Proctor & Gamble: Selling Through Customer Business Development Questions for Discussion:
1.Which of the sales force structures discussed in the text best describes P&G’s CBD structure?
In the 80’s, manufacturers began to spend money to better understand consumers, and P&G more than anyone. However, they never really asked, if these needs were the same in retailers. It was the period when P&G decided, to change the sales department into a more strategic department named Customer Business Development. The objective was to indicate that they wanted to work more strategically with retailers than before. If they wanted to make the difference on the point-of-purchase, instead of trying to sell the maximum, they had to work differently with retailers. They wanted to show that Procter wasn’t only the shampoo seller, but could be also be a partner which can help them to optimize sales. They relied on Trade Marketing theories that were popular in the 90’s. Trade Marketing was defined as “a methodical procedure carried out jointly by suppliers and retailers, whose objective is to better serve customers" needs and expectations, increase profitability and competitive position, while taking into account each other’s constraints and specificity” (Crossman,2013). Therefore, P&G’s sales force can be described as a partner from the retailer’s point of view, because of the shared benefits generated by this collaboration: “Consumers are on the top and marketers and retailers work together to create the optimal shopper experience and the elusive win-win-win” (Mortimer, 2014). On one hand, CBD is a customer orientated structure because P&G thinks that the better you serve your customer (retailer), the better you will grow your business. It is therefore necessary to understand each retailer’s specifications, and work in collaboration with them to implement a coherent offer on the point of purchase. The objective is to increase the frequentation and the basket size which completely satisfy the retailer. As Procter became a real partner, its products are better referenced on the point of sale, and they will benefits from the retailer’s growth; which means more orders. On the other hand, CBD is a shopper oriented structure which totally differs from the consumer marketing. The store has become “the moment of truth”, a place where manufacturers have to make a lot of efforts to win this short instant, when consumer decides to choose a brand over another. Surveys have shown that the majority of choices are made in front of the shelf. "According to a Deloitte study (2007), 70% of all decisions are made on the shop floor, and Nielsen states that 68% of shoppers are brand switchers (2006). Therefore, by capitalizing on insights into consumer shopping habits and behaviour, P&G better understand shopper’s needs as well as consumers(Brown, 2004). In this way, Procter’s products have more chances than any other competitor to get into shopper’s basket, and they can also provide mass of information to retailers in order to improve the shopping experience. 2. From the perspective of team selling, discuss the positive as well as some of the negative aspects to the customer business development sales organization. CBD structure is like a company inside the firm. The CBD is dedicated to one or few customers in order to serve them better and faster. In this team you find many company’s departments (marketing, sales, finance, supply-chain…) and there are obviously P&G’s product specialists. Positive aspects:
Different functions work together. As a result, employees have a broader vision of the company. So, they are more efficient to recognize the multiple and vast needs of the customers and to convince them.
One CBD team = one customer. So, the service is personalized which allows P&G to answer customer’s needs better than anybody else.
P&G sales force is differently welcomed than the competitors, because they bring a value added factor to...
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