The European trade strategy is to be placed in the broader framework of the EU’s economic policy. “Lisbon Strategy” and “Europe 2020” are the two udders of this policy. Let’s look at what the business strategy is, how it can be linked with the two strategies mentioned above and who are the main beneficiaries.
Competitiveness and free trade in Europe
In support of the Lisbon Strategy, the European Commission, through its Trade Commissioner (2004 to 2008), the British Mendelson, described in 2006 its strategy for the “external dimension” of EU policies ‘Union’ in the document “A competitive Europe in a global economy”, in its English version. The Commission’s commercial priority is simple: “to seek an ambitious multilateral agreement” at the WTO, as part of the Doha round of negotiations. This strategy can easily be understood in relation to the one described above: to allow exporting companies better access to foreign markets, at a lower cost, which will ultimately have, according to the Commission, a positive effect on employment in Europe. The reasoning put forward by the European Commissioner is that economic growth comes mainly from outside the EU. In order to take advantage of this growth – in areas such as services, for which European companies are dominant at the global level – the central objective of trade policy is to develop trade with the rest of the world. The business strategy can be summed up in this phrase from “Global Europe”: “Our prosperity depends on trade”.
The impact of the internet on B2B sales strategies
In recent times, readers of blogs on sales and business development are saturated with articles, studies and info graphics. All this content is about the impact of digital on the sale. . The use of digital as a prospecting method in addition to direct marketing is a reality in North America. In Europe, many companies are still only spectators. In the digital revolution, there is of course the development of e-commerce or communication via the internet; but there will also be online lead generation (“on-line lead generation” or “web to leads”). The principle is simple. Given the fact that most buyers (> 70% according to some studies), with abundant information on the web, find out before starting the purchase process, it is possible to acquisition of leads these future prospects. These new methods of digital prospecting will have a considerable impact on sales processes.
The options of the business strategy
The areas of decision are many, here are some examples of questions to ask:
At the market level: which geographical segmentation to retain? Which customers and prospects to target? Which position to adopt? For the sales force: which hierarchical organization? What skills and profiles of sales people? How to build customer portfolios for sellers? How many commercial agencies do you need? Which networks to organize? Live sales? By telephone? Regarding products and services: which offers to promote? From whom? What arguments? For pricing policy: which tariff policies to adopt according to the different segments? What prerogatives for sellers? In the face of competition: what attitudes to adopt? Should we try to dislodge some competitors at any price? Promotion: which tools to develop? How to communicate with your target?
In summary, here are some lines of thought to respond to this context of economic changes, where and how to invest your resources: re-prioritize geographic segmentation? Product segmentation? The customer portfolio? Re-prioritize promotion channels? Rearrange the sales function?