Market Coverage with a TwistBy Ron Slee
Article Date: 06-01-2008
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
Retain good customers and grow market share with a little help from your managers.
The market is under stress; the economy is troubled; the banking system is suffering from the "Bear Stearns and Northern Rock" syndrome; now is the perfect time to reinvigorate your market coverage. It is during times of trouble and difficulties that excellence is born. That means we have quite an opportunity.Our customers have always wondered about us in difficult times. Many of you have reduced the number of salesmen that you have had covering your customers during times like this in the past. It used to be a common thought that the product support salesmen were just involved in keeping up good relations; perhaps just a "delivery man" of parts; a gopher - and an expensive one at that.How wrong could we have been?The market coverage opportunities that are in front of every dealership are astounding. Once more the Product Support Opportunities handbook tells us the story. More customers are defecting now than they were five years ago. What could that be telling us?I want to start with a different slant this month. I want "management" to participate in our market coverage approach. I want each of the parts managers, service managers, and general managers to be assigned to cover 10 customers each. And who are the managers' customers? They are the largest of our parts and service accounts. These are the customers whom we want to retain. We want to broaden our penetration of their business. We want to become their primary supplier. Who better than the leaders in the parts and service groups for this task? So there is the start.If you have one parts manager and one service manager and one general parts and service manager then that is the top 30 customers that will be covered by management.The remaining customer coverage strategy remains the same. Do the market segmentation. Calculate the machine population, the parts relationship reflected in the parts purchases, the service relationship reflected by the service purchases, payment patterns, term of the relationship, etc. From this we can determine the number of parts and service salesmen who are required. Cover all of the fleet and large machine ownership, which is more than 13 machines, all of the A and B purchase relationships, which is the top 25 percent of each of the parts and service sales and determine the number of customers involved. Divide this number by 150 and that is the number of salesmen that you need to have in the field.
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