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September 2, 2020

Working Towards Greater Control Over Online Sales? Involve These 4 Functional Leaders

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More and more companies every day are realizing that they must proactively work to better control their online sales channels and stop unauthorized sales. Often, companies designate a single person or small team within their eCommerce department to try to “fix” this problem. However, as we discussed in our recent blog post, achieving online sales control and stopping unauthorized sales requires a holistic, solution-based approach that involves multiple aspects of the business. These are the four key functions that need to be part of your internal project taskforce:

eCommerce:

To state the obvious, top eCommerce leadership will be a key driver of this initiative. Taking greater control over online sales is not something that should be delegated to junior team members.

Sales:

Involving sales leadership is crucial. Many unauthorized sales problems have their origin in the offline sales channel. For example, certain distributors may be selling products to diverters; pricing and promotional behaviors in traditional channels may be creating arbitrage opportunities for unauthorized Amazon sellers; or international customers may be shipping products back into the U.S. for sale on marketplaces (for additional information on common root causes of unauthorized sales, see our recent post). In addition, a key component of online sales control will be the implementation of policies and agreements in your offline channels that set expectations regarding where and how your products may be sold in an authorized manner. Each of these issues directly implicates your company’s sales team. Companies that are successful in retaking control over online sales invariably have strong buy-in from sales leadership. Companies that struggle to win often never brought the sales team into alignment.

Legal:

As we have explained in previous posts, establishing the right legal foundation is critical to a brand’s ability to stop unauthorized sales. If your company has an internal legal team, it is important to involve them from the earliest days of your eControl initiatives. When internal legal departments are not included at the project outset, there is often unnecessary delay when the legal department is finally informed and requires additional time and resources to get educated and provide sign-off. Internal legal departments often become the biggest advocates of eControl programs and provide important assistance in navigating internal issues, so it is important to involve them early in the process.

Executive:

Finally, the companies that most efficiently and effectively implement eControl programs obtain key, executive-level buy-in at the outset of their initiatives. Such support is often critical to achieving internal alignment and buy-in amongst the stakeholders discussed above.

Vorys eControl has worked with hundreds of companies to design, implement and enforce online sales control solutions. Through our vast experience across many industries, we have gained a unique understanding of how companies can efficiently achieve internal alignment and navigate the change management necessary to thrive in today’s increasingly marketplace driven world. For more information on how your company can achieve greater online sales control and leverage that control for improved commercial outcomes, please contact Daren Garcia at dsgarcia@vorys.com or 513.723.4076.

Stay tuned for our post next week on how each of these functional leaders can benefit from the implementation of an eControl program. Clear communication of such benefits is a key step to incentivizing their participation on the internal team.