Most CPG companies have or can easily acquire large amounts of store level data.  This shipment data often comes in raw CSV form and gives low level transaction detail of product sales by quantity at the store level.

For some teams, that’s the end of it. The data often goes unused. Others will spend hours doing analysis and compiling Excel reports.  And still others will pay analytics companies for expensive reporting solutions that essentially give them reporting tools.

In what ways should sales leaders use this information to help their sales teams sell more?   For many, the data is very valuable for assessing performance and looking at selling trends, but this is often rear view mirror activity that doesn’t change the forward looking selling activities of the team.

Here are three ways you can unlock the value of this data to help your retail teams sell more.

1.  Make Your VOID and No Buy Reports more actionable

Shipment data is commonly used to look at where a product isn’t selling but should be, also known as a VOID report  Others similarly look for accounts that should have made re-orders within a certain time frame but haven’t.  These VOID or No Buy reports can be an extremely valuable way for your sales team to find the low hanging fruit and drive immediate orders.

A common problem with this reporting is that it is often “snapshot” based, making it difficult to assess what has changed from period to period.  Another problem is that it may not be organized based on the team’s individual coverage assignments.  Organizing the data so that it can be presented in a way that is most useful can require a lot of administrative time and effort that can diminish and delay selling efforts

If these problems are addressed, team members can start their day knowing exactly which accounts have the highest opportunity in their areas of coverage.  Managers can also track and trend this information in real-time, so they know the exact impact of these efforts, as well as what opportunity remains.

Click here to request a complimentary analysis and sample reports using your data

2. Provide more selling stories to your retail teams.

The data often tells a compelling sales story.  Year over year selling trends, sample selling information from nearby accounts, or simply picture and prior sales history within that account that has fallen off can have a meaningful impact.

The Industry is moving more and more towards data and fact based persuasion to get retail buyers and store managers to take action.  However this visual information is too often reserved for headquarter meetings, and created by pulling information manually into powerpoint presentations.

What if this information could be easily and readily accessible on mobile devices in real-time without any admin overhead?

Many companies find that the immediate display of data and pictures has influenced sales and  acquisition of additional shelf space.  In addition to leveraging the shipment data, companies can also show selling trends during key promotional periods or over specific timeframes.

More data is better, with the caveat that the team must easily be able to interpret and apply the information..  If the last two conditions are not there, then unfortunately it can just get in the way and slow the team down, which is why accessibility, content, and visual display are keys to success.

Learn more about how you can quickly provide more selling stories to your retail teams

3. Leverage leaderboards, scorecards, and proper team incentives

Great sales teams are built with great people, so culture, motivation and management have always been core to the CPG industry’s best sales and retail teams.  Since data can sometimes be  “clunky”, we have found that some sales leaders may shy away from using it to determine team incentives, outside of perhaps looking at the top level sales or ACV numbers.  They then opt for more simple activity based metrics like store visits, or self reported store activity.  However, for leading teams, integrating the store level data into incentives and recurring performance management can be a powerful way to align the team with the outcomes that matter.  The secret to success here is to ensure the execution of this is automated and that the team has confidence in the reporting.  Often a hybrid and balanced approach including both and data and activity metrics can achieve the best results.  When the entire company is rallying around store level sales data and identification of the highest store level opportunity, the impact to sales lift will likely show up nearly immediately.

These three tactics are designed to help your teams unlock greater sales and distribution with the better  utilization of available shipment data.

For a free opportunity analysis and sample of reports, or simply to learn more, click here.

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