Amid the COVID-19 crisis, consumer demand and consumption patterns have rapidly and dramatically shifted. As a result, many CPG brands have spent the past eight months scrambling to adjust their commercial strategies and embrace agile selling tactics to breakthrough with customers.
But the work isn’t done. In the face of uncertainty, how can CPG companies set themselves up for success in 2021 and beyond? When the past is no longer a predictor of future demand, how do you ensure your brand is prepared to navigate whatever comes next?
The Biggest Challenges Facing CPG Companies
CPG companies are facing a host of new challenges in light of the global pandemic and resulting economic downturn. This includes:
- Rapidly shifting consumer demand and consumption patterns
According to McKinsey, 75% of consumers have changed their shopping behaviors this year, and 73% of those consumers have found a new shopping method they intend to continue.
- A lack of relevant, timely insights
- Remote customers
Forrester reports 80% of B2B sales will now be digital and remote. Meanwhile, one in three individuals admits to falling asleep during a PowerPoint presentation (MarketingProfs).
As we (thankfully) approach the end of 2020 and begin strategizing for 2021 and beyond, CPG companies have their work cut out for them. But not to fear. We’ve compiled three strategies to help you address the challenges above and ensure continued growth in the “next” normal.
Top 3 Strategies for CPG Growth in 2021
CPG Sales Strategy #1: Align Sales and Marketing
Today, the success of your CPG brand is dependent on your ability to be both agile and flexible. Past consumer behavior is no longer a predictor of future demand. Things are changing rapidly, and if you’re not prepared to swiftly react to whatever happens next, you’re going to fall behind.
To improve time to value and future-proof your business, you must align your sales and marketing teams. Fortunately, a sales enablement solution can help by:
- Reducing silos and inconsistencies
A sales enablement platform provides one unified application for marketers to manage and distribute and sellers to search, access, present, and share marketing-approved content. This ensures your buyers always see sales content that is accurate, up-to-date, and on-brand. Advanced analytics show marketers what content is leveraged by sellers and consumed by customers, so they understand what works and what doesn’t and can optimize based on quantitative data. Meanwhile, sellers can provide invaluable qualitative feedback to marketers on individual assets directly in the application.
- Putting marketing-produced content at sellers’ fingertips
Sellers can use the application to search, assemble, and present compelling, tailored sales presentations or share content with customers via trackable links. All sales collateral can be accessed from anywhere, any time – whether online or offline. The result is less ad hoc requests for content and more personalized and engaging sales interactions.
- Improving data capture in CRM
According to CSO Insights, less than half of all businesses with an implemented CRM have an adoption rate above 90%. But integrating your CRM with a sales enablement solution can streamline the data entry process and increase CRM adoption by automatically logging important meeting notes and content presented in the appropriate CRM account record post-meeting.
CPG Sales Strategy #2: Innovate Joint Business Planning
To foster continued sales growth, your sellers and marketers aren’t the only groups you need to align. Collaboration between your sales reps and retail partners should also play a critical role in your growth strategy. How can you enable your sellers to have smarter, value-driven discussions with retailers?
Value selling calculators are great interactive tools that can be leveraged by sellers in live sales scenarios whether digital or in-person. They allow sellers to capture unique retailer information and data in real-time, plug that information into a calculator or assessment, and use the output to guide the sales discussion on the spot. Depending on the type of calculator you build and deploy, you can clearly define the ROI of product placement, communicate the opportunity cost of selling a competitor’s brand over yours, or help calculate the most profitable promotions for their business.
CPG Sales Strategy #3: Enable Your Distribution and Channel Sellers
In a Forrester study, commissioned by Mediafly, they found 38% of CPG partner sellers lack the resources to facilitate data-driven discussions. And 35% of CPG partner sellers are unable to sufficiently personalize sales discussions to align with buyer needs. With nearly half (49%) of B2B annual sales revenue coming from indirect channels, CPG companies who neglect to provide their indirect sellers with the tools to elevate sales conversations and meet the expectations of the modern buyer risk putting themselves at a disadvantage.
Any sales enablement platform, sales app, or ROI tool you deploy for your internal sales reps should also be made available to your distribution and channel sellers to even the playing field, maximize ROI, and drive more revenue.
Interested in diving deeper into CPG growth strategies? Download our on-demand webinar titled How CPG Companies Can Plan for Growth in the Post-Pandemic Age to hear John Torru, Founding Partner at Simpactful, and Dustin Zweck, VP of Sales at Mediafly, discuss how to solve for these new CPG challenges and strengthen your go-to-market strategy in 2021 and beyond.