Category Archives: Insights & whitepapers


Unser CPM-Automotive Experte Heiko Rogge über Herausforderungen in der Vertriebsstruktur des Independent Aftermarkets und welche Chancen sich für Teilehersteller hieraus ergeben.
 


 
Der deutsche Independent Aftermarket unterliegt einer klaren Vertriebsstruktur. Auf dem Vertriebsweg der Kfz-Ersatz- und Verschleißteile, von der produzierenden Industrie bis in die verbauende Kfz-Werkstatt, sind unterschiedliche Vertriebsstufen und -kanäle zwischengeschaltet.
 
Über Handels- und Einkaufskooperationen (CARAT, TEMOT, GroupAuto) sowie Distributionskanäle (≈ 30/700Outlets; WM-TROST, Stahlgruber, Matthies), über den klassischen Fachgroßhandel bis hin zu mittleren und kleineren Jobbern oder auch zunehmend über den Online-Teilehandel, gelangen die Produkte in die ca. 34.000 Werkstätten. Diese Werkstätten wiederum gliedern sich in freie, meist Inhaber geführte Kfz-Werkstätten (≈ 20.000), systemgebundene Werkstätten (≈ 12.000; z.B. 1A-Auto Service, Bosch Car Service usw.), Autoglas-Outlets (≈ 1.420; Carglass, Scheiben-Doktor) und Smart-Repair (≈ 440; Clever Repair) sowie Reifenhändler mit Service-Werkstatt (≈ 4.400; Premio, Euromaster), Fachmarkt- und Fachhandelssysteme (≈ 700; A.T.U.) , Lack- & Karosseriebetriebe/Ketten (≈ 3.400 5-Star, Identica). Hinzu kommen Online-Shops und -Plattformen wie kfzteile24.de, tyre24 und ebayMotors. Nicht betrachtet wurde hier die OES-Schiene der Automobilhersteller.

 

Wie eingangs erläutert, existiert in Deutschland eine flächendeckende Versorgung des Kfz-Teilebedarfs durch verschiedenste Handels- und Outlet-Modelle. Dabei werden die Werkstätten im Durchschnitt drei- bis viermal pro Tag seitens der Handelsbetriebe mit Teilen beliefert. In Ballungsgebieten teilweise mit deutlich höherer Frequenz. Der Branchenumsatz aus Arbeitsleistung- und Teileverkauf summiert sich auf über 30 Mrd. Euro pro Jahr.

 

Oftmals finden originäre Vertriebs- und Informationstätigkeiten lediglich auf der Handelsebene statt. Nur wenige Aftermarket-Teilehersteller leisten sich einen direkten Werkstatt-Außendienst. Trainingsaktivitäten für die freien Werkstätten werden auf Handelsebene organisiert und durch die jeweiligen Teilehersteller realisiert. Ein direkter Zugriff durch die produzierende Industrie auf die Werkstattbasis ist, von wenigen Ausnahmen abgesehen, nicht vorhanden. Obgleich die direkte Informationsverteilung in die Kfz-Werkstatt eine der wichtigsten Einflussfaktoren für den künftigen Erfolg der Teile-Hersteller sein wird. Bereits eingesetzte Informations- und Trainings-Plattformen im Internet können diese Aufgabe nur sporadisch erfüllen, denn auch dieser Weg ist erklärungs- und informationsbedürftig und trifft derzeit noch nicht die methodischen Anforderungen der selbstständigen Werkstatt-Eigentümer.

 

Eine Veränderung der Kfz-Teile-Vertriebsstruktur ist, obgleich bereits öffentlich geäußert, wenn überhaupt ein Zukunftsthema in weiter Ferne. Da das Kerngeschäft des Handels im gewinnbringenden Vertrieb der Kfz-Teile bei kleinstmöglicher Produktverweildauer im eigenen Lager liegt, besteht hier ein Interessenkonflikt bezüglich der wichtigen Aufklärungs- und Informationsarbeit in den Werkstätten. Seitens der freien Werkstätten wird genau diese detaillierte Informationsversorgung nicht nur gewünscht, sondern gefordert. Dies untermauerte eindrucksvoll das Statement von Frank Achenbach, Inhaber einer freien Werkstatt in Bochum, als er vor dem ‚Who is Who‘ des internationalen IAM forderte: „Dem eigentlichen Kfz-Ersatz- und Verschleißteil muss noch etwas anderes folgen. Wir brauchen wieder mehr Informationen!“ Während unserer intensiven Arbeit an der Werkstattbasis, begegneten uns derartig gelagerte Forderungen mehrheitlich.

 

Unserer Meinung nach ist die direkte und weitsichtige Marktbetreuung durch effiziente Face-to-Face Kontakte zu freien Werkstätten ein Schlüssel, um dem anstehenden Strukturwandel im IAM nicht nur zu begegnen, sondern sogar aktiv für sich nutzen zu können. Jedoch sehen wir dabei den „First-Move-Advantage“ als entscheidenden Faktor zur Steigerung des eigenen Marktanteils.

 

Die CPM Germany Bad Homburg bietet Ihnen zu diesem Thema spannende Ansatz- und Lösungsmöglichkeiten. Gerne stehe ich Ihnen für ein Gespräch über dieses entscheidende Zukunftsthema zur Verfügung. Ein Anruf genügt: +49 6172 805 377

The Key to Delivering a Successful Regional Sales Activity    

 

Delivering Success Across the Region

Our latest CPM Expert Speak comes from Martin Ryan; Chief Development Officer at CPM Group of Companies Asia Pacific.  Martin has worked for CPM for eighteen years and has over twenty five years industry experience. He has overseen numerous regional projects, experienced great success, but also some crushing disappointments.

 

Here’s his candid overview of how to deliver regional success based on personal hard lessons learned.

 

Delivering Regional Success  

Winning regional business across a diverse geography is a special thrill. Within the space of a few hundred miles, languages, cultural norms, and currency can morph into something wholly different. Navigating across regions is always tricky and although better communication tools may have made distance seem smaller, the secret of successful regional sales activity lies in how we combine the efficiency of modern technology with other more human tools.

 

The Starting Line

Start by defining your team’s purpose. When CPM Singapore embarked on a regional project with a leading tech client we spent time completing a detailed analysis of their particular vision of success. What were the common threads applicable to all countries? What were the precise elements of measurement?

 

If possible, look for insight to those who are already delivering. A major factor in CPM Singapore winning a regional project with another tech giant was the time invested in understanding how the established Australian team delivered their strong track record of success. They were hugely generous in sharing their knowledge and we made substantial effort to join the dots so we could apply their established procedures across the region. This knowledge also gave us deep insight into the client’s culture and their expectations of an outsourced field sales agency. I believe this was a significant differentiator between CPM and our competitors, and a critical part of our successful bid.

 

You Need a Detailed Contract

Once the team’s purpose is clearly defined, time must be taken to draw up a robust contract.  Of course, it’s always hoped that everyone will play fair, but when crossing country boundaries it is crucial to state any legal liabilities, payment terms, and other obligations. Painstakingly outlining these clauses is something I learned the hard way. Relationships built on trust are important, but when other departments and countries get involved you need an unambiguous written agreement that balances transparency with what you may normally be take on trust.

 

You also need a clear process to manage billing and currency fluctuations. Having this in place in advance makes billing seamless and revenue easier to forecast. Outlining obligations when the contract ends is also important as different employment laws exist in different countries and you don’t want to be exposed to large redundancy payments.

 

This is also the time to set some ground rules for communication and response times, and all KPIs should be stated. Clearly outlining these before the activity starts will set realistic expectations and avoid mission creep.

 

Build Credibility by Building Key Relationships

 

A regional team must ooze credibility and to do this they must be capable. Some of the leadership attributes required include a good dose of self- confidence, the ability to think clearly and make decisions, being self- driven when remote, endowed with brilliant communication skills, technically astute, and not scared to present both to groups and in front of the camera. An underrated skill is the ability to communicate over the telephone, both one to one and in a conference call.

 

To make regional activity fly you also have to be a relationship ninja.

 

Start by knowing the client’s country by country structure. How does it differ? Who are the key people and what do they do? Have a clear understanding of which relationships to concentrate on and then put the time in to make them work.

 

Part of this includes an attitude of transparency and openness which can go beyond your working life. Trust people and give them access to your calendar, include details like holidays and children’s events at school. We live in a time when the boundaries between work and life are blurred and a regional role means you will be working outside of your own time zone’s conventional working day. This is the new norm so embrace it and make it part of your life. Inject a genuine and vigorous enthusiasm.

 

Once you have established this human connection and built key relationships at a local level you will know who to contact in each market, you will build respect, save time and avoid potential misdirection.

 

Make Your Field or Contact Centre Team the Most Important Aspect of the Activity

 

Your most important customers are the team delivering results. They’re the ones generating sales and smashing targets. They’re also spread over a large geography and making them feel part of a unified, emotionally connected team is a critical priority. Involve them, talk to them face to face whenever possible and painstakingly understand their needs and frustrations. Take the time to really listen and make sure you paraphrase what they are saying to prove you have heard them.

 

Creative Solutions

A regional sales project requires a global vision to set the strategy, but management of it needs to be carried out regionally utilising a deep insight into local processes. It takes dogged determination and patience to unravel and understand each step of the data collection process and collation of reporting. Acquiring this knowledge ensures a strong foundation, and facilitates informed decision making. Applying this rigor along with an understanding of where existing CPM solutions can fill gaps means you can make informed and creative decisions on what to adopt, or if it almost works, what to adapt, and only as a last resort do you revert to reinvention.

 

Grow Your Capabilities and be Innovative

Regional sales activity is not rigid; it is an iterative process that requires a solution that’s nimble and responsive. Knowing how to leverage existing solutions and apply the best of what is available locally is a fine balance, as giving teams too much freedom can compromise results. You need to know what’s non-negotiable and apply a rigorous application of continuous improvement. When you spend time understanding how people work you will know when it’s time to use the carrot, and when use of the stick is more appropriate.

 

Summary

To summarise, here’s what I’ve learned about running a successful regional sales activity. Start by really knowing your purpose, both regionally and in each country. Once you have clearly defined your objectives, assemble the reporting structure around them. Adopt processes that work elsewhere in your business, adapt them to give local relevance, and only reinvent as a last resort.  Make sure you have a detailed contract and include clauses that define liabilities.

 

Build key relationships. Success stems from open human trust. When possible be available across the region’s working day but also let people know when you are not available. Embed yourself into your client’s organisation and become indispensable without being arrogant.

 

Build credible and capable teams, culturally adaptable and results focused.  Understand and connect with your sales team. Make sure they feel you are involving them and understand their needs and frustrations.  Grow your capabilities. Solutions are iterative and constantly evolving. Be energetic and responsive and don’t become complacent.

 

Finally

Branching out from the local to the regional can be bewildering and at times maddeningly frustrating, but it can also be richly rewarding and joyous, transforming your understanding of both yourself and the hyper connected global world we inhabit. Fully embracing a deep knowledge of your client and becoming a trusted indispensable regional partner is one of the best things in our business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact us to find out more 

 

 

Aus über 10.000 Werkstattbesuchen in den letzten drei Jahren haben wir zahlreiche Anregungen und Wünsche freier Kfz-Werkstätten in der Beziehung zur herstellenden Industrie sammeln dürfen.

 

Hierzu starten wir eine begleitende Videoserie. Heute das erste Video: “Heiko Rogge stellt sich vor!”

 

Seit über 25 Jahren dreht sich sein berufliches Leben um das Thema Automobil…..

 

 

Seit Mai 2015 ist er bei CPM tätig und startete als Projektleiter für unsere Federal Mogul Außendienstmannschaft. Heute verantwortet er als Vertriebsleiter Automotive die Kundenakquise und -betreuung in dieser Branche.

 

„Als Herausforderungen des IAM und freien Kfz-Werkstätten, sehe ich die aktive Kundengewinnung und -bindung auf beiden Seiten, das Erlangen detaillierter Marktinformationen sowie die zunehmende Digitalisierung der Werkstattprozesse.“

 

Im nächsten Video sprechen wir über die Struktur im deutschen Aftermarket.

 

STAY TUNED!

Welcome to our latest edition of Expert Speak, ”How about we tell you how much we can accelerate your sales?” which comes from Véronique Motte, President CPM Group of Companies in France

 

How about we tell you how much we can accelerate your sales?

 

sales demonstrations

A few weeks ago, our teams organised a conference during the 2018 edition of the MPV trade show which took place in Paris. The title of this conference was “The 4 drivers which really influence sales demos performance”. CPM France teamed up with L’Oréal France to present real-life feedback from this innovative approach.

 

True fact: sales demonstrations are a sell-out driver for brands

Deployed on a large scale over 40 years ago, at the same time as mass-market retailing, demonstration days are one of the most popular marketing drivers for brands and also one of the most outsourced. Interestingly, according to a study done by EY in France, it is also one of the most preserved media spends:

 

  1. Because it is easier to cut incrementally into a demonstration days budget
  2. Brands want and need to stay connected to the field and their shoppers.

For a long time in France, sales demonstrations were a sell-in incentive. Nowadays, being a media in its own right, it is therefore central to the concerns of marketing and sales departments.

 

Measuring sales demonstrations performance: an innovation on the market

Using sales data provided by L’Oréal and a mathematical equation defined by CPM France’s Business Intelligence team, we were able to build a robust statistical model based on linear regression. That’s how the ROI-focused approach for L’Oréal Consumer Products Division came into life.

 

We found out that in order to achieve a specific ROI, four drivers that can influence performance must be taken into account: the product display, the store environment, the promotion and the ambassadors themselves. This proved that when all the right drivers are aligned, the sales demonstrations performance can be accelerated by over 300%.

 

Reaching new heights…

I cannot express how proud I am of the teams at CPM who have made this possible. We are reaching a brand new level: we were famous for the quality of the field work execution we provided, which has never and will never be easy, but the right people with the right tools help… we are now able to measure for our clients the performance of the activities they outsource with us.

 

In other words: at CPM, we make demonstration days work. Oh, and by the way we also measure the performance of our other solutions too…

 

Véronique Motte

President CPM Group of Companies in France

 

Contact us to find out more 

sales demonstrations

 

Leadership #IWD2018 by Lorraine Butler

 

International Women’s Day creates time in our busy lives, for awareness and reflection on women’s efforts and achievements. It reminds us to stop and reflect on the progress women have made, our contribution and our successes.  In turn, it reminds us to continue our future strides to create future success both individually and collectively.

 

Personally, I have very seldom been comprised in my career because of my gender. That is not to say that I have not seen others (of both genders) who have been less fortunate.  I have always taken the approach of the ‘best person for a role’. However as I have matured through business and life, I see that personal circumstances have to be considered  and accommodated in order to help the best person be the best they can be. My management team live by this philosophy and I ask that we seek out leaders in all layers of our business who will embrace this philosophy. This philosophy doesn’t happen by accident, it takes time to nurture, develop and appreciate.

 

The principles of leadership can be taught yes, but it takes a person with leadership inherent in their personality and DNA to truly and naturally lead and embrace leadership principles. I believe leadership can be improved upon and learned over time, even for those who don’t have a natural leadership tendencies. But in order to become an effective leader, one has to truly want to lead, for the right reasons and needs to believe in the cause – only then will you win trust of your people, which is an absolute requirement of effective leadership. And of course you have good and bad leadership; The concept of Shadow Of the Leader is something I have always embraced – being mindful of the shadow that your leaderships casts, considering others are likely to follow in the same steps.

 

People skills are critical to any leadership role in our organisation. Our greatest asset is our people and leaders at all levels need to continuously inspire and motivate our employees. Good empathy and intuition are important skills – and knowing when to dial up or down each.  In order to lead teams, you have to build a good team around you, realising that often others on your team are better at certain things than you yourself are. A good leader will show the potential to embrace diversity within a team and take ownership of developing their people – where people grow, business grows.

 

My advice to women today at all stages of their careers  –  Anything is possible ! Whatever you want to achieve, it is achievable, but you are responsible for your own journey and destination. Surround yourself with good people. People you instinctively trust and can learn from. Regardless of whether you realise it or not – every day you are being interviewed! Do what is expected of you in your current role with excellence, but adopt practices and behaviours of the role you want next! Work to identify and secure a mentor who you respect and will learn from – but ensure to take heed of their advice –they haven’t achieved the success they have without learning a thing or two along the way – so listen, observe and action on their guidance, it will speed up your journey to success

 

Welcome to our first edition of Expert Speak for 2018, ‘Storytelling’ which comes from Mike Hughes, Chief Executive Officer, CPM International Group.

 

STORYTELLING

Last year we lost a client – something I am not used to, something I take personally and something that bothers me. Since then I have spent time reflecting on what went wrong and how we need to be better next time.

 

Part of this process led  me to reflect on the current trend for ‘storytelling’. Storytelling, we are told, is the best way to create chemistry with people, to get you more airtime with customers, colleagues and leaders; apparently, that’s because a great anecdote hooks people, takes them on an emotional journey and conveys a memorable message……stories that resonate with people inspire them to take action.

 

I completely buy all this and successful pitch meetings need to do all of those things but I think there is one word that is missing which is particularly important in challenging economic times…and that word is ‘true’….because  stories need to be true stories backed by evidence, fact and testimonials. Donald Trump has introduced the world to fake news and the blurring of fact and fiction and in a world where performance pressure has never been greater, where the sales director’s door revolves ever faster and where experience is at a premium, it is easy to believe the hubris of a new supplier pitch.

 

Ideas are easy but execution is difficult and the stakes are high when execution falls below the required standard. I hear increasing numbers of stories where clients are on the receiving end of over promising and under delivering suppliers, for example, thinking they are getting a state of the art reporting system from day one only to find it doesn’t work or where they are told they should not worry because their sales team will transfer to the new supplier only to find out that they have lost 50% within the early months because promises are not matched by delivery. This matters because poor performance stains the image of our industry as well the individual company delivering it and the short term pressures our clients are under means they can’t afford to lose a single sale.

 

Clients need partners who are going to do what they say they will and this year if you ask CPM to pitch for your work, you can rest assured our stories will be true stories.

 

Contact us to find out more 

Veronique Motte, CPM France CEO discusses Sales Outsourcing in our latest CPM Expert Speak. The obvious choice for some but less well-known to others, sales outsourcing lets brands be more agile and keep ahead of the pack.

To adapt to situations, seasonality and new trends…
The modern consumer is multichannel. Their new needs and new ways of consuming are prompting brands to adapt, revise or even recast their marketing and sales strategies. This is having an impact on the efforts required of their salespeople in the distribution networks. Or rather it should. When a manufacturer’s sales force is given the task of concentrating on the French hypermarket network, it remains focused on the relationships it has built and maintained with each store. These sales representatives, who drive for miles along the roads of France for early morning appointments with department managers, do not have the “bandwidth” to absorb what we in our lingo call a new sales front. So, for a manufacturer who fully intends for its strategy to include the new network that is so popular with consumers, the convenience stores – Carrefour City, Franprix, G20, Intermarché Express, etc. – there is an alternative: the outsourced sales force.
In France, the new “convenience” sector accounts for over 8,500 outlets and 30% of growth in consumer products in 2015, according to Nielsen. In recent years, consumers have been using them with increasing frequency and in response, retailers have increased the number of outlets and thus the number of possible points of contact with these consumers.
In 2014, when French manufacturers were asked about the new challenges facing their sales force in 2016, they cited the improvement in coverage of the new distribution territories – corner shops, drive-thru, etc. When they were asked if they were using or planning to use outsourced sales forces, 55% of them answered “yes!”(PBMO study). The figures published by our French professional association, SORAP, also speak volumes. The outsourced sales force market grew by 9% between 2014 and 2015. Outsourced merchandising grew by 18.5%. This growth phenomenon is expected to continue.
Manufacturers measure the value that outsourced sales or merchandising forces sales teams can create as backup to their employees, by targeting stores that are not visited by them, such as neighbourhood or village mini-marts, but also beachside supermarkets and mountain grocery stores on a more seasonal basis. The importance of the phenomenon transcends our borders, with the same trends being observed in the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. Outsourcing one’s sales force, or its merchandising or activation – the three main business lines of sales and field marketing agencies – is nothing new. What is new is the discovery of the many opportunities that this offers to brands in the current consumption environment, which many might describe as “complex” or even “confusing”.

… and to try new things, innovate and stay competitive
In order to benefit from a qualified sales team whose activities adapt to the year’s various high points, the brands are ready to team up with partners specialising in sales and field marketing campaigns, and try out new and original, even radical, commercial solutions. Like the outsourced shared sales force: shared between two manufacturers, these sales representatives can better and more efficiently cover a sales front in a more economical manner for each of them. In this case, the external service provider makes the relationship between the two companies much easier: part arbitrator, part advisor, it acts as a genuine facilitator while the brands retain complete freedom in defining their strategies.
Because in 2016, the sharing trend is bigger than ever! This is plain to see in the consumer services sector. On the B to B side of things, start-ups are increasingly taking it on board, with fab labs and co-working spaces. Sharing is thus becoming a true entrepreneurial philosophy that major manufacturers are embracing on their own scale with growing enthusiasm.
Other innovative mechanisms, such as e-merchandising (optimising product visibility on e-commerce or drive-thru sites) or crowdsourcing (data collection micro-tasks assigned to paid private individuals) also complement more traditional sales strategies.
For in addition to our local trends, players from further afield – Amazon, Alibaba, Costco, etc. – these names that are used to proclaim that competition is healthy, are transforming the distribution landscape. The status quo is definitely not an option.

For further information on this topic, please Contact Us today.

Sales of beauty products are booming in Asia, and it’s now one of the most important global regions for growth and development. Competition for lucrative sales is fierce, and CPM’s mystery shopping experience has proved invaluable to leading beauty company Coty, providing vital market intelligence by increasing Coty’s understanding of customers’ buying behaviour.

Hong Kong (HK) was the first Asian market Coty wanted CPM to focus on as it occupies a critical location as the gateway to the lucrative Chinese market. The CPM team began their mystery shopping programme using criteria which was based on the accepted standard of excellence in beauty customer service. It is focused on a European style service flow involving conversation, developing a relationship with the client and tailoring the service to their needs. The HK market however did not always conform to this accepted practise, shoppers fell into two distinct customer types, the HK local and the Chinese customer. Chinese customers did not want to spend time at the counter, they favoured “get in, get out” fast interaction. Yet they were the bigger spenders, bulk buying for family and friends who valued the prestige of buying exclusive goods in HK.

This presented the CPM team with an interesting problem as initially they were assessing the service of the staff through the accepted international guidelines which has a definite Western lens and does not take into consideration the habits of the Chinese customer. The rise in income of the Chinese middle class and subsequence increase in their international travel has necessitated an adaptation of the mystery shopping measurement criteria. The CPM exercise led to a better understanding of the shopping experience and needs of these customers. CPM and Coty realised that they needed to understand more about what Chinese customers wanted from their time in the retail store.

The learnings from HK became even more valuable when the mystery shopping project was rolled out from HK to Malaysia. A mixed mystery shopping team made up of Malay, Western and Chinese women was recruited to ensure there was a spread of profiles that were truly reflective of Coty’s customers. This local knowledge was applied to several customer service touch points including the Malay wedding gifting custom “hantaran.” The team noted whether the sales assistant offered specific extras for these customers such as special gift wrapping.

 

The CPM mystery shopping team have skilfully adapted global standards, keeping what is applicable to all markets and modifying where necessary to suit the local market. This is especially important in Asian markets like HK and Malaysia where there is strong customer segmentation. Sharing such useful intelligence gives clients the cutting edge necessary to keep ahead of the competition and has helped Asia to become the biggest contributor to Gucci Beauty sales globally.

 

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Our sense of smell is intimately linked to our emotions, the mere hint of a long forgotten scent can evoke a powerful memory. CPM’s Regional Training Managers educate Beauty Advisors (BAs) in stores across Asia to tap into this emotion and maximise sales of Coty’s impressive stable of iconic perfumes.  Their innovative approach has proved to be hugely effective.

So what are their methods? It starts with immersive coaching, both in the classroom and on the shop floor. Like all of us a perfume has a history, personality and family. The CPM team tutor the BAs so they gain a thorough understanding of these principles. The next step is to develop a feeling and connection to the fragrance which can be translated into language. A good example is the limited edition Marc Jacobs, 2017 Daisy KISS collection, which is inspired by the vibrant and electric emotion of a kiss in the spring season. Translating this essence so customers can picture and feel the emotion takes knowledge and confidence. The BAs trained by the CPM team acquire this skill and are able to actively engage with customers using powerful keywords and images to impart the vision. A BA’s confidence improves immeasurably when she sees an active engagement translating into actual sales.

The CPM team also understand how cross cultural differences can influence perfume sales. An interesting example is the Chinese market. Traditionally perfume is not important in Chinese culture but the millennial generation are actively changing this. They love designer brands and are highly aspirational. The CPM team train the BAs to position Coty’s Gucci perfume as an affordable gateway to acquiring the glamour, attitude and personality of the brand. Sales have subsequently increased across the Chinese and Hong Kong market, with Hong Kong having the strongest global sales of the Gucci brand.

Perfume is a sophisticated and complex category. Using CPM’s highly skilled, regional training team to teach in-store BAs to make sense of it and actively engage with customer’s emotions to impart the magic of scent is a crucial step in the sales process.

TRENDS:
Consumer electronics continues to decline, despite rising consumer confidence
After the fall of the euro in 2015, many retailers increased unit prices to compensate to maintain their profits. This affected consumers’ interest in consumer electronics. In 2016 this changed, as overall disposable incomes grew and the euro revaluated, leading to higher purchasing power, and in turn consumer confidence also increased, due to the more positive outlook for the economy and the increased willingness to buy. Nonetheless, this factor was not sufficient to provide a boost to volume sales of consumer electronics.

Emerging Asian brands are becoming more competitive against the bigger players

Large manufacturers continued to dominate consumer electronics in 2016. These manufacturers generally benefit from strong brand recognition amongst the consumer base, many years of experience and well-established distribution networks. They are well-positioned to maintain their lead through regular new product launches and extensions of existing product lines. However, a number of smaller manufacturers gained volume share during 2016, and significant growth was registered by emerging companies such as Lenovo, which saw a strong increase in its share within laptops in 2016.

Internet retailing is seeing significant growth

Internet retailing is registering growth in all consumer electronics categories in the Netherlands, although in some categories more than others. Nonetheless, the majority of volume sales still come from electronics and appliance specialist retailers. High-ticket items such as televisions are more often purchased via this channel. This is due to the continued need for specialist advice and the need for confidence in purchasing the right product, as higher expenditure is involved. Meanwhile, smaller and lower-priced consumer electronics are increasingly purchased over the internet.

 

CPM STRATEGY:
After the economic recession the number of specialized consumer electronics retailers decreased significantly. The remaining physical store chains (especially Media Markt and BCC) are still strong in market share but have to work very cost efficient to remain competitive against the online players (Bol.com, Coolblue). This results in younger, unexperienced store staff. The main brands have to “rent” their SIS locations in the stores and are expected to provide the stores with their own brand promotors.
Besides this, consumers are very well informed nowadays before they visit the stores and in order to prevent them from “showrooming” in the physical store and then buying online we really have to provide them with a great sales experience with tailored information for the consumers’ needs.

CPM is a main player in the CE market and our competitive advantage is in the quality of the store staff that we provide for the main brands. We focus on learning & development of our staff which enables our people to have higher conversion rates than regular store staff and, more important, they are capable of selling the high-end products of our clients’ line-up instead of the basic and mid-range products (that actually sell themselves due to price). This “premium ratio” is always a KPI in our contracts and offers better margins for our clients and the stores.
Our promotors are also coached and trained to make sure that the store staff of the retailers they visit become “brand ambassadors” of our client. We see an increase in sales on non-promotor days versus peer stores that don’t have our promotors.
Next to the best in class training programs that we provide our staff, we also are aware of the fact that the main brands in this sector are very data driven. They have their own sell out data, account manager store reports and we add promotor data. Most clients lose “grip” on their field execution because all this data comes in different reports, files etc. We have developed a tool that brings all field data together and provides tailored management dashboards, in which ROI, KPI status, NPS etc. is provided. It also provides an e-learning environment so that client, agency and promotor pool all access the same environment and all data is centralized (with different levels of access of course).
The combination of the best sales people and the best tools have helped us to maintain a top position in the very competitive Dutch field marketing environment.
We believe that physical stores will remain important in CE sales. We must challenge ourselves to keep investing in keeping and training the best people, innovate continuously in tools that give insight in our ROI, improve our people and connect with all available data. Besides that, we are looking for ways to connect with internet retailing as well (e-merchandising, home installations, etc). The world is changing fast so we have to keep up the pace!

 

Jaap Zeeuwen
Business Unit Director CE
CPM NL
Zaap Leeuwen



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