7 Ways to Increase Sales from General Trade Channel

General trade is the largest and strongest channel of trade for the FMCG industry. Infact, 30% of sales come from traditional or kirana stores globally. This trade channel has the highest reach of approx. 205 people per store. That is great! Isn’t it? 

What is the General Trade Channel in FMCG industry?

General trade or traditional trade channel is one of the oldest channels when it comes to selling your products. One of the examples for this trade is your nearest kirana store, the last minute shopping point for you. It is a retail shop owned by individuals and functions on a small scale, maybe for a particular colony. 

In many countries, General Trade (or Traditional Trade) remains a major source of revenue for companies. It is thus extremely important to ensure that appropriate strategic & technological initiatives are taken to drive desired output from this channel.

Let us now go through the 7 most effective ways to increase sales from general trade channel:

1) Intelligent Store Onboarding with Data-Driven Segmented Engagements:
general trade sfa

On average, 60-70% of retailers do not yield desired sales for brands. This is because the FMCG companies onboard new retailers based on the intuition of front-line sales reps. Mostly, kirana stores are fragmented and scattered, consequently, onboarding them is a challenge for any FMCG company.

Store Onboarding, when done in the right manner, provides you with all the data to segment your company’s customer base into different groups that share similar locations, range of products offered, etc.

Using data-based insights for retailer onboarding involves getting the complete insight into your store details like 

  • Store location
  • Store size
  • Store surroundings
  • Range of products it sells
  • Competitors which are targeting the store
  • Different price ranges the store is offering
  • Space allocated for your category of products 

Proper Retailer Onboarding backed up with the segmentation allows business leaders to have a complete understanding of the retail stores. Knowing their transactional, ordering and behavioral patterns help businesses make informed decisions. This leads to much better market coverage planning, scheme targeting, merchandising campaigns, manpower allocation & growth objectives. Ultimately, this helps businesses to deliver enhanced customer engagements and increase sales.

2) Use AI for Order Collection:

AI order in GT sales operations

It is observed that 60-70% of sales reps are not able to generate optimum orders during their visit to retail stores. Using an efficient AI-based order maximization algorithm, even your lowest-performing sales reps will know what order they should be able to collect during any visit to a store through intelligent suggestions of products that they can sell. It also enhances the skills of your sales reps by giving them cross-sell and up-sell recommendations on their order taking app. Such algorithm-based order collection software analyzes previous order history, seasonal order pattern & neighborhood buying pattern to suggest an ideal selling basket.

3) Maximize Scheme Application in Order Collection Process:

Apply auto scheme in GT order taking

Cross-selling, Up-selling, and reselling is the most effective way for an FMCG company, and FMCG companies design the scheme application in a similar way. But what if the sales rep is not able to effectively communicate the same during real-time order collection. If you integrate scheme application to your order capture workflow, your sales rep will be able to communicate the applicable schemes to the retailers & increase the chances of that scheme working to your benefit. It assists with a variety of schemes to promote volume, range, clearance, and loyalty with pin-pointed targeting.

4) Enable Retailers to Place Orders Digitally:

Take digital orders with SFA app

While traditional selling might not be financially viable with each and every retailer in today’s world, using digital mediums for order collection can not only be handy but also can increase your sales considerably. You can enable maximum stores to place orders digitally through mediums like WhatsApp, Viber, and Messenger Bots. This will not only increase your sales but also expand your market coverage with more retailers digitally onboard.

5) Display Campaigns that Actually Works:

Display ads audit via GT SFA

Data-driven segmentation will inform you which stores to run the campaign on & what type of campaign to run at which store. Once decided, enable your sales & service reps to audit brand visibility through their sales app so that you can ensure footfall conversion every day and maximum returns from your investments.

A combination of an easy-to-use and robust mobile app to collect Visual Merchandising evidence from the point-of-sales and AI-Assisted auditing of images ensures an increase in sales of your business.

6) Increase Facetime with Retailers:

Increase facetime with CRM SFA

Route Optimization uses an algorithm to find the most optimized route plans based on the different parameters set by the company on account of its customers. It minimizes the complexity of Route Planning for sales reps by using advanced algorithms and mechanisms which is not possible manually.

Effective route optimization aids companies to cover their territories effectively. It reduces the travel time between stores and increases the face time with the retailers, leading to direct impact on sales from the territory.

7) Improve Selling Behavior with Gamification 

Gamify Sales team with SFA app

Gamification of the sales process builds a competitive work culture within a company. It motivates and engages the sales reps to give their best performance, besides it also makes the day-to-day job of sales reps more engaging and interesting leading to an overall increase in sales of a company. 

By gamifying the sales process not only on the basis of the reps’ sales output but also on their input activities, you can bring improvement in their selling behavior. Create an auto-updating leadership board that considers output as well as input KPIs & give medals based on their ranking. Such gamification will enable your team members to assess their performance on a daily basis & learn where they might be missing crucial points.

On the basis of daily & monthly leaderboards, FMCG companies can then conduct digital pieces of training. You can assess which sales team members are scoring lower on which input & output KPIs and run training programs specific to each individual team member.

Inviting sales teams for in-person training is expensive & leads to loss of work on training days. You also get a very limited time for training your entire teams. If you use digital training modules with engagement tracking, you can train your teams on-the-go as they do their day to day work.


As an FMCG company, you have myriad ways to improve your sales output. All these different ways can be enabled through intelligent workflows. At the same time, It is important for you to coordinate your various initiatives into a cohesive strategy for achieving your business goals. 

BeatRoute’s Goal-Driven Sales Approach enables you to do exactly that by first breaking down your organization level goals into individual goals for sales reps and setting up a process for consistently improving your sales team’s output. 

This unique combination of Goal-Driven Sales Approach & Workflow Automation enables your sales teams to achieve organization level sales goals with maximum success rate.  Learn how your sales can increase through our solution. Request for demo today.

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