Companies typically implement Sales Force Automation solutions(SFA) with the goal of bringing visibility into their field sales operations. But if implemented with a long term vision, SFA can go beyond just data capture and help companies achieve their overall business goals on ground. The benefits can range from reducing the cost of market coverage, to increasing the productivity of the sales reps and even drive broader business goals such as capturing a larger market share.
Let us have a glance at 8 benefits of sales force automation for FMCG companies:
Reduce the Cost of Running Sales Operations:
Apart from reducing the costs associated with running sales operations on pen and paper, SFA helps in creating & executing optimized market coverage plan through route optimization and field sales app, DMS and direct digital connect with the retailers via WhatsApp/Viber/Messenger. It also reduces stock wastage & pilferages via stock movement monitoring. This reduces a lot of costs for the FMCG company which would otherwise have been performed manually or not performed at all, leading to multiple inefficiencies & inaccuracies.
Increase the Productivity of Individual Sales Reps:
Sales Force automation ensures that the productivity of sales reps is increased by efficient management of business operations such as sales funnel management, sales forecasting techniques, customer profiling, sales lead tracking system, sales team performance assessment, account management, order taking process, and Visual Merchandising auditing. Sales Force Automation helps in reducing tedious and time-consuming but imperative tasks connected with sales. This not only allows sales reps to work on the activity they are best at – Field Sales but also increases the quality of their output.
Reduce the Wastage of Manpower:
Let’s say there’s a Sales Rep. Earlier that Sales Rep might have been serving 200 retailers. Now with the aid of digital mediums, he might be able to serve 800 retailers in total. 100 retailers might still need regular visits, while for the rest 700, he has to visit as per need only, maybe once every one or two months.
Earlier 800 retailers required 4-5 sales reps while with the aid of sales force automation, a single sales rep is enough for 800 retailers. Apart from this even for specialized operations like customer profiling, sales lead tracking system, sales team performance assessment, account management, order taking process, and Visual Merchandising auditing, very little or a negligible amount of manpower is required.
Derive Intelligent Insights from Field Force Operations:
Sales Force Automation analyses data to reveal sales insights and forecast future performance. Business managers use data analytics to increase visibility into sales activities; locate high or under-performing sales Reps, products, or communications; and determine future sales numbers. Data analytic insights can be used to improve sales strategies and implement a more predictable sales model.
It gives a conclusive analysis that helps business leaders to review and modify the sales model.
Increase Sales from Priority Stores:
Sales Force Automation uses a data-driven approach that analyzes ground data from the sales reps in the form of different sets of data points, collects all these data points analyzes it, understands the sales potential of every store, and organizes it into classes, like priority stores. This classification is based on the sales potential of every store and is independent of any kind of feedback or manual recommendation.
The Sales Leaders can then plan the frequency of visits to a particular store, if a store has more potential, the frequency of visits can be increased for increased sales. Various sales levers such as display campaigns and trade schemes can also be used in a highly targeted manner to impact sales at such stores.
Improve the Relationship with Retailers:
Sales Force Automation helps companies to effectively plan differentiated engagements with the retailers. This ensures that company’s sales reps visit the retailers at optimum frequency, spend desired face time with them, pitch the right products & quantities to them and convey the appropriate promotions schemes & offers. Furthermore, with the use of platforms such as WhatsApp, Viber or Facebook Messenger; companies can directly collect orders from retailers & maintain constant touch base. This hybrid combination of optimized face to face engagements & direct digital connect helps in improving the relationship with the retailers and ensure that they bring maximum value to the company.
Solve Problems in the Field Quickly:
Field force managers are the most appropriate people to solve any problems which arise within their territories. But they need precise & timely insights to be able to contribute qualitatively. For lack of appropriate insight they act more like supervisors who are simply driving their teams and not leading them or solving their problems. SFA platforms like BeatRoute detect problems in the field force execution & immediately nudge the relevant managers to take quick corrective action. For example, if sales of a particular product start going down at select stores within a territory, the platform detects this issue & informs that relevant manager to rectify the situation.
Run Business Goals on the Ground Efficiently:
Sales Force Automation allows you to break organization level goals into individual goals for sales reps. It allows business leaders to first align your business goals and then setting up SOPs as AI-powered workflows. This ensures that the sales reps and manager work at the highest efficiency. A combination of goal-driven sales approach backed up with an efficient workflow system ensures that not only the sales team achieve company-level goals but also overachieve them.
BeatRoute is industry’s first & only Goal Driven CRM SFA platform, i.e. the platform puts your business goals first, and then ensures that those goals are achieved on ground month after month. It perfectly aligns with the business goals of your company and enables your business growth.
BeatRoute’s Sales Force Automation software is easily configurable without any coding requirements and can fetch you the best returns on investment. It is user friendly and is available for Android and iOS mobile platforms.