How he addressed criticism to change the sales structure.

In an exclusive interview with Appliance Retailer, Miele Australia and New Zealand managing director, Sjaak Brouwer said that he has listened to Miele Chartered Agency (MCA) retail partners who were critical of the previous field sales strategy and has implemented a new structure with the appointment of Account Specialists.

“We had a major restructure just before I arrived two years ago and we moved into outsourcing a lot of activity. We were criticised by our MCA partners who gave us strong feedback that this was not working,” Brouwer said.

“We have listened to this as it is so critical that this support is there, so we took our time to get it right and we now have a very strong team to support our retail partners.

“We have adjusted our sales structure, allowing us to increase both the frequency that we visit our MCA partners, and the reach our sales team has into regional areas. For us, it is just as important to have consistency for our brand as it is to have consistency with the people that visit stores and support our retail partners.

Miele Australia and New Zealand managing director, Sjaak Brouwer

Miele Field Sales manager, Peter Clare, told Appliance Retailer, that the previous field structure, consisting of Account Managers and Product Specialists has transitioned with both roles now called Miele Account Specialists.

“Combining the attributes of our Account Managers and Product Specialists allows us to realise a number of opportunities. Critically, it significantly increases the frequency of time our field team can spend with our MCA partners, and grows our reach, particularly in regional areas. In just a couple of months, we have had extremely positive feedback and we look forward to relationships continuing to grow,” Clare said.

“With new additions to our team in NSW and SA, and the alignment of our field team across the country, our focus now moves to providing the right structure and resource for more effective, outcome-focussed conversations with our partners. Providing category insight, developing specific account plans and targeting training where it is required, Miele is well positioned to be the business partner of choice.

“We will continue to review effectiveness and evolve if we see fit. This shift has created a number of benefits including increased frequency of visits and increased levels of training, focussed on specific customer needs. We are also evolving the way we engage with our MCA partners, looking to apply more discipline through things like customer specific business plans and data collection to make better decisions in the field. While the changes are still fresh we have received fantastic acknowledgement from our MCA partners. The key drive of this shift has been stronger customer engagement on the ground, we will continue to listen to our MCA partners and evolve the way we support growing their business.”