When we talk about Sales Force Automation, almost all of us relate it to what is being predominantly used in FMCG or Beverage industry over last 6-7 years. The general perception that has been built is that an SFA solution is used to manage a geographically dispersed field force in terms of regular outlet visits and activities that they perform in each outlet. Typically, those activities are order capture, sales return, payment collection, POSM deployment, planogram compliance etc. While the conventional SFA has evolved a lot to meet ever changing business dynamics of its client base and to adopt to latest technology innovations, even till date there is not enough traction for an SFA solution from the industries that sell their product/ services in B2B model by deploying sales representatives (or at times called account managers) who are responsible for visiting corporates, institutions, government offices etc. Healthcare, Telecom, Education, Heavy Electrical etc. are few examples of such industries.
Products & services are sold by way of different approaches. In retail segments where there is significant product, price or service delivery differentiation, sales staff focus more on product-based selling, that is, showcasing features over benefits.
For segments where the product or service is homogeneous and there is high competition intensity, sales staff try to provide solution-based selling, which is often called as consultative selling. Consultative selling believes in establishing a dialogue with the prospective customer, thereby understanding their way of life and then try to fit a solution through their product or service offering.
Food service has always been a high potential industry given the rise in consumer disposable incomes and higher occasions of eating out. However, consumers tend to have less loyalty for restaurants. This coupled with stiff competition makes restaurants develop points of differentiation to attract repeat consumers. Some restaurants have food as their point of differentiation, some have location & ambiance while some have service.
The Indian retail market is predominantly offline as online retail just accounts for around 5% of overall retail business. Hence, offline retail research becomes extremely essential in order to formulate winning strategies. Retail research is important for start-ups to identify potential of a segment while for established firms, it is important to have awareness about the as-is scenario in order to maintain or improve their standing among competition.
The most challenging part of running any large Rewards program is handling the logistics of all the rewards. This is the part where an agency’s experience is most required for any company. Based on our considerable experience of managing large scale loyalty rewards programs, we have identified the following best practices in running any such programs.