Consumer expectations are changing every minute. But for most consumer product companies, two goals are ever-present: sales growth and productivity.
We spoke with Sebastine Augustine, vice president of Retail Execution at SAP, to get a pulse on current priorities for CPG manufacturers. “Competition never stops in retail,” said Augustine. “To keep sales growing and make the sales process efficient, companies welcome using technology to automate wherever possible.”
Companies running on the SAP® Sales Cloud solution are already leveraging it in key ways, as follows, which is leading to gains in growth and productivity:
- Enhancing sales volumes with real-time pricing and product availability information provided to sales reps
- Leveraging analytics and market signals to benefit sales efforts — insights like ordering trends, store audits and competitive sales data enable CPG manufacturers to better prioritize and focus on specific customers or stores, providing a clear path to increase sales volumes
- Helping sales reps plan meetings better, collect information faster and apply the right set of tasks, to improve efficiency and effectiveness
Amidst all the capabilities provided by SAP Sales Cloud, what makes the software most valuable to CPG manufacturers is ensuring that the front-office can leverage the back-office technology investment.
“Serving and solving complete business processes from end-to-end is unique to SAP, and a real win for our customers,” said Augustine.
Practical, Daily Usage for Selling
Given SAP’s end-to-end business process innovations — including new capabilities for retail execution, such as ways to transform in-store visits with shelf placement and tracking (view this video), advanced order entry and dynamic visit planning — is it possible to extend SAP Sales Cloud to be even more useful on a daily basis?
That’s the challenge for SAP partners. And they are delivering on it in droves. More than 1,800 apps that are built on, complement and/or extend SAP solutions, offered by over 1,000 partners, can be found on SAP App Center, SAP’s digital marketplace for partner innovations.
One such solution is available from Mediafly. The partner offers its Mediafly Evolved Selling™ app on SAP App Center. This app rises to the daily usefulness challenge, according to Augustine, starting with its ability to deftly manage and distribute sales and marketing content.
“Sales content plays such an important role for sellers,” noted Augustine. “There is a very clear need to help CPG manufacturers organize and then, better use content — especially for sales reps in the field.”
Focused specifically to sales engagement — helping reps sell more effectively and efficiently — and on improving competitiveness, the Mediafly app acts as a content engine, making sales materials in all forms easy to distribute and access, right on SAP Sales Cloud.
Making current sales content easy to find is the number-one concern Mediafly hears from its global customers.
Case in Point: PepsiCo
PepsiCo, the consumer goods leader, faced a common problem: how to keep its sales materials current for its worldwide salesforce, given many pricing and promotion updates. The company also wanted to move to more personalized selling.
The Mediafly app was customized to PepsiCo’s Challenger Model, giving reps rapid access to current materials. Through the app’s tracking and reporting capabilities, PepsiCo discovered that 99% of its materials were not being used, leading to a revamped content strategy and increased usage. Using many of Mediafly’s other sales preparation and follow-through functions, sales meeting efficiency was also impacted, with average meeting times reduced from 60 to 30 minutes.
As PepsiCo found, the app serves as more than a basic content portal. It helps CPG manufacturers share, track and report on content usage — and courtesy of AI, even recommends content proven to help close sales based on the stage of the buying cycle.
Being able to get to the right content when in the field, with or without wireless connectivity, fills a real need for reps on the road — and helps companies maximize their investment in SAP solutions.
Another sales rep gripe is needing to customize their presentations — and do it quickly.
“There are rich capabilities on this app for presentations and proposals,” Augustine added. Retail sales reps can pull and mix materials to suit their customer or prospect using their personal collections or playlists of applicable content or, quickly and easily, create their own presentations — saving significant meeting preparation time.
Once in front of a customer, reps can pull in new content on the spot to respond to customer interests and interact on a more personal basis throughout the meeting using numerous tools that add value to the discussion, such as charts and graphs the app creates automatically.
Back to the importance of data — to support the sale, Mediafly pulls from SAP Sales Cloud, various ERP systems and Nielsen data to highlight market facts of interest to specific customers. This eliminates the time-consuming task of researchers compiling information that might be dated by the time it’s presented.
Another highly valued aspect of this app are the new, customizable calculators that configure total cost of ownership, ROI and/or other competitive or product-related information.
Using the Mediafly calculators, sales reps can show a customer the uplift their store could realize if they swap out one product for another, resulting in greater sales for both the CPG company and the retailer.
Practical, Daily Usage for Productivity
For daily efficiency, sales reps (and managers) also appreciate that the app automatically tracks content shared during meetings — and enters other meeting details automatically into SAP Sales Cloud for CRM purposes.
Having a mobile tool like Mediafly that allows reps to find, use, share and track content is likely the biggest time-saver for users. Many other functions are automated too, making it a certain time-saver — before, during and after sales meetings. App users report spending on average 20 to 30 percent less time weekly on content creation and management; the largest teams report saving up to 100,000 hours a year.
For Augustine, what is most striking about this app is its ease of use: “Even a tech-averse staff member can pick it up quickly, with little to no training.”
Despite this, full training and ongoing support is provided as the software is rolled out to users.
Like SAP, Mediafly keeps innovating and expanding its value. For example, it now offers a range of workshops and services to help companies better shape their sales or value stories — putting the focus squarely on how best to present a retailer’s competitive differentiators and ultimate value to customers.
Perhaps most important for IT managers, adding this app is seamless, allowing for integrated functionality. Recently, the Mediafly app achieved SAP-certified integration with SAP Sales Cloud.
For CPG manufacturers like PepsiCo who want to stay on top of their market and competitors, the app is yielding positive results for sales, efficiency and productivity.
“The pressures are real and ongoing for global CPG companies,” concluded Augustine. “Margins are low, and competition is high. Using SAP Sales Cloud and the Mediafly app, you really can create opportunities for improved sales effectiveness, leading to increased sales.”
Sales results for Evolved Sellers using Mediafly are indeed impressive. In the Forrester® report, How B2B Sellers Win in the Age of the Customer, research shows an increase in deals of 43 percent; deal size increases of up to 70 percent; and revenue growth of up to 66 percent.
1) Forrester commissioned report, September 2016.