Good communication skills are no longer enough

By: trademagazin Date: 2007. 11. 28. 08:00

The development seen in the field of technology has not been welcomed too enthusiastically by sales reps. Though registering orders has become simpler and faster, GPS and Internet based monitoring has also made sales reps more accountable. A conference on the future of the sales profession was held by Karrier és Stílus Tanácsadó Kft. in mid-October. In her opening presentation, Mrs. Csík Dr. Klára Kovács managing director of the organiser outlined the changes which had taken place in recent years. According to her, the trend will be to outsource the increasingly sophisticated tasks of sales reps in the future. Ákos Kozák, director of Gfk Market Research analysed macro economic data from the 2002-2008 period. Miklós Ostermayer, sales division director of HPS spoke about the advantages of outsourcing. Apart from financial savings, this allows FMCG companies to focus their resources on basic activities. Katalin Kontra, head of sales reps with Zwack talked about the changes brought about in the work of sales reps as a result of 80 per cent of their tasks being concentrated in larger than 400 square meter stores. László Pusztai, head of customer relations with Unilever outlined the administrative tasks handled by Unilever and the related qualitative indicators. In the CCR system, sales, customer relations and financial staff bear joint responsibility for serving customers and their performance is also assessed jointly. A discussion between Mrs. Csík Dr. Klára Kovács and László Benedek, sales director of Heineken revealed that working hours have become longer and sales skills are no longer sufficient in themselves, leadership qualities and the ability to sometimes say no to management are also need. Bernadett Strasser-Kátai, managing director of Mona Hungary spoke about the process of building the Joya brand, and how their marketing tools have been adopted by the mother company. In the final stage of the conference, we saw polite confrontation between representatives of manufacturers and retailers, with László Hovánszky (Metspa), Attila Pásztor (Provera) and Vilmos Havasi (Rossman) representing the retailers and Katalin Kontra, László Benedek and Bernadett Strasser-Kátai arguing on behalf of manufacturers. Both sides expect improvement in creativity and co-operation.