Paul Writer launches SAP Think Tank ,
Video interview series with Head of Sales highlighting best practices

Hemant Taware
Chief of Operations
Infiniti Retail Limited, Croma

On your organization’s approach from ‘selling to customers’ to ‘helping customers buy’…

Our tagline is Croma- We help you buy. When Croma started in 2006, the fundamental reason for it’s existence was to create a differentiation in the marketplace. The entire CDIT space (the consumer durables and IT retailing space) till that time was full of people who would sell products to customers without customers really wanting them sometimes so there was this whole stigma of walking into a retail store selling durables and buying something because the customer always felt I’ll end up buying something that I don’t need and technology as I said earlier is very complex and baffling. So if I tell a customer that you should buy a refrigerator because it has silver nanotechnology I think the customer doesn’t understand what it means. Does it need that feature to begin with. So I think one of the reasons why we came into existence and our format, our stores have done well over the years is because we fundamentally believe that we are here to help customers buy. So our entire approach when it comes to recruiting people, how we train them, the way we train them on an ongoing basis, the entire fabric of the organisation is weaving around helping customers buy. We have a constant challenge in our business – unfortunately, technology apart from being complex also changes quite rapidly and also leads to a huge amount of obsolescence in a category like this. More often we have started using the brands to help our people understand why customers need certain products and how can those products help them in their day-to-day life. So we have built this whole ecosystem around our sales process which fundamentally revolves around helping customers buy so thats a part of our ethos as an organisation. We have done a lot of things for example when you talk about constantly enabling people, our salesforce we have moved on from the conventional modes of training people to stuff like SMS-based training, stuff like LBTs, we have a fairly evolved LND solution which we have implemented. So i think technological interventions have also helped us keep our people far more aware of what is happening in the technological space, thats so relevant in our business. The other key lesson that we have learnt in the last few years is that simplification really is the ultimate form of sophistication, the simpler you keep for our people and our customers, the easier it is. Otherwise, getting features and specifications on the internet is very easy, you can log in to any of the OEM sites and you can get all of the information. But when you walk into a store like this, I think customers expect us to tell them how does a product really benefit them, how does it change their lives. So when a customer walks into our store they are in a heightened state of excitement and if our staff starts talking like the regular sales guys on the other shop floor it creates a huge amount of dissonance with our customers. So staying on with the excitement and making them come to a decision of what is the right product to buy is really the crux of the whole “we help you buy” proposition in our stores.

“On the internet is very easy, you can log in to any of the OEM sites and you can get all of the information. But when you walk into a store like this, I think customers expect us to tell them how does a product really benefit them, how does it change their lives.”

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