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Sales Innovation

15/12/2010 (dd/mm/yyyy) | Barcelona

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Sales Innovation


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How can a company boost profits by developing and diversifying sales channels? Enrique Alvarez Ruano, Visiting Lecturer of the ESADE Department of Marketing Management, based his talk around this question at the latest Refresher Programme session.

In front of a full house, Alvarez divided the talk into three parts, based around the strategies some companies use to bring innovation to sales channels.

First of all, the speaker tackled the question of how to add or change current platforms for other more effective ones by using social networks and new business models. He gave the example of Shopkick, which besides pinpointing exactly where the client is located and offering them discounts, enters personal details into a database so that the user can accumulate points when shopping or entering the registered stores. 

Alvarez then referred to the British supermarket chain Tesco, which has drawn on its positive image amongst its client base and the current discredit of banks to launch Tesco Bank. "In this case, the social part of social network needs stressing", he pointed out. To close the first part of his talk, he highlighted that these strategies "are double-edged swords". On the plus side, they can secure many brand-loyal customers and capture new ones. On the other hand, the cost entailed is high.

Next, Alvarez discussed the case of retailers who prefer the traditional channel (bricks and mortar) rather than reinventing themselves and being more innovative. The "secret" Nike showroom, with exclusive offers for VIP customers, and P&G, which offers free products for ten days, are two opposing examples of how to emphasise different needs (Nike pays particular attention to major clients and P&G to gaining new clients). Where retailers need distributors, the latest strategy according to Alvarez is to identify key clients and offer them specific services.

For the third part of his talk, Enrique Alvarez showed how end-client value can be created. "Most companies are mirroring the example of asos.com, the online store which has opened direct points of sale so that the customer, after ordering the product on the Internet, can physically collect it and then browse other goods", he explained.

Drawing to a close, Enrique Alvarez recommended the audience to perform a "detailed analysis" of supply, demand and objectives in order to determine the end strategy.


Enrique Alvarez, academic visitor of the Department of Marketing Management at ESADE, leads this new Refresher Programme session. 

What can a boat on the Amazon, a laundromat, a luxury piano, a bag of cement and a touchscreen tell us about sales innovation? At this session, we will offer various examples of international sector-leading companies and start-ups which are innovating and diversifying their sales channels. These cases will be analysed using a simple framework to help us reflect on how we can apply these innovations in our companies.



Enrique Alvarez

Graduate in Economics (UB) and MBA (IESE). Álvarez boasts extensive experience as a freelance consultant and executive within multinationals from various sectors in Europe and Latin America, with specific experience in the management of sales networks (go-to-market strategy, management of sales teams and indirect distributors, commercial effectiveness, etc.) and relationship marketing (CRM, client value management, segmentation, client loyalty).

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