Delving into the Dynamic World of Sales
- Sales outsourcing
- Brand Logistics
- Brand Activations
In the world of sales, success hinges on clear communication, smart planning, and continuous learning. Effective communication forges connections with customers, strategic planning positions us to lead in the market, and robust training and coaching empower sales teams to excel. These fundamentals pave the way for achieving greatness in sales. In this interview, Ronald, a field sales manager with 19 years of experience at Panama Group, offers a deep dive into these essential elements. He discusses the significance of training sales teams, crafting personalized strategies, and adapting to ever-changing market trends, drawing from his extensive career journey.
Interviewer: Hi Ronald, can you share a bit about your journey at Panama Group?
Ronald: Sure! I’ve been with Panama Group for 19 years. After my studies in marketing and commercial sciences, I started as a sales representative for various brands, including Schweppes, Manna Sauces, Pepsi, and Friesland Campina, mostly in Out of Home Channels. This experience led me to my current role as a field sales manager, where I handle diverse sales projects, manage teams, and oversee client communication and strategy.
Interviewer: What do you enjoy most about working at Panama Group?
Ronald: Panama’s dynamic nature and our collaboration with strong brands are thrilling. We don’t just execute projects; we collaborate closely with clients, strategize, and act as partners and consultants, ensuring impactful results.
“We aim to be more than service providers. Acting as close partners to our clients, we serve as trusted consultants throughout the sales process.”
Training and Coaching Sales Promoters
Interviewer: How do you train and manage your sales teams?
Ronald: Our sales team members often start as students, growing into brand ambassadors and eventually becoming experienced sales professionals. Training includes a theoretical framework, practical examples, and role-playing, tailored to each project’s specific needs. We focus on product knowledge, sales techniques, channel specifics, and competition dynamics, offering continuous coaching and field support.
Interviewer: What skills and competencies are crucial in your training?
Ronald: The right sales profile is key. We foster personal connections between our team, Panama, and clients. Product knowledge and market insight are crucial. Especially in the FMCG sector, being a brand advocate and understanding the product’s value at the point of sale is vital.
“We prioritize fostering personal connections between our sales team, Panama, and our clients. Having a sales profile with a personal link to the client adds significant value.”
Interviewer: What tools do you provide your sales teams?
Ronald: We equip them with company cars, tablet PCs, smartphones with CRM packages, and practical tools like customer databases, visibility materials, and logistical resources. This support ensures they’re well-prepared for success.
Interviewer: Can you share a successful coaching experience?
Ronald: Sure. We often deploy sales professionals in busy city centers for rapid impact. However, starting in less challenging areas, like city outskirts, helps them gain confidence. This strategic approach leads to more effective sales strategies.
Interviewer: What challenges have you faced in training and coaching?
Ronald: The main challenge is managing diverse team members effectively. Personalized coaching and building strong connections are essential. Creating a supportive environment helps unlock each team member’s potential.
Evaluating Sales Promoters
Interviewer: How do you assess your sales professionals?
Ronald: We use daily online reporting and field coaching for real-time feedback and adjustments. This hands-on approach helps us stay informed about market trends and ensures sustained success.
Interviewer: What do you do with underperforming sales promoters?
Ronald: We create evaluation reports highlighting strengths and areas for improvement, focusing on learning and development. If underperformance is detected, we analyze possible causes and work closely with our clients to make strategic adjustments.
“Leveraging data and experience, we propose strategic adaptations to optimize performance and drive success.”
Staying Ahead of Sales Trends
Interviewer: Are there evolving sales trends or skills clients are looking for?
Ronald: Trends mainly involve adapted product ranges focusing on sustainability, health, and reduced sugar. Our responsibility is to effectively convey these trends to customers, emphasizing their importance.
Interviewer: How do you keep up with industry trends?
Ronald: We collaborate with industry leaders and participate in fairs to stay updated. We use modern tools like tablets and WhatsApp groups for effective communication and coaching.
Interviewer: How do you encourage ongoing learning among your sales promoters?
Ronald: Alongside regular meetings and field coaching, we offer external training courses and organize team-building activities. This fosters a supportive environment and continuous learning.