12th Starnberg Management-Days on tour in Leipzig
Revolution in sales
That was something new. The 12th Starnberg Management-Days went to the Porsche event center at the race track in Leipzig. Three reasons for this were decisive: Some change is good, Leipzig is after to Munich and Berlin the city with the greatest future prospects in Germany and sales people usually love race cars ...
Sales was at the center of the 12th Starnberg Management-Days. The B2C-sales is in the midst of a revolution. B2B-sales stands before such upheaval. The revolution begins. And it is important to utilize the new opportunities of digitization in two ways: Introduce digital distribution channels and enrich traditional multichannel distribution digitally.
Werner Seidenschwarz, managing director of the organizer, Seidenschwarz & Comp. GmbH, recalled to a full house in Leipzig at the beginning of the event, "that a bad business model is not automatically becoming a good one through digitization". He described the threats to the traditional German manufacturers of capital goods as well as the weaknesses of the digital players. But what applies to both: "In many branches, distribution channels will soon become more important than the product." In order to draw competitive advantages for companies, Seidenschwarz & Comp. started the Leading Sales-Circle together with leading German companies such as Würth, Pirelli, Siemens, Trumpf and others to accompany businesses on this path.
Gregorio Borgo, Italian top manager and the No. 2 at Pirelli in Milan, described how Pirelli developed in recent years. Together with the Leading Sales Advisory Board member Andreas Penkert, the Director of Sales and Marketing, he described the digital multi-channel sales and the future product CyberTire. "In Germany we have gained market share in a declining market. With our new Chinese owners we open potential for additional new high-volume markets." Gregorio Borgo had the sympathy of the plenary on his side when he announced, that he "preferred to come to the Starnberg Management-Days" instead of participating the in parallel running presentation of the famous Pirelli calendar.
Thereafter, the currently most successful electric car providers TESLA was in the foreground, a company that also writes history for energy storage solutions for buildings and reusable space rockets. Georg Bauer, the European CFO of the company, was an inspiring speaker for the cause. Radical in the product and radical in the distribution, TESLA sets exclusively on the TESLA own direct sales channel, supplemented by a simple, transparent price strategy without deductions and a publically not so well known fast expansion of charging stations.
Equally impressive was the less well-known British example of RS Components, the pioneer in digital B2B sales. Phil Dock, Global Head of Products and Logistics, described a highly successful B2B electrical wholesaler that generates 60% of its turnover digitally: "Everything you see in the B2C market today, you will soon encounter in B2B." In Japan the company is selling 80% online, which is in Germany today almost unimaginable. For the audience, this contribution was exceptional eye-opening because Phil Dock explained eye tracking, warehouse management and the vision "multichannel sales with digital inside" in a very tangible style. A look into the near future - and a confirmation of the concept of Seidenschwarz & Comp..
The view of large corporations was outlined by Uwe Häberer, also a founding member of the Leading Sales Circle, for the division Digital Factory of Siemens. As operational sales responsible in charge of one of the key sales regions of Siemens, which now converts the in his previous position as Head of Business Development a the € 36 billion -Industry sector developed concept of a customer platform into reality, he described this implementation with particular clarity. "How to take care of 1.44 million customer visits to the web site each month?" And: "50% of our customers would order today directly via an application online, if it would be possible" "In 50% of online customer inquiries the revenue goes to the supplier who responds first. "
Jörg Fitzek, India head of R. Stahl AG, a top provider for explosion-proof systems and solutions, finally showed the participants how to successfully sell capital goods in the still too little known Indian market. With his forecast that India is slowly but surely embarking on a sustainable growth path, he smoothed out the one or the other China-Russia-Brazil-worry line that, plagued the participants.
Entertaining as usual was the evening round. Robert Schäfer, the successful manager of Dynamo Dresden, described the multifaceted development of the city from the perspective of a third division club, which developed itself to reach an average of 30,000 spectators per home game. But in addition to his success story, he also talked about the dark side of the "digital medal" and how to deal with, for example, personal threats on the internet.
Jonathan Peaurt, the global head of sales of abovementioned R. Stahl AG told many stories, on how to behave as a Swabian sales director in Swabia. As royalist Englishmen he worked out the differences between Americans and Englishmen ("two countries divided by one language"), managed a successful deep explanation regarding a possible Brexit whith a later resumption of Scotland in the EU and, of course, had a lot of anecdotes about his new home Swabia. What would Europe be without Britain?