"Sales still often involve a lot of communication, and it all takes time."

March 28, 2024

Written and published by AGF-Primeur magazine, #1 2024

No more emailing error-prone Excel price lists back and forth in the morning, but communicating directly with your customers and prospects. This is the set-up of Consentio, which offers fruits & vegetable growers and traders a webshop concept where they can offer their items directly to different customers, stating price, a product description and additional photo material. "And quite a bit more," says Werner Kastelein, sales manager for the Netherlands of this Barcelona-based company, which was founded in 2018 by two Frenchmen, Vincent Rosso and Benoît Vandevivere.

Consentio is a cloud-based digital sales platform for B2B commerce, accessible via an app or a browser, provisionally available in seven languages, including Dutch. Buyers with access to the webshop - by invitation of the grower or trader - can browse the supplier's catalog after a one-time and simple registration andplace their order on the application itself. 

A professional ecosystem

"The parties are thus connected in an efficient and correct way," Werner explains. "Many sales still often involve a lot of communication, and itall takes time. Now, as a seller, you can display your wares in the webshop and, thanks to the built-in chat box, direct contact is possible with interested buyers. Think of it as a professional WhatsApp for the fruit and vegetable industry. Privacy is also guaranteed. As a seller, you are visible only to those you authorize. In this sense, the private digital marketplace is not only interesting for new B2B relationships, but also for long-standing collaborations."

Integration with ERP systems

For the seller, Werner says the platform also offers a bit of integration with the company's own ERP system, since orders in the webshop are forwarded to the company's information system. "I myself come from the ERP world, but I want to emphasize that we are absolutely not trying to be competitors of the existing back office systems. We just make an automatic bridge from the order to its processing, because that still happens in the ERP system. I'm talking about the financial transactions, which we deliberately kept outside the webshop itself."

Werner Kastelein, Sales Manager Netherlands

Pleasant and attractive work

"In essence, it's about automating commerce through digitization," Werner continues. "Automation also reduces susceptibility to error and the risk of discussions afterwards. Moreover, such solutions fall on fertile ground, especially with younger people who understand that everything is starting to work electronically, much more than by phone." From a tedious way of working, Consentio can be switched to an easier and more appealing approach. "To trigger the customer, specific or new products in the webshop can also be easily highlighted, which is very interesting from a commercial perspective," Werner said.

Users buy a license regardless of the value of sales or the amount of transactions made. Implementing the package, by the way, is quite easy. In France and Spain, Werner says the platform is already being used by several large retailers. "Those buyers from supermarket chains then go and look at the webshops of different suppliers to decide which products to get where and at what price. In the Netherlands, the purchasing culture at retail is slightly different. Still, the webshop idea is a very interesting option for many suppliers, because thatway you can invite customers to come and see what you have in the store that day without much effort."

Magic Orders

In addition to the webshop, users are provided with another tool called Magic Orders. "This tool allows the seller to analyze the orders that still come in in other formats such as PDF, XLS, CSV, Text or EDI in real time and automatically send them to their own back office through the portal. This provides a lot of efficiency and convenience, because all deviations and possible errors are taken out without effort," Werner explains, referring to the concluding sentence in the company's own promo video: “Consentio, we make simple the complicated things. Welcome!”

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