How we helped Furlong Flooring align their sales strategy with their marketing and internal communication processes.
We thought we had a plan,” says Ian Collacott, Sales Director at Furlong Flooring. “We thought we had a strategy, but we realised that actually, what we had was more reactive than pro-active, and there were things missing that could help us achieve even more.
“It seemed very natural to bring sales into those conversations,” says Deborah Kingsley, MD at KPC. “Furlong Flooring was already working with us on its internal communications and external marketing strategies and the sales directors were directly involved in the wider discussions we were having about the company’s direction. So we knew the next step was to talk about whether the current sales focus would fit with the new strategy and how we could make things even better to improve the revenue streams.”
There are several complexities to consider when reviewing Furlong’s sales approach. The company sells carpet, hardwood and laminate flooring, vinyl and LVT.
Each of these has a specialist sales director who understands the details of each product within the range, and has built up great relationships with customers.
Furlong doesn’t want to lose this specialist expertise, which is one of the things that sets it apart from the competition, but it can see that the ideal sales outcome is for a retailer or property developer to stock the full range of Furlong products. In addition, Furlong has three sales and distribution sites covering the UK – KPC was working with the Dartford site – and other sites would need an input into changing the way the company thought about sales and marketing.
We need a single approach and message that everyone in the business can connect with. That means a really honest and open look at how we do things, and understanding the benefits of challenging our current methods. The sales teams have seen how this type of challenge has resulted in positive change in other parts of the business and we wanted to see how KPC could help us to do things better.
Some of this work overlaps with the work that KPC is already doing with the company – like defining customer types and putting together clear messaging that appeals to Furlong’s four main customer types – independent retailers, national retailers, national property developers and contractors.
“Ensuring we keep a consistent approach across all Furlong’s communications is essential,” says Deborah. “The company’s sales messages and approaches to customers have to be the same wherever those customers come into contact with Furlong – so it’s important that the whole sales team, and the support staff in the office, give the same message and levels of service every time.”
Our customers have always appreciated our positive attitude to customer service, and the logistical efficiency of our operation,” adds Ian. “We want to give them even more choice and value, raising the game with our existing customers and going into potential customers with a really clear offer. That means setting clear goals, using consistent messaging and measuring what we do so we know what’s working well and what needs to be changed.
Like all our work with Furlong Flooring, aligning the sales strategy is an ongoing process. Working as a key part of the team, we’re using our experience and insights to inform and influence a long-term business strategy that will put the company in the strongest possible position in its target markets.