Before I discuss how COVID-19 has impacted Vectair from a sales perspective, I want to acknowledge our customers first & foremost. As Sales Director, I’m responsible for our EMEA & ROW commercial business & I’m delighted to have such devoted partners. It’s been a unique time for us in Europe and beyond. Our customers have supported us & we want to support them as much as we can.
That notion of supporting our partners allowed us, as a Board of Directors, to put the right plans in place. With lead times & stock levels changing constantly, we had to be pretty bold in our decision making. After all, a salesperson is only as good as the stock they have to sell, right?
We had a 3-step plan;
Allocate sales of stock accordingly – one single customer was not just allowed to deplete all stock.
Only service existing customers where possible.
Recommend forward orders for help with forecasting accuracy – a positive response received from customers.
In addition we’ve also worked on three things that we, as a sales unit in EMEA, think is important. From a sales perspective, they are;
Being effective (helping the right customers with the right products).
Being flexible (how we approach each territory needed to be different).
Being productive (not a busy fool).
COVID-19 from a sales perspective: Turning negatives into positives
We have seen with some clients that their shift in focus has brought positive changes in hygiene. COVID-19 from a sales perspective, has ensured public spaces are cleaner and more hygienic than ever. Before the pandemic, we had some pushback or hesitancy on products such as Surface Cleaners. It seems odd now, but it was not deemed “essential” – that’s all changed and our sales have increased dramatically. I’ve also seen a huge uptick in fortunes for particular aircare items, such as our ozone generator in countries like Italy and Romania. Where we were doing small quantities there pre-COVID, our sales have more than trebled post-COVID lockdowns.
Ironically, the further we’ve been forced away from customers – through lack of travel etc. – the closer we’ve become. With increased communication via easy to use Zoom/WhatsApp meetings, we’ve kept in touch with and on top of, customer requests. COVID-19 from a sales perspective, I feel, has brought us closer to our customers.
While we have increased communication with key customers, our Marketing has helped to manage our time proactively. The digital 3D videos have ensured we don’t “waste” our time with holding meetings that are unnecessary. The videos have allowed customers to see for themselves how our products work. We’ve gained orders from these and it has allowed us to be effective, flexible and productive in our approach with customers.
Being flexible, during this period we have been responding rapidly to our customers’ needs. We’ve broadened and strengthened our Sanitex® brand which now includes 60ml & 710ml Instant Hand Gel bottles and dispensing stands. All of which have helped our partners and in turn their valued users with practical and much needed COVID-19 solutions.
Vectair remain proactive and strong. COVID-19 from a sales perspective, has demonstrated that our approach and products gives us real differentiation in the market.
COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of optimal hygiene. I end this overview not from a sales perspective, but from a human one. My thoughts are with everyone who has been directly affected by this virus. I want to thank once again our customers and Vectair’s EMEA sales team for their loyalty during this period.
By Joe Ovenden | EMEA Sales Director | Vectair Systems