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Working remotely with sales

Three colleagues within sales in Animal Health & Nutrition share their motivation and experiences for working with sales – and which challenges Covid-19 has presented. Pawel Kedzia is Senior Business Manager of Probiotics and works out of Poland, Christophe Bostvironnois, based in France, is Senior Global Product Manager for Poultry, while Steve Lerner is Head of Marketing and Product Management in North America. Learn about their work with sales, and how they manage during these special times.

Pawel Kedzia
Pawel Kedzia is Senior Business Manager of Probiotics and works out of Poland
Christophe Bostvironnois
Christophe Bostvironnois is Senior Global Product Manager for Poultry in France
Steve Lerner
Steve Lerner is Head of Marketing and Product Management in North America

The Chr. Hansen Sales Excellence model

Chr. Hansen sales professionals provide customers with high-quality, sustainable, value-adding products that help improve the health and lives of people, animals and plants. It is a cause that triggers high ambitions and customer centricity, to be able to provide the very best solutions.

To that effect, the sales organization works from a globally implemented Sales Excellence model that focuses on developing and implementing best practices across all business areas. The model includes dedicated trainings, tools, services and processes all sales people can use.

“One of the major strengths of Chr. Hansen is our in-depth understanding of our customers and their markets,” Steve quotes from the Sales Excellence guide; “this coupled with our investments in innovation, manufacturing capacity and key support personnel enables us to be better than our competitors at bringing science-based, research-proven solutions to our customers,” he states.

According to Christophe, what differentiates the Sales Excellence model is its integration into our business model and the global implementation of the systematic approach: “The power of Sales Excellence is super well exploited – way better than I’ve experienced previously. The pragmatism, simplicity and consistency make it possible for everyone around the world to speak the same language, which is very impressive.”

 

High ambitions and customer centricity

“It is highly satisfying to close sales that will result in implementation of solutions that improve the health of animals. All while delivering great business results. It is an amazing feeling, and one that I gladly repeat again and again. I will even say that the purpose of delivering sustainable solutions to meet the needs of farmers, vets and feed millers, was and is my biggest inspiration working in sales and in this sector,” Pawel notes.

Christophe continues: “Without customers who value our products, services and people, there is no reason to operate. We are perceived as a technological leader by the poultry industry, which is both a reward of years of experience, but also a challenge. Every day we strive to become even more customer centric, bring innovation faster to our customers, and raise the bar in our microbial solutions and technology to stay ahead of the competition.”



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Working with sales during a pandemic

As Covid-19 has forced us to avoid in-person interactions, so have the sales people been forced to stay connected with customers virtually. While some might have thought this to be an obstacle resulting in decreased value to customers, this has not at all been the case. Quite on the contrary, according to Christophe:

“Dedicated websites have made it possible to work virtually with sales teams and business partners, creating a sensation of being in the same room. We also developed a virtual visit of our laboratory. The feedback shows success way beyond our expectations,” he affirms, noting that the only downside has been not to visit customers on their turf, as this is normally part of their close collaboration.

Steve highlights how the presence of this ‘common external enemy’ has fostered camaraderie among those forced to work virtually rather than in-person, and that our customers are more receptive to the idea of scheduling virtual meetings and appreciate the ease with which these meetings can take place.

 

Supporting and engaged leaders

Good leaders, who provide the necessary support to their employees play a crucial role in managing changes like these and not least the well-being of the salesforce – either in the office or when working remotely.

“For team leaders it is always important to stay connected, keeping a healthy level of engagement and empowering each of team members. This is well in place in the Animal Health & Nutrition sales team that I work in, and the Covid-19 situation has shown even more how much we can rely on our leaders,” says Pawel.

Steve agrees that connectivity is crucial and highlights his manager: “He always responds in a timely manner to my e-mailed queries, and during meetings, there is always time to address the impacts of Covid-19. He is eager to assist me in any way possible, which I find to be especially reassuring in these times.”

All three are looking forward to once again visit customers, but until then, they have found a good way to manage sales, keep customer focus and deliver great solutions and results. 

 

 

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