How Carrefour got the most out of b2b from a small team by Flora Leoni
When I joined Carrefour in 2017 with the goal of developing Carrefour Gift Cards I faced with the most critical issue of every new born business: I was alone. Carrefour is a big Company and of course I could count on a good number of colleagues from staff departments (like fiscal, administration, marketing and so on) and on quite reasonable investment, but the challenge regarding b2b sales was still unsolved.
Everybody knows that if you want to boost sales you need a team of salesmen, and unfortunately, I was short on help. Soon after my entrance I was joined by a team member who helped me to create the program, organize the activities in store regarding the b2c channel and deal with operational daily activities like managing hot contacts and processing orders, but it was not enough to reach the goal.
I was an expert of Italian Gift Card Market, as I worked for 5 years in Amilon and for a very short period in Epipoli , and this is one of the reason why Carrefour chose me in the role of Gift Card Manager. It was obvious to me that if we wanted to enhance b2b sales we need to create and alternative business model, not based on direct sales, but based on the cooperation with resellers.
Moreover I was aware that when approaching b2b in the Gift Card market, service is crucial. In fact, offering platforms, knowhow and expertise in incentive and loyalty market, that is the destination of choice of the Gift Cards, is the more important thing. We felt very strong in terms of product, as a grocery retailer our Gift cards are flexible and really versatile, they are really appreciated by consumers in a wide range of programs, but we were not able to provide a really effective service.
On these bases, I decided to set up a business model where resellers were the real turning key to develop Carrefour Gift Card sales. This choice allowed Carrefour to achieve in a short time incredible results (+100% 2018 vs 2017) with a real small team, only two people. Thanks to resellers we were able to add our Carrefour Gift Card in the majority of Italian compensation & benefit programs and incentive and rewarding programs by the mid of 2018.
A real success that established a path of collaboration and development with resellers that help both to achieve impressive results. Resellers are happy to provide a full catalogue of Gift Cards and to partner with the most important retailers in Italy, Carrefour can hit the sales goal with a real small effort and benefiting from the relationships built by those agencies.