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Is the distributor really a partner?

Is the distributor really a partner?

German sales stands out positively from the international environment. That says the human resources consultancy DDI. The consultants wanted to know from 2,700 buyers in six countries how they rate their sales contact. Around 78 percent of the German buyers they surveyed felt they were getting the support they needed from sales representatives.

“The majority of the 493 German buyers and employees with sales contacts surveyed see their counterpart as an equal business partner who not only has their own interests in mind, but also those of their customers,” report the HR experts. The German sales department does very well in an international comparison. Over 80 percent of German buyers considered their counterpart from sales to be a real business partner. The question “If you were employed in sales, would you be proud of it?” 40 percent of buyers answered “Yes”.

When it comes to the attributes that German buyers expect from their sales counterparts, qualified advice on all aspects of products and services ranks first (76 percent), followed by the desire for market knowledge (58 percent). According to the study, the study has shown that German sales largely meet these requirements, although there are also critical comments regarding expectations that have not been met. When asked about the assessment of the current sales process, many buyers wished that their personal needs should be better understood and taken into account.

“Sales in Germany has clearly improved in quality in recent years. Irrespective of this, companies should ensure that their sales department has answers to the constantly changing customer requirements. This is usually only possible if, when selecting your sales staff, you pay close attention to key skills and competencies such as “active listening”, “problem solving” and “relationship building” in addition to technical expertise,” advises Elmar Kronz, Managing Director of DDI Germany. The study report is available for free download.

The international human resources consultancy DDI is represented worldwide with 75 offices in 28 countries and employs more than 1000 people. Among the German customers are Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cognis, Degussa, Franklin Templeton, Metro Cash & Carry, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, Merck, Philips, SAP, Schott.