Traditionally, FMCG field staff held very distinct roles. The B2B sales reps developed customer relations and took orders and delivery staff delivered the orders. However, this no longer has to be the case.
The direct store delivery model has increased in popularity as an efficient way of quickly delivering goods to shops, especially important when perishable goods are involved. Advances in B2B sales technology, means that FMCG wholesalers can now improve their sales strategy by utilizing the selling power of the delivery staff. With an integrated app that includes order taking, mobile CRM and route accounting, drivers can do more that just make deliveries, they can now take orders.
Here are some of the advantages...
1. Empower your team with data
By providing your delivery staff with access to mobile sales tools, they will have immediate visibility of all product information via e-catalogs. This means when delivering goods, they will have the available tools to advise customers on products and sell on-site. It makes it simple for them to access the latest promotions. Customers won’t need to wait until their next scheduled visit from a sales rep – more sales for you and improved convenience for them.
According to business analysts, B2B personalization is fast becoming the new normal. B2B buyers expect companies to anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions. Understanding customers’ evolving behaviors and preferences leads to more meaningful engagement opportunities. By using a mobile CRM solution, your team will have a 360˚ view of the whole sales order cycle from order to delivery.
When order taking software is integrated with your ERP and other back office systems route staff can see real-time inventory data, orders will be synced immediately, and the next delivery could be arranged before they have even left the premises.
2. Optimize your customer service
People will stay loyal to a company if they have a good reason to. Otherwise, there’s plenty of other competition around. Use your delivery staff to provide a great customer service. Drivers can use their sales app to print delivery confirmations or invoices. They can also enable e-payment options through integration to popular payment gateways to ensure your customers experience is the best it can be.
By collecting and tracking metrics such as on-time delivery, order fill rate, frequency of customer visits and more, your field staff can provide valuable data about your customers satisfaction and you can improve on any issues before they become big problems.
3. Prioritize tasks
When your B2B sales platform incorporates route accounting software your delivery staff become significantly more efficient and increase profitability. Route planning tools help managers and field staff better meet their goals by prioritizing their routes according to business considerations and not just by location.
Ensuring your driver gets to the right customer at the right time will vastly improve your customers satisfaction and make a real impact on your business results.
4. Monitor your route staff
Using direct store delivery software means managers can collect timestamps and geo-tags for all activities happening in the field in real-time, to monitor work progress and adherence to planned routes.
They can create guided replenishment workflows (or workflows for other tasks), guiding and helping delivery staff to accomplish their tasks quickly and effectively, providing improved customer service.
5. Achieve true mobility
All of the above benefits rely entirely on the ability of field staff to work while out on the road so it’s vital that native apps are optimized for smartphones and tablets. And offline capability is a must to avoid customer and staff frustrations when they cannot be serviced correctly due to poor connectivity.
Direct store delivery offers significant advantages to FMCG companies that need the ability to move products through the supply chain more quickly. And utilizing your delivery staff to sell, undertake retail execution tasks and more leads to increase customer satisfaction and crucially, more sales.