Is your Sales Strategy fit for the future?

You don’t need to be told that the FMCG industry is going through a period of seismic change. Shoppers are shopping for less, far more often; online sales are growing rapidly yet still at an early stage of development for food and drink; own label products are growing at the expense of brands; and Discounters of all shapes and sizes are having a profound impact on shopping habits and perceptions.

We are all facing into these dynamics every day, but the key questions you need to be able to answer are: where will our growth come from in the coming years; how will we develop our organisation and capabilities to ensure we capture the available growth in such a challenging market place. One thing is for certain: what has served us well in the past will almost certainly not serve us so well in the future.

At Sellex, we have recently found ourselves increasingly supporting our clients to formally review their sales strategy, so that they can proactively plan their business and organisation capability. We try to keep this simple, and support our clients through three key steps……

  1. Where-2-play: we deploy our market modelling tool, that is populated with a combination of Nielsen data, channel/ account growth forecast, and category growth forecasts, to develop a picture of the business 3/5/10 years out. This exercise in itself can be shocking, as the trends mentioned above assume major proportions over a longer time frame, and it brings into focus how much the shape of our clients’ businesses will change. For some clients, for example those that are choosing not to play in Discounters and/ or Private Label, the exercise clearly identifies what can be alarming levels of growth required in their chosen playing fields. Once the long-term growth dynamics are identified, we combine this with other key criteria to develop a segmentation of channels/ customers, each of which has a set of guiding principles.
  2. How-2-win: the next step is to work with clients to identify clear value drivers for each segment of customers, and typically each specific large customer. These drivers, once clearly articulated, become the strategic road map for shorter term, operational planning, both internal and collaboratively with key customers.
  3. Enablers: the final step in the process is to identify the critical enablers, and the long-term direction of each of these. Although they vary by client, typically we would look at customer relationships, organisation design, customer investment and team skills. For each of these, we help our clients (using a combination of our experience and expertise and their own views) develop clear direction as they apply to each customer segment or specific customer. Finally, we work to create a “strategy into reality” schedule that leaves the business absolutely clear who will do what, when to deliver the targeted change, and how the process will be governed.

We have had some big successes with this process. Examples include: helping a beverages business re-evaluate its decisions on Discounters and Private Label; facilitating a general food supplier to totally reorganise around formats; holding a multi-category manufacturer’s feet to the fire, to ruthlessly prioritise where it would focus its organisation and investment.

We would welcome the opportunity to talk you through our approach in more detail, and to explain how we implement this process quickly, and cost-effectively. Please contact us at and will arrange a time for a chat.

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