Leveraging the Power of the Many
When it comes to gaining a competitive edge in store, consumer goods companies should look no further than their own field force. Companies that deploy a mobile retail execution solution with integrated social technology can leverage the power of the many to improve efficiency, effectiveness and sell more in store.
Join the conversation
Social tools allow managers and reps to share information in real-time. This can include direct messages between managers and reps, or posts in a community-like social network where reps share news and market intelligence with each other. However, beyond just simply sending messages, social technology can present several opportunities to ultimately sell more. There are three key—or in this case, “C”—benefits of enterprise social technology:
Connect – Companies can send messages and notifications vertically, between the field and home office, as well as horizontally, between team members.
Collaborate on best sales practices—For example, a rep could describe how he convinced a store manager to put up an additional display. He could also attach a photo of the display in the store. Other reps can now use this information to sell in that display.
Communicate and share competitive intelligence—If a rep sees that a competitor is having distribution issues with a specific product, he could alert the team that there is an opportunity to fill the void with their company’s product.
Built in and Meaningful
For social technology to succeed, it’s important to address the field teams’ primary questions:
1. Does it help me do my job?
2. Is it fast and easy is it to use?
Social tools deliver the highest impact when reps clearly understand how it helps them do more, know more or sell more in the field. Companies can begin by providing specific examples of use cases. Then, as the team gets more comfortable, they will find more ways to use and leverage the tools.
It’s critical that the technology is easy-to-use and integrated with their current system. Asking reps to toggle between applications or add multiple steps their workflow is a recipe for failure. A secure mobile field force system with built-in social technology, such as StayinFront TouchCG®, ensures reps and managers are on the same page, “in the know,” and can make more-informed decisions in the office or out in the field.
Social as a Game Changer
At a recent StayinFront customer forum, Dale Hagemeyer, partner at POI and former Gartner VP Research, discussed key technologies that are poised to improve retail execution and change the face of the CG Industry. Watch this video of Dale discussing Social as one of the Emerging Technologies for Consumer Goods Manufacturers.
About Dale Hagemeyer
Dale Hagemeyer leads the research, best practices, and advisory function at POI and has been active on the POI Board since its inception. Previously, he was a research vice president and managing vice president at Gartner for 15 years. There, he did research in the application of technology to the business processes of trade promotion and field sales automation for consumer goods manufacturers. Prior to Gartner he spent 14 years in management positions related to the promotion and distribution of products at Sunbeam Corporation, The Quaker Oats Company, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, and Kroger. He also fulfilled an international assignment in Mexico from 1995 to 1996. He has served on various industry advisory boards for trade associations and industry periodicals. Dale can be reached at email@example.com