Environmental Benefits of Selling Virtually with Mizuno Golf
When we first started working with Mizuno Golf in 2013, they came to us with a very clear idea of the elements that needed to change within their sales process. As a global brand they were seeking to improve efficiency while reducing costs, and all while keeping the same high level of buyer satisfaction that they are renowned for.
While sales samples are always going to be the best way to show products off to a prospective buyer, the costs of producing these samples can sometimes outweigh the benefits. And in the case of Mizuno, golf clubs and bags can be physically challenging to transport when visiting buyers. Steve Cookson, Key Account Manager for Mizuno Golf, described to us how he would drive to customer meetings with his estate car piled high with clubs and bags – so much so that there was barely room for him to get behind the steering wheel! So in order to make financial savings and make the lives of the sales teams easier, they needed a digital solution that would make the move away from physical samples seamless for their customers.
However, as the team at Mizuno are keen to point out, there are other benefits to selling virtually that affect the wider community. In the ordinary run of things, a salesperson is out on the road attending meetings with buyers, visiting customers, and engaging with new prospects. Having the option to manage these situations online has meant that the Mizuno Golf team have cut their driving mileage by at least half.
Not only does this mean that the budget for expenses within the business is dramatically reduced because there is less need for hotels, dinners on the road, and the never-ending expenditure on fuel, but the effect on the environment of fewer miles being driven is not to be underestimated. We all saw news reports during the early lockdowns showing natural habitats reviving and coming back to life because of the focus on keeping the majority of the public at home, and environmentally conscious brands like Mizuno are keen to keep this going.
Another positive side effect of minimising customer visits, and one which is often overlooked, is that the lease cars used by the Mizuno Golf sales team now have lower mileage on them when they are returned which means that they can be sold second hand rather than being scrapped. This obviously has wider implications for the environment as there is a reduced need for brand new cars in production, and there is less need for the dismantling and disposal of cars when they are scrapped. It’s easy to imagine the huge benefit to the environment if more brands were to continue selling virtually using digital tools rather than moving back to “in person” customer visits.
And of course the financial saving on no longer having print catalogues is important to consider, but so too is the environmental aspect. While the print process itself has become more “eco-friendly” with many companies opting for less toxic inks and recycled paper stock, the inevitable outcome is that the majority of catalogues printed will end up being thrown out by the recipients. It is to be hoped that most will find their way into recycling bins so that they are disposed of in a responsible way, but this still creates an additional burden on recycling centres across the UK and potentially, in the case of brands like Mizuno Golf, across the globe.
At Hark we appreciate that we can’t change the world with our software but, in supporting brands like Mizuno Golf in their drive to cut both the financial and environmental costs of their sales process, we can play our part in reducing the impact of sharing product ranges with buyers across the world.
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