Mission & Vision

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Stormley Consulting, working with businesses to reach their visions, through inspiring and coaching sales teams to focus on their mission. 

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Add Value To Your Customers Business

 

 

A product is what is sold to our customers, adding value is what strengthens and differentiates the product offering from other suppliers. 

In many markets there are ‘Me Too’brands or services, therefore to be able to ensure continuity of supply and future growth, we must add value to add a Point of Difference.

Further to my article Engage Customers, Expose New Revenue, which explores the ease of use in retail and merchant’s websites, I decided to look at the relationship needed from a supplier’s point of view.

Add Value With A Point Of Difference

For a supplier securing business is a priority, but maintaining
and developing business is vital. To secure one contract or order is a short term high, yet securing continuous supply from the added value of your company, personal input and after sales services is imperative.

There are many ways to offer a point of difference, one of these is to initially attain feedback from your customers.

This is an area that was covered in my article Feedback Is A Gift To Be Used, which establishes where your current portfolio or service levels are perceived currently, could be improved and measure on how to achieve this.

In addition to the feedback suppliers must also recognise ways in which they can innovative solutions to their customers, supporting various touch points of the customers business, yet retaining the suppliers brand awareness throughout.

The Latest Technology

Offering intuitive technology solutions is at the forefront of most customers agenda, with increased consumer focus on ‘exploring’ a company’s products and services or brands through the websites they provide.

In reality the website of a business now has become the global front door and visual appearance to its customers.  

Therefore, what a customer views and interacts with on a company website must be both easily viewed, easy to find within its menu(s). The areas that suppliers can support this can be across a multitude of levels, such as:-

  1. Providing ‘Hi – Resolution’ images of their products
  2. Video ‘Rich Media’ to explain products features & benefits
  3. Video ‘Tutorials’ linked to installation or suggested use
  4. Product or service ‘Web Links’ direct from the customers site
  5. Links to ‘Branded Social Media Campaigns’ on the customers site
  6. Interactive ‘3D’ product guides, rotate & zoom
  7. Product Builders’ offering examples of colours and styles to be tested
  8. ‘Live Chat Links’ with manufacturers for consumer confidence
  9. ‘Brochure Download Links’ consumer registration generated
  10. Pre-made Brand Web Templates’for customers to choose and use
  11. ‘Mobile Page Support’ to ensure easily visible product views
  12. ‘Brand Social Media integrated Blog’ news, reviews and promotions
  13. ‘Customer IT Training forums’support web and social media
  14. ‘In-Store Interactive’ tablets or screens for the customer experience
  15. ‘Beacons’ NFC signals’ to drive consumer awareness in-store
  16.  ‘Integrated Supplier on-line Ordering’ for Direct or Site Delivery

There are many more innovative and supportive ideas that can be provided to the customer from the supplier and the above only represent a snapshot of current propositions that are available.

Unparalleled Service

To be able to differentiate your offer as a supplier, a minimum of 2 Alignments of service to be considered to support our customers in the current climate.

The TWO that I personally see as being important to the differentiation are:-

  1. Visual 

  2. Digital

Both are linked and must have a strong level of synergy.

Visual

This is the area that is seen across all touch points our customers business, its Company Website, Bricks & Mortar outlets and its social media and promotional platforms.

  • How does the customers business lookacross all touch points?
  • How do your products appear in all locations?
  • What is the knowledge and trainingacross the estate?
  • What or where are product gapsacross the estate?
  • What POS, Marketing or Product information is visible?
  • Which are the top performing and why?
  • Which are the lowest performing and why?
  • What are the stock levels & average stock turn?
  • What product competition is visible in-store
  • What local competition does the business have in the vicinity?
  • What support is visible from competitors suppliers?

Digital

This is a 365 days a year viewing gallery to the consumer.

First impressions count. If it is difficult to use from loading, then it will quickly be left by the consumer. The necessity for all digital information to be quick, succinct and visual, answering all questions is key to your customer retaining their interest and ultimately their purchases.

  • What does the company’s website looklike?
  • How easy to navigate is it?
  • What is the visibility of your brandand products?
  • Does the site work on Mobile, Tablet & PC the same?
  • Is the corporate footprint the samein-store as it is digitally?
  • What product information is available to view?
  • What download literature is available?
  • What electronic support or digital web chat is available?
  • Where do they appear in the local and global site search? (Google)
  • What video or interactive materialis available?
  • Clearly listed Promotions and offers?
  • What ‘Call to Actions’ are visible to drive store visits
  • What email or newsletter/product sign ups are available?

Available Activity

Whilst there are many other areas that can be looked into within the support a supplier can provide its customers, these I have mentioned are a starting point.

 

Takeaways from this article if you are wishing to differentiate your products and service from your competition, whilst adding value as a key supplier to your customers would be:-

  • Take time to understand your customers total company footprint
  • Look at their competition and matrix score alongside each other.

Visual, Physical, On-Line, Displays, Offers, Locations, Brands, Corporate ID, Image quality, Mobility of website, Ease of use. Delivery, Ordering, Downloads, Web chat.

Work on as many variables as you can to show the need for change and also to show how much value could be added by you to their business 

  • Discuss with them what you have available to offer and the benefits
  • Understand where they are and where they would like to be
  • Work with them to discuss the advantages of the support offered
  • Highlight case studies of other accounts you’ve added value to 
  • Present the ideas and solutions to represent your brand better for them
  • Consistently then work to maintain the added value and new initiatives

 

A good article related to suppliers being customer centric and well worth a read from Experian is Customers – the centre of your marketing, your brand and your business

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Other articles from Stormley Consulting

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Understanding the customers of today to generate the growth for tomorrow.

#engagement #communication

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Change,it happens. 

Change management we understand at Stormley Consulting.

Stormley will structure and guide through the stages that a team will experience, as a business requires them to go from good to great.

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#Change # Management #Leadership

Stopping the tell, starting the teach. 

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Stormley Consulting, working to maximise your teams development through end to end coaching.

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Strong foundations to build upon. 

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Active listening 

The information acquired by actively listening to customers and colleagues, drives the opportunity of developing ourselves and our business. 

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Dream Teams or a Team of Dreamers?

What is always interesting is that all teams are varied in skill set, every individual team member is exactly that, an individual.

This is seen through their personal style, knowledge along with their input and aptitude to drive creativity in a progressive business arena.

 

So back to my point in this post, do we want dream teams or a team of dreamers?

From personal experience you need to have a great mixture of both A1 Team members and A1 dreamers.

A dream team of trained and knowledgeable professionals that are all up to speed with its products, features and benefits and supported by great marketing and strong price structure cannot survive growth and longevity on just this alone.

Why not?

Well the reason being that you’ve the right people agreed and the right portfolio, but what you haven’t got is the key ingredient….creativity or better described as the dreamers.

It is in our dreams we conjure up all of what we need, would like and what we do not have. Here we can become creative beyond belief as to how jointly or individually we can achieve these far reaching goals.

That said, the strength and development of any team is not just in what it dreams, but how it listens and assesses the dreams from the team. Collectively strategies are agreed on which are long term, short term or immediate goals.

It also provides a foresight into dreamers creativity and vision as that may be vital to the direction the business needs to focus, without this vision and collective input key opportunities may well be missed by a non interactive team.

So I would encourage transparent open meetings offering an ear to all of the members of the team to voice what they feel is needed, where they believe we could grow, how they believe this is achieved and what support or requirements they need from peers or the business to realise these.

As the team manager you will need to become the ‘dream catcher’ and the processor of all information received. You are also the conduit that will provide the voice of direction and support in agreeing the strategy and process behind them.

It will have been a combined input and whichever strategy is put in place, to turn their dreams into reality, it will require the team fully on board.

It is paramount the team need to play their part in making them a reality.

The professional team that’s head down and focused on the day in hand will simply get short term gains.

The dreamers however are evolving teams that are a driving force for the future of the development in any business.

Creativity breeds creativity, so dream big and then don’t hold back on what you believe is possible.

As a John Lennon said “ Some people think I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one “

New channels, new products, new growth and increased market share come from collaborative workplaces with clear strategic plans in place backed by highly motivated dreamers.

If you have been in a team meeting and had a thought or an idea and not voiced it, then my only advice would be share it or demonstrate it by making it happen. It may not sound the greatest of dreams or idea to you, but to your team and managers it could be pure gold for the future growth & development.

In summary my takeaways from this post would be:-

  1. Know your products and company inside out
  2. Know your competition and market inside out, what you don’t know find
  3. Dream BIG creative ideas, remember and share
  4. Be vocal and visible in meetings and demonstrate your creative awareness
  5. Have clarity on the strategy of your team or business and back it 110% if you’ve signed up to it as part of the team

As a footnote…..Whilst dreaming big is important , just laying dormant and sleep on its own does not produce results other than recharge your battery and make us get up and go out to deliver against our dreams.

This is just a snapshot of areas that stormley consulting work with to develop your sales teams and business growth.

 

Contact us at http://www.stormleyconsulting.com

 

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