THE AGILE BUSINESS MODEL AND THE SUPPORT OF SALES OUTSOURCING
Pierpaolo Bertocco, Managing Director of CPM Italy
According to the English Oxford Dictionary, the definition of Agile is “able to think and understand quickly” or “relating to or denoting a method of project management, (…) that is characterized by the division of tasks into short phases of work and frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans.” Contrasted with waterfall (adjective)
Today the business community recognise the complexity needs different business models to be adopted for success in business.
Disruptive trends are difficult to predict, along with quickly evolving environments, new technologies and digitalisation are turning the heads of industries and agencies who frequently have to deal with the unknown.
Responding to this level of complexity with one to one relationships, or traditional waterfall processes might be improper at best, and may have a detrimental impact to the success of the project.
“Flexibility” and “agility” are the keywords, and collaboration is the way to make things happen.
How does this match with the outsourcing model?
Today the most common approach to outsourcing is the ‘waterfall’ approach: the client “through a project over the river” shares all their needs and expectations and the supplier will execute at best, giving feedback at defined moments often through traditional reporting. Which works, but the result is just a sum of energies.
Faced with a challenging target often equates to multiplying resources, but to have exponential results can only be achieved using an agile way of working. This relies on having a one team approach, blending both in-house and client teams collaborating side by side to achieve their goals working in a true partnership approach.
Some companies are born agile, others aspire to be, whilst others are forced to become agile. Most companies are able to face market challenges very quickly by innovating products, services and, last but not least, their operational models. In these companies most of their functions, including sales, are outsourced.
Outsourcing can have many meanings, but the real aim should be intended as ‘one is in the shoes of the other’. Sharing this perspective makes a huge difference in achieving optimum results creating a win win for both client and sales agency.
Since 2012, CPM have had up to 14 people working in the office of Cheil which is within the Samsung building to blend the culture and expertise of Cheil. Cheil is the internal communications agency which is owned by Samsung and has the field operation expertise of CPM.
Initally the relationship was based on a waterfall model, where Samsung would brief Cheil, then Cheil would instruct CPM and vice versa. However, due to the complexity and dynamics of the industry the waterfall model hindered performance. This way of working impacted our speed of response, it took too long to react, make informed decisions and execute, it was too difficult to change direction quickly when needed. By implementing an agile model we were able to work in a true partnership approach, all striving to achieve the same goals with fluidity, it changed the direction and performance and the had an almost immediate positive impact on the results. Working in collaboration empowered members of the team and had a positive impact on their morale. The agility model is at the heart of the project with our people.
“As Cheil we share the same values of Samsung. Speed and quality are key success factor as per the brands as per the agencies, not only on deployment but also on catching quickly new opportunities of innovative solutions to grow the business together – adapting to the current context. This is the DNA of true collaboration and it’s up to us to push on it. Working all together in the same space with our different skills allowed us to reach all these goals ” says Isabelle Di Raco, Retail Director of Cheil Italy primary counterpart of Samsung in the Field Force project since 2014.
Improved results were almost instant: improved speed of response, from 2 days to an average of 4 hours, communication improved eliminating any misunderstanding or ambiguity and the knowledge of CPM on the fundamentals of Samsung Operations and culture delivered results never achieved before.
The lesson we all learnt from this process is despite it being tiring, sometimes difficult and restless at the beginning, the agile approach and outsourcing model is worth the investment as it’s often the best solution to the looming complexity companies are facing today.Working in true partnership with an outsourced sales agency will empower both client and agency teams, it not only encourages collaboration but transparency and creative thinking to deliver the best solution to drive sales for our clients.
The merchandising department of CPM France received a Bronze Award for the 2019 edition of POPAI Awards Paris.
The project presented by CPM France and CEWE was selected by the jury in the « Commercial performance of a merchandising operation » category, part of « Merchandising Concept Roll-out ».
For the 2019 edition of POPAI Awards Paris, CPM chose to present a major merchandising operation for a new client, CEWE, who faced a notoriety issue in 2018. Following this merchandising concept roll-out made by CPM France, CEWE’s turnover has increased by 7%!
Two years ago, for the first edition of « Merchandising concept roll0out », CPM France has won the silver award for the Imagine programme at Bricomarché.
For more information on the services we provide and how we can help you sell more to your customers click here
Fiona Whelan, Managing Director of CPM’s International Contact Centre in Barcelona, is interviewed for a special feature on Business Excellence within the Contact Centre & CX Industry for leading Spanish newspaper, La Vanguardia.
Read the full interview excerpt in English below.
CPM Barcelona: Specialists in Exceptional Customer Experience (CX) & High Performance Sales
Since Fiona’s appointment as Managing Director in 2015, the company has gone from strength to strength.
During this time, CPM Barcelona has experienced 300% growth and secured multi-million Euro investment to fuel business expansion into an additional site; creating over 1000 new jobs for the region.
Here, Fiona talks about the critical importance of Customer Experience (CX) for businesses of the future and CPM’s continued success as it celebrates 15 years in Barcelona.
What is the main support brands need in order to remain close to their customers?
We are living in extraordinary times in terms of the pace and scale of technological and societal transformation.
This is driving real behavioural change in consumers; who paradoxically want increased efficiency and automation but conversely, more authentic engagement with brands than ever before!
This presents new challenges for businesses operating in an increasingly hyper-connected, transparent and ‘always-on’ Experience Economy.
As products become more replicable and indistinguishable; what matters most are the brand promises businesses make to their customers; and how the experiences customers receive when they engage with brands deliver against these promises.
It sounds simple but can be extremely challenging to achieve!
How does CPM provide this support to brands?
CPM’s raison d’être is to support our clients in delivering Exceptional Customer Experiences (CX).
We provide Technical Helpdesk, CX Support, Consumer Carelines, Customer Satisfaction and High Performance Sales programmes for premier global brands including Airbnb, Harley-Davidson and New Balance, to name a few.
Although we of course speak to customers over the phone; over 60% of our contact centre activities now take place via digital channels including chat-bots, social media, web-chat and ticketing; as well as a variety of messaging services such as WhatsApp and Messenger.
As a result of our investment in AI, data insights and predictive analytics; CPM are also able to harness leading edge technological innovations to automate simpler tasks; whilst simultaneously accessing a more digitally empowered, emotionally intelligent and highly skilled workforce for complex cases.
CPM employ over 2000 agents who engage with over 30,000 customers on a daily basis, spanning 65+ markets and 26 languages via our two contact centre hubs in Barcelona.
On an annualised basis, we deliver €100 Million in revenue for our clients and our CX Teams are achieving record breaking Net Promoter Scores (NPS) of 70 + (a key measure of Customer Loyalty!).
Do your clients belong to a specific sector?
Whilst CPM operates across a diverse range of sectors; in recent years, our success has been fueled by the exponential growth of clients operating within the High Tech, New Tech and Consumer Electronics space, where we have developed a real specialism and predict continued growth.
Looking ahead, what are CPM’s plans for the future?
CPM is committed to Barcelona and the continued growth of our contact centre operations in the city.
Adding to this; CPM have recently launched CPM Ignite, our Work from Home solution which enables clients and agents alike to avail of a boundaryless, virtual contact centre workforce operating across Spain and beyond.
We are also in talks to enhance our Northern European coverage; alongside established partnerships in the US and Asia.
CPM’s vision is to be the premier boutique provider of high skill, customer intimate contact centre solutions for clients across the globe; with Barcelona at its heart as our multi-lingual centre of excellence.
Please click here to view the original newspaper article in La Vanguardia.
Welcome to our latest edition of Expert Speak,” How does the access to data impact the Sales Force Teams ” which comes from Véronique Motte, President CPM Group of Companies in France.
How does the access to data impact the Sales Force Teams ?
A few weeks ago, CPM France organised a conference in Paris to explore the impact of accessing data on the sales force team’s performance. For the occasion, CPM France teamed up with its partner, Data Impact, a leading analytics and monitoring e-commerce company.
The purpose of the conference was not to put forward solutions, but to create thought provoking discussions and share opinions or beliefs with the thirty sales directors and e-commerce managers present.
The world of retail is changing, making the sales force teams role more complex
In France, consumers are visiting multiple stores for their groceries (7.8 versus 7.1 in 2010) and are increasingly becoming more specific and demanding when it comes to the source and the quality of products, but they still want a good price and a promotion. Faced with a decline in consumption, especially in hypermarkets, the retail industry is seeking to reinvent itself by digitalising stores and focusing more on small traders, new players and e-commerce. On the manufacturers side, sales forces are not immune to these upheavals. The professions are becoming more and more specialised while their attractiveness decreases.
Today, the use of data by the sales teams is not fully optimised
Following a trend to specialise professions in the past 10 years, today we are seeing a change to versatility for reasons of efficiency. The Area Manager is becoming a Store Key Account Manager with different tasks: numerical distribution, promotion, place, price, but also management of resources.
However, the job could be reinvented thanks to a better use of data. Salespeople could regain interest in their business through a cap on the data. It would facilitate certain tasks and reduce the time required to complete them. A better use of the data would reduce the preparation time, the store audit (automatic check availability, price records…), even transport, by removing unnecessary sales calls. Consequently: using data, the time of a visit could be optimised by about 10% to 30%.
How can data help in execution?
Today, visiting a store is still the main way of collecting data for the offline sales team. Tomorrow, the availability of data will optimise the sales team’s actions on three levels without having to make a second call:
CPM France are proud to announce that one of our clients has accepted to test this data approach on its sales force team. It will be a good start and a good reference on the use of optimising data. We will keep you informed of the progress…
President CPM Group of Companies in France
Did you know?……….
|RETURN ON EQUITY
On average companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 53%
|RETURN ON INVESTED CAPITAL
On average companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 66%
|RETURN ON SALES
On average companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 42%
|Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians||In the UK greater gender diversity on the senior-executive team corresponded to the highest performance uplift in our data set; for every 10% increase in gender diversity, EBIT rose by 3.5%|
Source: McKinsey, Catalyst
This years theme for International Women’s Day is #BalanceforBetter.
The aim is to build a gender-balanced world.
“Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage …Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.”
The gender ratio for the entire world population is 102 males to 100 females – a very gender balanced world I think!
It is also a fact that there is not a problem with female achievement and women now out-perform men in terms of educational attainment. In addition, as women we are also “leaning in” and asking for promotions and negotiating salaries at the same rates as men and, contrary to conventional wisdom, we are now staying in the workforce – again at the same rate as men.
Therefore, to my very logical brain, it would make reasonable sense that the business world would be made up of a balanced number of equally paid males and females at every level within organisations.
So why are there only 30 women in full time executive roles at FTSE 250 companies (down from 38 last year), which amounts to just 6.4% of the total? And why does the national Gender Pay Gap between males and females currently stand at 18.4%? (OfNS April 18).
I recognise that this is not an overnight fix and actually business and government are more committed than ever to balancing the gender equation.
Therefore, we need to push the agenda even harder and overall companies need to take more decisive action. We all need to start treating gender balance with as much importance as our other key business priorities like business growth and customer satisfaction.
This means holding our leaders and managers accountable for results, identifying and closing gender gaps for both new hires but also for all promotions across the business. This certainly does not mean introducing any form of quota system but by first and foremost, having a talent attraction strategy that actively encourages and attracts gender balanced candidates for all roles within your business. Your recruitment process should be merit based, free from unconscious bias and should create excitement, foster confidence and bring out the very best in each and every candidate.
It also means creating an all-inclusive culture, where everyone feels supported, encouraged and given the confidence to progress their careers and achieve beyond what they thought they were capable of – I know I did!
At CPM we are committed to championing a Gender balanced workplace and recognise and understand that inclusion and diversity leads to greater business success. In our UK business, I am very proud to have a gender split of 42% Male, 58% Female and our UK board is split 50% female and 50% male. This is particularly pleasing for a sales organisation where typically “Women in Sales” usually account for less than 30%.
Having a diverse workforce based on opportunity and meritocracy is something that is deeply important to me and to CPM. As someone who has progressed through the business, I am passionate about creating development opportunities for anyone who wants them, whilst at the same time providing support programmes that give everyone – especially women – the confidence to progress their careers if they choose.
We work closely with our female employees to encourage and support the challenges they face with balancing their career & families, and to also build the confidence they sometimes lack to progress their careers. Our flexible working practices, part time roles, mentoring, support and sponsorship programmes, have not only driven positive gender balance across all roles within our business, but have also brought tangible benefits to both our Female and Male colleagues.
Whilst I recognise that there is always work to do to continually improve our business performance, culture and the diversity of our team, I am hugely proud of our progress to date and the engagement, passion, hard work and commitment from the CPM team.
MD, CPM UK
This months Expert Speak comes from Karen Jackson, MD, CPM UK.
At CPM UK, we’re leading the way in sales analytics by combining cutting edge analytics software, machine learning, artificial intelligence and our team of amazing data scientists to deploy the power of predictive analytics through our PREDICT solution.
Even today’s fastest retail analytics teams are gathering data today, analysing it overnight, to drive actions and resource deployment the following day – and they call this dynamic.
We believe that however fast this is – your teams are still being forced to react to historical data… and if you are reacting, you’re missing valuable opportunities and not running a fully optimised team. To be truly optimised and drive the highest returns possible, you need to predict the future. Predictive analytics is nothing new, but with the data that’s now available and the technology that can support in analysing that data – we now have the perfect opportunity to use predictive analytics to drive optimal resource deployment for our clients.
Machine learning is a form of AI that enables our systems to learn from data rather than through explicit programming. However, machine learning is not a fully artificial intelligence-controlled process. Our human experts set the outcome required to solve a business problem and the machine then analyses all variables to create the best hypothesis (and algorithm), and as new data is added the system learns and increases accuracy.
For example, consider what drives sales in stores (outcome), machine learning will look at all variables including consumer density, stock availability and sales data to create a predicted algorithm. As more data is added over time the algorithm adapts and increases in accuracy.
Put simply Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ability of a machine to simulate human behaviour without
the need for human input. This differs from machine learning by not requiring a human to intervene once set up. The machine thinks like a human by setting the business problem, building the machine learning models and then rolling them out.
This means that AI becomes your ‘analyst’, learning from data and making recommendations that can help to improve activity to grow your sales
With our considerable investment in PREDICT we can now help brands, retailers and any business harness the vast amount of Big Data to hand to create true insight in the form of predictive analytics. If you imagine a world where you can accurately predict when and where your next biggest opportunity (or risk) is going to occur and then deploy the right resource, be it human, digital or phygital to optimise that opportunity, in the most efficient way, then you have imagined CPM’s new predictive analytics and liquid workforce solution. This ground-breaking solution will transform how businesses profitably sell, now and into the future.
Predict is now live and several of our customers are already benefiting from a considerable sales uplift through our integration of Predict with our field sales CRM and analytics solutions we that we have deployed for them today.
To read more about how predictive analytics can drive higher returns, click here
Creating Synergy to Achieve Sales Growth
This month’s Expert Speak comes from Pierpaolo Bertocco, MD, CPM Italy
The outsourcing of the sales force is more relevant than ever. This sales approach is gaining ground amongst both medium-sized local companies and multi-nationals because of the constant need for cost containment and the need to update their internal organisation with more flexible goals and better performing models in the medium term.
But the question “What can be done with an outsourced sales force?” is still key for each organisation which is facing this sales approach. CPM can offer a simple but strongly effective answer: “Exactly the same as you do with an in-house field force, but with a better control on goals, focus and ROI.” Essentially, outsourcing the sales force means we define, manage and monitor a direct relationship between costs and results. But if we want to go more in depth, the competitive advantage of the CPM sales outsourcing approach can be summarised in three key pillars. First, the greater focus on sales goals and results. Second, the possibility of creating a strategic mix of human resources engaged directly and those outsourced, thereby ensuring greater flexibility in the size of the sales force and consequently an optimised return on investment. And lastly, an unquestionable advantage in terms of costs and results, plus greater flexibility in the management of the budget.
In this article we would like to feature a sterling example of how a strategic sales plan based on the synergic co-work of field force and telesales resource can lead to a sustainable sales growth.
When DKV, the European provider of a wide range of services aimed to help transportation and fleet companies, felt the need to activate new customers and promote new services within small & medium businesses in the Italian market, they made contact with us here at CPM Italy.
After setting sales targets, we defined a dedicated field specialists team, focused on improving DKV Fuel Card sales through phone contacts and appointments with fleet managers. The results achieved in terms of sales growth and ROI convinced DKV of CPM’s outsourced field sales force solution. Thus, we were appointed for an even more challenging project which aimed to deliver a brand-new sales approach based on a synergic team working between a focused telesales team and a strongly skilled field sales force team.
The final outcome of the roles became the opposite: the telesales team supporting the field sales force team in closing the deal meanwhile autonomously appointing new clients, speeding up the process and doubling the new clients acquired.
The result? A huge increase of the number of clients and turnover – with over 35% success rate and 30%+ turnover year on year –, over 66 million euro of annual contracts in less than 5 years and a minimum small drop-out rate which confirm the quality of the clients acquired.
Marco Berardelli, Country General Manager, DKV EURO SERVICE Italia, talking about this encomp
assed sales service project stated: “Outsourcing a part of the sales force was a weighted and innovative decision. We have focused on the prospecting activity and we have achieved in a short time, after a first phase of learning of our Services by the new outsourcing sales agency, a considerable increase in contracts signed through a strong motivational drive, high productivity and flexibility of resources and a convinced result orientation. But that’s not all, what most surprised us was the highly professional and proactive attitude of our outsourced sales partner in proposing new innovative sales solutions and communication methods, in order to multiply, with success and in perfect synergy, our sales potential!”
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Detail, enabling brand manager to track product ratings online – It’s a popularity contest
Consumer rating is a crucial selling point for brand managers and retailers alike. Faced with two equal products, a consumer will likely go for the one with the best rating. At the highest rated store. So how does one achieve a 5-star consumer rating? And how can brand managers keep track of their products ratings? Our online merchandising tool Detail can help, and this article will tell you how.
Put your money where your stars are
Consumer ratings can be used to evaluate a specific product, a retailer or a customer service desk. For a brand manager this can give valuable insights in to how and where to put one’s effort and marketing budget. Say for example that the same product receives different ratings at different retailer websites. Why is that? Is the product marketed differently at the different websites? How does the retailer websites differ from each other? Is it a customer service issue? Detail helps brand managers and product owners to keep track of ratings over time, and at different retailers, in order to effectively boost a brand or product.
Benchmark against competitors
For brand managers and retailers alike, a rating-system is a great way to benchmark against other products and retailers. It gives an instant evaluation of how well you are performing in this very moment. Are the product specifications up to date? You can be sure you’ll find out if they are not. Is the website easy to navigate, can the consumers find the products they are looking for? Expect low consumer ratings if they can’t. Consumer rating is a tool for feedback and evaluation, make sure to use it. Don’t despair over a bad rating; make sure to learn from it in order to get better. Because that is the secret of reaching a 5-star rating – the ability to listen and respond.
How to reach 5-stars
The headline is misleading, there are no secret tricks to getting an instant 5-star rating. That is also why it is so valuable, consumers know that if a store or product has enough ratings, it will be somewhat accurate. But there are steps that you can take in order to increase your chances of hitting the review jackpot. As an online channel manager, you can make sure that your products are visible, searchable and properly listed – in that way making the consumer experience a pleasant one. In a physical store it’s easy to check that your products are correctly displayed, but online it has been harder. Until now, thanks to Detail Online. Detail helps to collect information to evaluate your online presence and product description pages, making it easier to identify improvements in the shopping experience (which leads to better consumer ratings).
An ongoing process
Like concluded above, the only way to become and stay a 5-star retailer is to listen to the consumers. To make continuous improvements and to be consistent in everything that you do. And to put emphasis on proper product display and a smooth shopping experience.
Make sure that your brand and product is visible, has a good share of shelf and is kept in stock. Focus on the details. And reach for the stars.
Good luck with your sales!
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L’interesse verso l’outsourcing delle vendite sta prendendo sempre più piede sul mercato italiano, sia tra le medie imprese locali sia tra le multinazionali con sede sul nostro territorio. Pierpaolo Bertocco, Managing Director di CPM Italy spiega come l’esternalizzazione della forza vendita permetta di definire, gestire e monitorare una relazione diretta tra costi e risultati. Un modello organizzativo che è stato adottato anche da Duracell Italy, come raccontato da Carmela Izzo, Direttore Vendite Italy & Greece di Duracell.