Meridian has written a selection
of white papers on various sales related issues. To download copies
of the white papers detailed below please complete the form at
the bottom of this page.
|SSO Key Account development programme
Major accounts are critical to survival, yet the path
to winning major account business can be long and challenging.
There are many barriers to overcome and there may be
uncertainties on how to advance. Increasingly, organisations
are struggling with how to make sustainable high margins
even on mature commodity products and services, whilst
controlling the costs of sales by condensing the selling
cycle. The key to progress is to work within long-term,
continuing relationships, not from bid to bid and to
focus on making your customers more competitive by selling
improved customer profits rather than products or services.
The emphasis should not be on gaining advantage over
your own competitors.
|Sales Force Attrition
Many companies are at
present experiencing uncomfortable levels of attrition
within the Salesforce environment.
The issue of attrition
is a complex one as the causes and effects are often unclear
and the inter-relationships too subtle to understand without
considerable focus and investment of time.
Very few companies have
been able to free up the time that would be required to
fully understand attrition rates, usually due to more
pressing short-term business goals.
The summary below is a provocation paper, based on Meridian’s
recent work with a broad range of industry clients that
highlights how a company could really understand the subtleties
of Salesforce attrition and ensure this knowledge is used
to drive profitable sales.
The thinking outlined
can be used to understand not only the critically important
impacts on internal sales resources, where it is relatively
easier to analyse, but also the direct and telephone based
third party sales functions which many industries are
increasingly investing in.
|Resolving Trade Disputes
It is a truism that conflict is a way
of life in the grocery trade. However, on occasion managed
conflict seems to end, and relationship failure sets in.
On these occasions, both manufacturer and retailer need
to weigh the benefits of being apart – generally
small – with the costs of resolving the dispute.
At Meridian our insight into grocery and conflict can
add to the financial bottom line of retailers and manufacturers,
by providing fast actionable solutions which work for
both parties. Ultimately, the aim is not to rehash the
old discussions around negotiation, account skills and
category management – though these all have a role
to play later – but to rescue and resolve relationship
conflicts, ideally ahead of them reaching crisis.
| Organisation design - sales and
customer marketing structure
This paper looks at how consumer goods companies have
addressed the issue of finding the most effective Sales
& Marketing structure by benchmarking six leading
The broad conclusion is that companies need to find
a customer management structure that is most appropriate
for their business at that time. Not only have each
of the benchmarked companies arrived at a different
solution for customer management, but this solution
is seen as relevant only to current circumstances and
is expected to evolve on an ongoing basis to meet changing
The paper looks specifically at the way in which Customer
/ Trade Marketing is managed within the Sales &
Marketing structure and some common themes emerge. Firstly,
that Customer Marketing tends to report to Sales. Four
of the six companies benchmarked have trade / customer
marketing functions reporting into Sales (including
category management) only one company has a trade marketing
function within Marketing. Secondly, customer management
supports consumer focus. Even companies that see themselves
as brand- consumer-led recognise that excellent brand
execution is enhanced, not compromised, by organising
sales and customer marketing activities on the basis
of effective customer management.
In addition to the benchmarking findings the paper
also presents some guiding principles that are intended
to provide a framework for organisational design. For
example - keep it simple - for an organisation to work
effectively people have to understand not only the structure
but also all roles and accountabilities within it.
Three models for reorganisation are identified. Each
model is based on the benchmarked best practice and
the guiding principles.
|Maximising the Return on Customer
facing investments in a Consumer Goods Environment
Consumer Goods companies’ marketing
support programmes are normally split into two main areas
- communication targeted directly at the consumer usually
referred to as ATL (Above The Line) investments, and BTL
(Below The Line) investment which is channeled through
the retail customer. It is the latter which is relevant
to this paper.
There is growing evidence that trade
spending is on the increase, as retailers consolidate
& are able to demand greater support from suppliers
whilst at the same time consumer media spend continues
to fragment as options broaden.
For many companies this means that more
investment is now made in trade spending than in consumer
communication, making customer management an even more
With finite resources to allocate, it
is therefore essential that manufacturers have a clear
understanding of the return they achieve from their trade
investments, so that strategic choices can be made between
different channels, customers and forms of investment.
To download copies of any of
the white papers detailed above please complete the following