The Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry has grown increasingly crowded and competitive. Meanwhile, transactional selling and brand loyalty are on the decline. So how do you ensure your CPG sellers differentiate themselves and products to engage buyers and compete with the competition?
In case you haven’t heard, relationship-based selling is out, and value-based selling is in. Buyers no longer have loyalty to a sales rep they’ve been doing business with for fifteen years because what really matters is the performance of their business, not making friends. In fact, buyers will purchase from the first seller who adds value to their sales interaction (Forrester). What kind of value are we talking about exactly?
#1: Differentiate From the Competition with Data-Driven Insights
Today’s buyers have more information at their fingertips than ever before, entering the sales cycle much later and delaying the need for sales interactions. When buyers are finally ready to meet with a sales rep, they don’t want to be told what they already know. They want reps to provide them with nuggets of insightful information that will impact their business (that they would not be able to find elsewhere).
Integrating third party data or CRM data into sales presentations to teach buyers something new about their business, industry or market is a start, but data alone is not enough. Reps need digestible, bite-sized data that is quickly turned into insights to be able to provide concrete explanations and clearly articulate how the product will impact their business. Effective sales stories give reps a competitive edge to push deals forward and the opportunity to sell smarter.
To combat SKU proliferation, the most successful reps lean on data to recommend the best pairing of products to promote and execute it in a way that makes sense to the buyer. Presenting a complex sales thought in an easy-to-understand format drives buyers to appreciate the sales interaction because it provides actionable insights that proves valuable to their business.
How Sales Enablement Technology Uses Data to Demonstrate ROI to Buyers
With craft beer becoming a popular, new drink of choice for consumers, MillerCoors fell behind in sales. To combat the industry change, MillerCoors enlisted Mediafly to build interactive ROI calculators that communicated the financial value restaurant owners and grocery managers would benefit from by switching out current brands for MillerCoors products. The result: MillerCoors reversed several years of sales decline in under two years. Read the full MillerCoors case study.
#2: Master Product Knowledge by Having Access to the Most Recent Materials Using Content Management and Presentation Tools
Sales reps have a hard time digesting and learning the entire width and depth of a company’s product catalogue – so they don’t. Instead, they rely on the “popular” or “easy to push” products and neglect the rest. Not only are they leaving money on the table, they’re doing their buyers an injustice by not providing the full scope of offerings.
Ongoing product updates and new brands entering the market everyday make it difficult for CPG sellers to ever feel confident enough in their product knowledge to sell effectively. Content management solutions (CMS) allow marketers to deliver digital assets to sales reps in the field by easily swapping out old content for the most up-to-date items. With a robust sales presentation tool, one-pagers or fact sheets already included in a sales presentation automatically update so sellers have the most recent materials without scrambling to update presentations on the fly.
In unison with updating content for sellers to have relevant materials at their fingertips, the most successful sales reps leverage modularized content to create a unique buyer interaction based on their needs. Instead of boring prospects with a generic pitch deck, sellers can pick and choose the most relevant assets that will resonate with the buyers’ needs. Snackable content is much easier to update and customize, both on the back end by marketing and on the front-end from sales to ensure materials are on-brand and up-to-date.
Proof Sales Enablement Helps Reps Master Product Knowledge
Before Conagra deployed Mediafly, they used several different tools across different platforms to communicate product value to customers. It was clunky, overbearing to manage and relatively time-consuming to pull together. Mediafly’s Sales Enablement Platform allowed Conagra to put together content and share messaging with the sales force easily by uploading new, relevant content and eliminating stale, old sales materials to keep a fresh, clean look on their business. The biggest benefit for Conagra is the speed to information and the ability to get what they need very quickly and pivot across several different product categories at once. Watch Conagra’s testimonial video.
#3: Gain Control and Visibility into Direct and Indirect Sellers with Sales Readiness and Content Measurement
Nearly half (49%) of annual revenue comes from indirect channel partners, yet 21% of CPG companies lack enough visibility into their sales processes to evaluate the consistency of the buyer experience (Forrester). Imagine how much more revenue could be generated if partner sellers had the content, training and knowledge they needed to be as effective as possible in the field. Still, most companies tend to neglect indirect sellers, putting the sellers, and themselves, at a serious disadvantage.
So how can you quickly and efficiently bring both direct and indirect sellers up to speed with the latest product content, marketing promotions and messaging? Most companies turn to sales enablement technology to distribute market-ready content to the field and leverage an integrated sales readiness program to deploy sales training and on-demand coaching.
Prepare Reps to Create Compelling Interactions with Sales Readiness
Sales readiness uses digital tools to increase sellers’ skills and effectiveness to improve brand and message consistency to encourage profitable outcomes. When combined with sales enablement technology, sales readiness or learning management systems (LMS) offer sellers one central place to go for training, marketing materials, interactive selling tools, coaching and more.
Even more, sellers lose track of what content is new, which promotions are successful, and marketing lacks visibility into what content reps are using. It’s daunting to ensure communication, messaging and promotions are consistent across all sellers. A robust sales enablement solution correlates content usage with revenue to understand the impact content has throughout the sales process.
How Sales Enablement Supports Distribution Channel Sellers
Sales enablement platforms help direct sellers and indirect sellers deliver consistent, compelling interactions that drive growth. Companies that have deployed sales enablement platforms to partners are 2.1x more likely than other companies to report double-digit revenue growth. Download the full channel enablement report.
How Measuring Content Assists with Sales Effectiveness
Using Mediafly’s reporting capabilities, PepsiCo discovered 99% of marketing-produced content was not being used in the field six months post-launch. This data led to the creation of a strategic content roadmap to create more of what is using and working for higher usage and adoption rates. Read the full PepsiCo case study.
View our webinar to dig deeper into how sales enablement tackles these CPG sales and marketing challenges.