Many brands and wholesalers have now come round to the fact that their business must have mobile sales automation tools in order to stay ahead of the competition. But many of the tools that consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are still using, lack the key components that are integral to CPG sales.
This could lead to lost revenues through limited product availability, surplus inventory and most importantly dissatisfied customers. So, it’s vital that CPG companies use the right mobile CRM system to satisfy their needs.
CPG sales have a different focus
Traditional CRM systems are excellent for assisting B2B sales reps to manage their interactions through the sales funnel, as well as providing the rep and sales management with visibility of the sales pipeline. In other words, their primary functionality is focused on new customer acquisition, order-taking, and developing and monitoring the sales cycle, pipeline, and forecast.
In contrast, CPG sales are mainly focused on existing customer relationships alongside a highly transactional sales process. On-site sales orders often incorporate tens or hundreds of line items with complexities such as ongoing multiple orders, different shipping methods, schedules and more. Additionally, we often see multiple reps catering for the same customer, each focusing on different product lines, generating different orders for them.
Mobility solutions for CPG companies are different
As a result, a mobile CRM platform empowering CPG brands and manufacturers will be an integral part of a comprehensive B2B commerce platform and will require the following functionality:
- Truly mobile-centric capabilities are imperative – responsive native apps provide great performance on any device and offline support is critical as internet connectivity is not always available
- The majority of data required for sales transactions is managed within an ERP or accounting system which must be integrated with field data for a true 360° view of a customer
- In order to provide a professional, consultative experience a CRM solution must provide customer specific actionable intelligence - highlighting open issues, relevant products and recommending the most applicable promotions
- It’s not just about making the sale; a mobile CRM system for CPG companies must incorporate retail execution activities, inventory management, dealing with returns and more
- Route and activity planning tools will be hugely beneficial to make the most of a reps’ time
- Sophisticated pricing, promotions, and discounting engines along with flexible e-catalogs help reps make the sale and maximize profitability
CPG companies need unimaginable agility and flexibility
Things change quickly and frequently in the CPG industry. There are many sales opportunities that need to be addressed on a regular basis including pricing promotions, customer specific discounts to beat competition, new product introductions and more.
Because of this, the B2B commerce platform needs to be configurable and highly adaptable to changes in business environment - rules, workflows, reports, and dashboards need to adapt quickly and continually.
To sum up - traditional CRM systems are not meeting the unique needs of CPG companies. You need a mobile-first platform, which can boost and streamline an omnichannel sales process, and adapt easily to changing needs.