Across the FMCG industry, sales representatives are some of the most important value drivers for brands and distributors, as sales reps sell $34 trillion worth of FMCG goods to over 1 billion micro-sellers every year. Research shows that sales-team effectiveness is crucial for growth, as over half of the company’s value creation is tied to the sales force. Despite the importance of sales representatives to company growth, many FMCG brands, especially those in emerging markets, cannot increase the effectiveness of their sales force.
Many sales reps, especially in emerging markets, are restricted to manual, inefficient methods of driving sales, where more time is spent on the road or generating reports than on revenue-generating activities like speaking to customers or creating growth campaigns. This can lead to high sales costs of between 30 to 40 percent.
Adopting a transformational, company-wide data-analytics strategy can help improve sales-force effectiveness, as data shows that companies with mature digital capabilities in sales operations are two times more successful than their non-digital counterparts. Adopting a digital analytics and automation solution has also been shown to improve sales efficiency by 15%.
However, the fragmented nature of the retail industry in emerging markets makes it difficult to identify and select the right data analytics solution that increases sales efficiency. FMCG brands must take the lack of visibility across the traditional distribution chain and the low technical sophistication of both the sales reps and their customers when choosing a digital analytics solution for their sales teams.
Why your sales reps need data analytics
Driving revenue growth and increasing sales will require that FMCG sales reps have access to up-to-date, reliable information on their products and customers and the ability to make data-driven decisions within the shortest possible time. The lack of these capabilities under the traditional FMCG distribution process reduces the overall effectiveness of FMCG sales teams, with reports showing a considerable performance spread among sales reps.
Research shows that the top 30% of reps out perform the bottom 30% by as much as a factor of four, and many sales leaders do not know what top sales reps do differently or how to replicate that success across the team to drive additional revenue growth.
A data analytics solution that can incorporate multiple data inputs such as consumer behaviors, sales data at POS, and seasonal demand changes to provide actionable insights in real-time is invaluable to improving the efficiency of sales teams. With actionable data at their fingertips, sales reps can correctly prioritize what customers to visit, determine how much time to spend with each retailer, and offer the best personalized promotion-pricing mix that generates maximum growth.
An analysis of the top-performing FMCG sales reps shows that they spend 22 percent more time connecting with and directly engaging customers. This personalized, real-time knowledge of the market and individual customer needs enables them to create specific promotions that take advantage of micro-consumption patterns in the market. With a well-integrated data analytics solution, this capability can be extended across the entire sales force at scale, increasing the efficiency of the whole sales team.
Cash management is another significant obstacle to driving growth for FMCG brands across emerging markets, as 90% of all retail transactions are made in cash, and cash management can cost up to 9% of annual revenue. Sales reps often have to physically transport the money back to the company office for reconciliation, leaving them vulnerable to attacks and robberies. A Better than Cash alliance report showed that Coca-Cola delivery drivers in Nigeria get robbed as often as once a month, as they are responsible for carrying cash.
Open commerce is the best data analytics solution for FMCGs
Many FMCG brands have identified the need to adopt a data analytics solution but are stuck with traditional systems, such as SFA tools, that require sales reps to manually input their reports and can only analyze historical data. This reliance on legacy data often leaves teams working with outdated insights and results in many missed opportunities. This is why you need open commerce.
Open commerce is a new type of digital commerce solution that unlocks the full value of the traditionally fragmented distribution chain. Unlike traditional e-commerce, open commerce is decentralized and built on the core Web3 principles of open and equal access. With open commerce, FMCG sales reps can pull real-time demand from every retailer and seller across their target market.
Inefficient manual sales visits and inaccurate manual reporting are eliminated as sales reps know in real-time where the demand for their products is, and reports are generated automatically. Open commerce also solves the cash problem by enabling digital payments at scale. Distributors, retailers, and other ecosystem partners can pay on the same network, eliminating the risks and costs of carrying and reconciling cash.
Open commerce is also built to drive easy adoption. Many traditional data analytics solutions are designed for sophisticated, tech-savvy users, but sales representatives may not possess that expertise. As a result, adoption rates remain low, and any investments made into data analytics may eventually be wasted.
Empower your sales reps with the world’s first open commerce platform
RedCloud has built the world’s first open commerce platform that empowers sales reps to sell smarter and increase revenue. With RedCloud, merchants and sellers can pull demand by placing orders for the platform, which eliminates the extra time that sales reps spend visiting retailers and taking orders.
Now, sales teams have real-time visibility across the entire distribution chain, can see who is ordering their products, and properly segment their addressable market according to seller size, order frequency and order volume, among other key metrics. This increased visibility makes it easier to create better promotions and offer more competitive pricing to each seller. With RedCloud, your sales representatives are transformed from simply taking orders to intelligent territory managers who can make data-driven decisions to drive growth at scale.
We have also built the world’s largest payment network, with over 2 million pay-in points across 100 countries, so that merchants can make digital payments seamlessly, even without a bank account.
Schedule a demo today and see how RedCloud’s open commerce platform can increase your sales force efficiency by up to 15% and grow sales by up to 25%.