Danone’s Kris Geeraert on the Sales Club…

“The Vlerick Sales Club is an initiative which goes in the right direction, it provides a window for the participating students towards the Sales approach in the 21st century…”

“The Vlerick Sales Club is a very relevant and necessary initiative in my opinion. FMCG com.panies are evolving into more global organisations, in order to maximise synergies in several areas (finance, IT, HR, Marketing). The Sales responsibility however remains a local responsibility, as shoppers and customers are local. Local distribution is getting more complex, as shoppers are developing different expectations in different store formats (eg in a supermarket vs a proximity store or a hospital) / locations (eg in the city centre vs in a rural area) moments in time (for breakfast vs in the evening), and customers become more professional, as they became product suppliers too, with very good shopper understanding.

In order to continue to propose relevant answers to our customer and shoppers, there is a need to develop the right mix to answer to these changing needs. This starts with developing genuine shopper understanding, developing the right assortment with the right presentation by channel / retail format, and proposing the right activation approach. This goes well beyond negotiation plans. Universities have historically always focused on the Marketing competency, whereas the Sales competency has mostly been treated in a step-motherly fashion. The Vlerick Sales Club is an initiative which goes in the right direction, it provides a window for the participating students towards the Sales approach in the 21st century, and take a first initiative to give an academic answer to the growing need of Sales professionals. I support this initiative, and count on the talents which will graduate in the coming years. Good luck to all!”

Kris Geeraert, Sales Director Danone BeLux

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