillar is a key SFE principle holding the building together, contributing to its stability.
Pillar 1: Sales strategy
This step results in finding the answers to strategic questions such as “Which route should we take to sell the product & why?” In other words, are we launching a new product to a virgin segment, replacing existing competitors, combining our product with those of our competitors, or penetrating new segments of an already mature market? This will later influence our decisions regarding the tactical SFE toolkit.
Pillar 2: Customer Segmentation
Customer segmentation means grouping those customers (from the entire customer database) who, based upon the product’s F&B profile, could benefit from the Product and would thus be more receptive to a unified (and thus effective) tactical approach.
Pillar 3: The Sales Campaign
The Sales Campaign is your actual tactical tool, a cornerstone of which is the Sales Call: a script for each detailing visit.
Pillar 4: Customer Profiling
Customer Profiling represents a systematic collection and verification of the key customer information required for effective (a) segmenting, (b) targeting and finally (c) contacting.
Pillar 5: Customer Targeting
Customer Targeting is the process of “sorting” previously segmented customers according to their “value” from the viewpoint of our business objectives.
Pillar 6: Visiting Frequency
Visiting Frequency answers the question, “What is the optimum frequency (i.e. not more or less than is required for achieving the required impact/effect) of visiting top-target customers in this specific segment for this specific product”?
Pillar 7: Product Promotion Portfolio
Product Promotion Portfolio means establishing a group of products to be promoted to specific customers during a single visit, and their order of promotion.
Pillar 8: Team Structuring & Sizing
Team structuring & sizing focuses mainly the optimization of the Sales Force team size based on (a) the total contact potential of the team and (b) the total visiting requirements of the Customer Target Group.
Pillar 9: Key Performance Indicators
Because KPIs represent the official metrics of (career) success they have a natural power to control the employees’ behavior. Wrong KPIs can thus have a detrimental impact upon our effectiveness. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to think twice before we select (and implement) particular KPIs regardless of whether they belong to the group of activity, result, costs or relational KPIs.
Pillar 10: Incentive & Motivation Schemes
Discussing Bonus Systems allows us to address the relative strengths & weaknesses of individual motivation schemes and their application in different situations.