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Driving growth – even in industries under market pressure

Years of declining sales can indicate that products and markets have already passed the peak of their life cycle. Especially companies that have been very successful in the past often find it difficult to face the facts and take targeted countermeasures. If this is exacerbated by high price pressure, declining sales volumes and falling prices can result in an ‘explosive mixture’ for the company.

Achieving acceptance for the existing situation

Although change is necessary, both management and the company’s employees want to retain the familiar, entrenched processes. Or they don’t know how to initiate the process of change? Often the situation is also glossed over internally, “this slump is only short-lived…”, “caused by current circumstances…”, because no one wants to admit that things are much worse than they appear. Only once it is accepted that the situation is critical can the team take action.

Overcoming the fear of change

As interim managers, change is our bread and butter. However, it is important to achieve it together as a team. We challenge and encourage your team by integrating all the stakeholders in the change process.

How do we approach the situation?

We listen, form teams and start implementing changes right away!

Phase 1 – Facts and figures for a current state analysis

  • A brief and practice-oriented analysis: It’s important to determine the current state in order to identify and leverage strengths and consciously eliminate weaknesses. A transparent quantitative basis is the necessary requirement for this.
  • Which markets are you active in? Which markets generate turnover for you? Which customers generate profit? And which ones generate losses? And let’s not forget your competitors. Details and KPIs bring objectivity to ‘felt’ truths.

Phase 2 - Clear definition of your company’s target customers

  • It’s important to define the target customer group. This allows you to better understand the requirements of your customers and to target your offer precisely. This determination should be based in practical experience from day-to-day operations rather than being a purely theoretical exercise. Employees with close customer contact and the customers themselves are your best sources of information here.

Phase 3 - Change sales teams and sales processes from ‘passive’ sales to ‘active’ sales

  • Structured acquisition: How do you attract new customers? This should not be done accidentally or even passively. We support the active acquisition of customers. From the first contact to the visit, the creation of an offer with a corresponding price policy and the targeted follow-up to increase the success rate in the future. Of course we actively train your employees to achieve a targeted increase in new customers.
  • Phase 4 - Staying on the ball and systematically retaining existing and new customers

    • Customer retention through active support: How well do you know your existing customers? Are you in personal contact with them? Do you have one contact person or several? We work with you to implement this process to better meet the needs of your customers, reduce order losses and generate additional sales opportunities.

    Phase 5 - Introduce a price management process

    Admittedly, at first the important topic of price management is unlikely to be met with great enthusiasm in your sales department. But a systematic and regular audit of your pricing is very important in order to survive in declining industries under price pressure. This also includes involving the sales department and preparing them for negotiations with appropriate techniques and arguments.

    Phase 6 - Targeted adaptation of new product innovations to customer needs

    • Product innovations don’t always have to cost a lot of time and money. Often it is precisely the small adjustments that help satisfy customer needs even better and thus give a company a decisive advantage over the competition, even in declining markets. How to start and permanently implement such an innovation process can be part of our assignment.

    An active sales force and customer-focused processes can achieve sales success even in declining markets!

    Version: 05/03/2020


    If you are interested in more information about this topic.

    Our attention is completely with our customers, so we are looking forward to a first contact by e-mail.

    Our attention is completely with our customers, so we are looking forward to a first contact by e-mail.

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    Thomas Pluch is a member of:
    2020 Pluch Interim Management for SMEs | medium-sized companies | family business
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