“Demand is key and SMEs must understand that now we have to go out and look for the customer

Companies must refocus their business model through market innovation and customer orientation in order to grow. This is the main conclusion reached yesterday by the different SMEs that met on the day “Strategies of commercial growth with results”, organized by the consulting group IFEDES.

In the event, which brought together managers and managers of more than 70 Valencian SMEs, an analysis of the new reality of the market was made. After that, the speakers concluded that the fall in demand forces companies to look for the customer and to give priority to approaching him. Likewise, this new reality requires SMEs to innovate not only in products but also in marketing channels, in geographic markets, in new segments and in the improvement of commercial resources.

In opinion of Tomás Guillén, the fall of the demand is key and the SMEs must understand that now it is necessary to leave to look for the client. “You have to guide organizations, as a whole, towards the market.” An aspect for which not all SMEs in our community are prepared. “The management usually has a short-term view that does not let you look further, the management structures are lacking in vision of where they have to evolve their business models with market trends and opportunities. Organizations must move in an approach that contemplates which company they want to have in 2014 and 2015, without that vision it is complicated to be competitive, “he said.

In this line, during the day two strategies of commercial growth and market innovation were addressed, such as internationalization and the improvement of the sales network.

Regarding the internationalization strategy, it was stressed that to operate, companies must meet four basic requirements: operational capacity to ensure the level of production, commercial capacity in the domestic market, financial capacity and management capacity. When selecting the ideal market it is vital to make a good preliminary analysis and obtain a reduced list of target countries. “It is necessary to concentrate resources, it is key to achieve greater effectiveness”, affirmed Andrés Fernández, expert consultant in internationalization of IFEDES. Likewise, he indicated that analyzing and knowing the distribution structure of the country to be exported is fundamental to organize well the commercial networks and ensure success in sales.

As an example of success, the process of internationalization of the Valencian company Micuna, sales leader at national and third level in Europe was exposed. Its manager, Javier García stressed that internationalization has become for them “a necessity” to complete the volume of sales and that the key has been “planning and getting to make a mark”. He also argued that being strong in the international market allows you to be strong in the national market. “If you have design and price to sell in Italy or Germany you also have it to sell in Spain,” he concluded.

Commercial efficiency and sales network optimization

The second commercial growth strategy addressed in the day of commercial growth strategies was the optimization of the sales network. In this, the importance of planning, motivation and monitoring compliance with the objectives was stressed, an aspect that although it seems obvious in many SMEs is not realized. Likewise, the need to apply relational marketing actions was emphasized in order to keep customers loyal and work on the role of the vendor as a channel for effective communication of the benefits of the products. “We do not have to forget that they are a powerful means of direct communication with our customers and that their attitude and training are often the key to making a difference with the competition,” said Jesús Freire, consultant specialized in marketing and sales at IFEDES.

In this line, the manager of the Valencian company Espejos Sanchis, Benjamín Maceda, explained how with the improvement plan developed they had managed to align the sales network with the company’s objectives, which translated into “a significant improvement in the percentages and the actions for which we will continue to bet, “he said.

With this event, Grupo IFEDES has started its new cycle of growth strategies days aimed at executives of SMEs with the aim of helping them to refocus their business model to face the current situation.

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