Let me take a moment to appreciate my clients. Trust me, as a Customer Success Lead, I breathe, sleep and dream of what my customers want and what I can do for them. You might be wondering why I am all gaga about them. Well, I saw how they faced the pandemic last year. I saw their anxiety, fear and confusion. Knowing the risks, they still made sure that their business continued along with their relationships with the retailers and distributors. After all, they were responsible for supplying essentials to an entire nation that was in lockdown. Despite all the supply chain hiccups, their sales teams made sure no walk-in customer ever went back empty-handed from the stores.
In 2021, the challenges are steeper. With the new virus mutant being much more infectious and fatal, companies are asking their on-field staff to refrain from making market visits. And I think that’s the right thing to do. They are humans too, not robots. People’s safety and health should always come first.
I felt so happy reading that many FMCG experts are well prepared this time with better digital capabilities already in place, stocks being held closer to retailers for faster fulfillment, automation bridging demand-supply gaps in real-time, and field force more comfortable with using sales automation apps. The learnings from last year’s lockdown have made us more proactive, prepared, and market-ready to face this 2nd wave.
As a solutions partner, we are trying our best to provide innovative offerings that can make things simpler for our clients this time around. For example, we have created work-from-home features within our current SFA solution so you can focus more on keeping your field force safe at home with their families while also ensuring Business Continuity.
1. Web-Based Order Booking: Our New Kid On The Block
Possibly the easiest way to shield your on-field team from unnecessary exposure, this web-based order booking system works like a charm. Where your sales team can’t reach, your telecallers step in to complete that loop. Here is how it works:
Taking Direct Orders From Retailers
The telecalling team can directly give a call to the retailers who got missed by your sales team due to their unavailability or mobility challenges like physically going to a remote area location.
Retailers Connect Directly with You
Retailers can place their orders directly with you by calling a dedicated number that connects them to the tele-calling team. A user (telecaller) can add a new retailer in any beat remotely, thus capturing demand not previously tapped in the existing outlet universe.
A comprehensive view of every Single Outlet
It gives the telecaller a view of the “Fast Moving”, Focused” products and ‘All’ Products. To make order-booking more informative, the user can see all schemes and promotions, as well as visibility of the last ten visits divided into “Salesman Order’ and “Tele-calling Order.”
Data Integration with SFA
It makes it very easy for tele-callers to target unproductive calls or beats that haven’t been visited due to various reasons. Seamless data flow between the telecaller data back to the SFA app helps mid-managers get greater visibility on outlet/SR performance.
Directly Connect with Distributors
After taking the order from the retailer, we’ve made sure the order gets seamlessly received by distributors so they can fulfill them in a timely fashion.
2. Contactless SFA- New & Improved!
Let’s make your sales team’s families your biggest fans. A Sales Rep can work from the safety of his home and use the Telephonic Order module to punch in orders from any retailer (assigned to him) irrespective of the beat he has for that day. Let’s check out some more benefits of the contactless feature:
Redesigned UI for faster and easier order taking
- With fewer steps and better app design to reach retailers and distributors, your sales team can cover more outlets and punch orders from the retailer to the distributor.
- Sales Reps can make on-the-go updates to retailer phone numbers and weed out fake or outdated contact details from their end.
Higher visibility of individual productivity
- Sales Reps can cover nearly 80-100% more total calls per day from home, thus capturing wider market demand.
- Mid-Managers can track productivity at a granular level to authenticate the total number of calls made, total productive calls, and the duration of each call with the call log tracking feature.
High Retailer Engagement
- Strengthen your retailer relationships by maintaining constant connection during the lockdown or in containment zones with In-app market surveys.
- With the help of market pulse surveys, get visibility on demand patterns, competitor activities, which retailer is taking orders, etc.
I understand the times are tough; many unique market challenges are taking a lot of our mental and physical bandwidth. Developing such Work-From-Home capabilities is just our way to help our customers take good care of their people and at the same time reach their end-consumers with fully stocked shelves of the right products at any given point in time.
If you are struggling with sales and distribution challenges right now, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on LinkedIn, so we can quickly enable your WFH sales capability to capture market demand and give you that peace of mind you deserve at the moment.
Take care and be safe #LetsInTogether.