“The smaller customers should not, by definition, be drawn in complex sales concepts. This is often not worth the investment for them, they want to order something easy and simple.” Jelle van Geel co-designed the new General Sales Department, he explains his vision: ‘’We organized the new department in such a way that the activities are more appropriate for regional sales. Smaller customers are also good customers, hopefully they will become big customers sometime. We try to achieve this by focusing directly on the customer. In this way, we try to build a long-term relationship.”

So, the focus of General Sales is mainly on the smaller customers?


“We approach many customers who have not purchased at MCB for a long time, for whatever reason. The approach is more proactive, we work more with fixed duos in-house and outside. We now have duo’s in three regions and want to go to eight.’’

“The General Sales department is the first contact for these old or unknown customers. We try to segment them through conversations. This is necessary to achieve the service grade we require. Follow-up actions are then determined, together with field staff or colleagues of the product departments.”

“In the future, we want our smaller customers to have one contact person. This was a little random in the past. For the chain partners MCB focusses on sales concepts like EDI, the smaller customers can find their way through the web portal.”

What kind of promotion strategy does MCB apply to the web portal?


“We have multiple benefits of the web portal, customers that we presume to have benefits will be approached. These customers are familiar with online orders, certainly the younger ones. At MCB this is usually the same: it makes more sense to use younger sales employees instead of older ones. The portal is focused on smaller orders. But we also have to be careful that orders can be delivered by truck. That check is also our responsibility.”

“There are areas where MCB is not yet known. For example where there is a lot of regional trade, such as in the North of the Netherlands. Regional trade is quite traditional, which we try to imitate. For example, by ensuring that customers always get the same contact on the phone. MCB has to pay attention to the smaller customers, because this will be the large customers in the future.”

“Apart from helping small customers, General Sales is the breeding ground for commercial employees. Employees enter as junior in the sales department, to move to the product departments later in their career. Recently we saw some good examples of junior employees spreading their wings to different functions within the company. This is also one of our goals, and it seems to work.”

Translated by: Jonathan van Deijck