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Marketing Development Programme

In October 2005, Navigator was commissioned by the Ukrainian market in corrugated packaging to implement a Marketing Development Programme (MDP). MDP  focused on the strengthening of the Marketing and Sales Department strategic management, business processes and staff competencies.

In October 2005, Navigator was commissioned by a multinational packaging manufacturer to strategically develop the marketing and sales function at the Ukrainian market leader in corrugated packaging. This was done through a customised Marketing & Sales Development Programme (MDP), which provided an integrated range of services including:

  • A comprehensive needs analysis of the department, including a detailed analysis of sales data and profitability; interviews and assessments of each sales agent; organisational and business process analysis; and budget analysis.
  • Meetings with subsidiaries and units in London, and France were held to review group operations and structure, and see how an inter-company knowledge transfer could be arranged.
  • Development of an Action Learning programme comprising 9 core modules.
  • Development of activities designed to reinforce corporate culture, including an Annual Sales Conference and Quarterly Presentations, happy hours, bowling tournaments, and other activities to improve communication and teamwork.

Our client has two factories in Ukraine. It produces a full range of corrugated packaging products: corrugated case materials (CCM), corrugated board (2, 3, 5 and 7 ply), corrugated packaging (corrugated board, converted to corrugated packaging through cutting and printing), heavy duty, offset printed microflute. It is the country's only producer of F and N profile micro corrugated packaging and 7 ply corrugated board.

The MDP was delivered through a combination of Action Learning training modules to improve Departmental staff competencies and abilities. Action Learning comprised training in which the participants apply what they have learned to improve their own work processes and organisational structure. The modules included:

1.         Marketing Strategy & Planning

2.         Competitive Advantage

3.         Market Analysis

4.         Forecasting, Positioning & Strategy

5.         Successful Selling

6.         Order Management and Selling

7.         Brand Management

8.         Budgeting, Controlling and Evaluation

9.         Organisational Development and HR

Each module required 5 days of work at headquarters, spent in training sessions and consultancy workshops. A total of 16 missions to the client took place between October 2005 and February 2007 to deliver the Action Learning modules and render consultancy support. Twenty staff participated in the entire MDP.

Extensive coaching and counselling were provided to the Departmental Directors. This took the form of one-to-one meetings and informal events (lunches, dinners, etc.) as well as more specific, hands-on support, such as accompanying them to client meetings, reviewing their strategic objectives in their units and wider Department; improving their communications skills and self-confidence, etc.

A major issue to be resolved was that the managers were not used to managing, but responding to orders from above. The MDP approach required them to think proactively, to think of themselves as responsible for the first time, and to require them to assess and develop the staff reporting to them.

The results of the MDP included:

  • The maintenance of 10% sales growth and market leadership at a time of growing competition in the Ukrainian packaging sector.
  • The maintenance of core competitiveness despite the defection of the Marketing & Sales Director to a rival company. This defection had a serious impact, in that the rival company started a targeted sales campaign towards RKTK customers, and recruited several key staff from RKTK.
  • The implementation of a key account management system as the basis for restructuring the department. This enabled focus on approximately 70 high value clients, permitting improved customer loyalty and sales share per customer.
  • The successful launch of innovative, die-cut and heavy grade packaging, and the planning of a new product for building materials (launch in 2009).
  • Expansion of high value packaging sales in Russia at a time of high domestic competition and growing transport costs.
  • A visible improvement in staff morale, communications and team spirit. Cooperation between departments improved markedly.
  • An increase in resources allocated by management to the Marketing and Sales Department, in the form of travel allowances, promotion budgets, corporate gifts, etc.
  • The development of a customised competency management and performance assessment system for the Marketing and Sales Department.