Business Insights 22 Jul 21 Rashmi Kapse

In the last couple of months, the FMCG industry has bounced back to face the 2nd half of 2021 with renewed vigor. India saw new product categories emerge and explore a more unified form of distribution. We also witnessed how the pandemic proved to be a catalyst.  What the 1st wave created, the 2nd wave fuelled-  conscious consumption, a closer relationship between the manufacturer and the end-consumer, and a greater focus on intelligently stocking the right shelves. 

The FMCG industry, therefore, has been catapulted to a fast-track growth path. With increased competition, the need for retail information flowing back seamlessly to the decision-makers is critical.   Whether it’s an established FMCG company or a consumer good start-up, nearly all of them now consider sales automation as a standard element in their Sales Strategy to improve on-field productivity as well as to keep a constant pulse on the market. 

Therefore, while making an informed business decision, organizations must ensure some of these key benefits before identifying the right SFA for themselves:

  • Automation of all critical secondary sales processes. 
  • Greater geographical as well as outlet coverage efficiency.
  • Granular data on Target Achievement vs Total Target per-salesman and per-outlet performance.
  • Quicker Order Taking due to visibility on historical outlet data as well as clear. company directives on specific products or SKUs to sell. 
  • Better assessment of on-field competitor activities.
  • Capturing market intelligence on the go.

While most of the SFA app players will deliver the above benefits, here are some expert hacks for you to know which sales force automation partner stands out from the rest: 

1. Business-first approach

A good technology partner keeps in mind the client’s perspective while developing a new product or adding new features to the existing product. This approach keeps the SFA players aligned with the business strategies of customers. Ask questions to assess whether the product teams follow this principle too and whether everyone including the stakeholders keeps track of requirement implementation all the time.

2. Agile Principles

As a subsequent process, it is important to adopt Agile Principles to achieve the above. Agile software development principles ensure a short development cycle with continuous feedback system scope readjustments. While there are multiple tools for agile development, Scrum, a lightweight process framework, is the toolset followed by the most evolved SFA players. In fact, it is one of the most widely-used toolsets used by successful software companies like Google and Microsoft.

3. Robust Product Development and Technology team

Any salesforce automation or a retail analytics company that has a robust Product Development & Technology team can be safely assumed to be contributing to products and processes, eventually providing increased customer value. A full-service SFA company will show continuous effort to collaborate with all to deliver superior quality features with inherent strategic business values built in as a value-add.

4. Seasoned Onboarding and Support Team

Your preferred choice of sales force automation software player must have a seasoned team of Account Managers with SFA domain expertise to impart the best SFA training to your field force. This is one of the must-consider essentials that most organizations fail to check before considering an SFA player. But why is it critical?

Because a seasoned team ensures higher adoption and sustained usage levels of SFA by your on-field team. It is also able to provide continuous insights on industry best practices. An ably dedicated Support Team can ensure customers get an immediate resolution to operational escalations. If there is additional support from future-based technology using AI like ChatBot to facilitate faster problem-solving, that’s even better!  The team should be a judicious mix of technically sound yet high-on-FMCG-business acumen to translate business problems and deliver the best resolution.

At FieldAssist, we put enormous effort into updating and upgrading ourselves with all the latest developments around us. The essence of our solutions lies in the fact that we focus on the relevance and functionality of a product while developing one and not build something with multiple features that may appear great on the surface but don’t bring anything of business value to our customers. An approach like this keeps our processes in constant check and allows us to stay ahead in the SFA industry, eventually creating a space for ourselves as a trusted technology partner in our customers’ growth.

In fact, our customers are absolutely delighted with FieldAssist’s Customer Success Team because of their proficiency, customer–centricity, business competency, superior execution capability, and timely resolution of their problems.

Whether you choose us or a different Salesforce automation solution, be rest assured that it is going to give you valuable insights into your customers. So the question is not really how to make the most of your SFA, it's how to maximize your relationship with your SFA partner. 

Rashmi Kapse

Rashmi is a Content Specialist at FieldAssist. After spending 11 years in the Executive Search business she decided to change tracks and follow her passion for writing. For the past 8 years, she has been writing on Sales Tech, HR Tech, FMCG, Consumer Goods, F&B and Health & Wellness.

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