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Optimising the B2B Retail Route to Market

Optimising the B2B Retail Route to Market

The B2B retail route to market can achieve optimisation through the employees that know the consumer journey best; the sales reps.

The B2B retail route to market can achieve optimisation through the employees who know the consumer journey best: the sales reps.

Increased sales. Greater employee satisfaction. More time to spend with customers. In this blog, we look at how consumer goods company Danone has achieved all these benefits with greater automation, less admin, and a shift to data-driven decision-making.

Putting employee experience first to maximise B2B retail sales

We’re all aware of how the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed consumer sales. Retailers have been agile and innovative in adjusting to new purchasing behaviour. And now it’s time for the consumer goods companies that sell to them to catch up.

With sales reps tending to have a more active and longer-term role in B2B sales, empowering these teams is key to optimising the B2B retail route to market. “Following the pandemic, many people are re-evaluating their priorities, and consumer goods companies that don’t offer their employees the right experience may find it difficult to attract and retain sales skills,” explains Pamela Wolf, EMEA Consumer Goods Industry Leader at Salesforce.

The platforms that employees use are a vital factor in the quality of their day-to-day experience. In the past, sales reps have been heavily dependent on printed materials and time-consuming research to prepare for customer meetings and ensure meaningful interactions.

A manual approach is not only inefficient but can also impact job satisfaction. Reps want to be out there meeting with customers and adding value, not tied down with tedious admin.

Pamela Wolf

Digital transformation boosts B2B retail for Danone

To maximise both the employee experience and sales, consumer goods brands need to consolidate platforms, embrace greater automation, and enable data-driven decision-making.

International company Danone is leading the charge, embarking on a major digital transformation based on Salesforce Consumer Goods Cloud.

Starting in France with Salesforce and partners, the transformation initiative helped the brand improve efficiency for sales reps, enabling them to focus on adding value for their customers and growing sales. In fact, six months after going live, the project has already helped Danone put more than 65,000 SKUs on the shelf and increased the number of visits by 35% (+40000).

Aligning priorities and execution to be more customer-focused

With three key business lines comprising Essential, Dairy and Plant-Based, Water, Specialised Nutrition, Danone’s well-known brands include Evian, Volvic, Aptamil, and Alpro. The company’s customers frequent major supermarkets and convenience stores across Europe and the rest of the world, as well as hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies.

Danone has sales teams based in key markets around the world who are all keen to spend as much time as possible face-to-face with their customers. It’s important that they can manage admin, prepare for meetings, and engage with customers as efficiently as possible.

Customer centricity is one of our major focus areas, but our priorities and execution weren’t aligned. We didn’t have the right tools in our French sales operations to enable reps to do their jobs effectively.

Cedric Rubod
Global Customer Director at Danone

Reinventing B2B retail execution with Salesforce Consumer Goods Cloud

Using the Salesforce Platform to build a sales platform known internally as DanForce, Danone has reinvented retail execution for its B2B reps.

As with any business transformation, effective change management has been key to the project’s success. “Never underestimate the importance of good change management,” confirms Rubod. “Business transformation takes much more than just buying a product.

Our Salesforce rollout was based on a global change management strategy to reduce project risks, ensure everyone was onboard, and maximise adoption.

Cedric Rubod

Gaining 90 minutes a day to spend with customers

Using the Salesforce Consumer Goods Cloud data model, Danone has been able to significantly improve rep efficiency. For example, the solution segments and prioritises accounts based on specific KPIs, so every onsite visit is carefully scheduled to have the greatest impact.

The Mobile App assists with route planning and provides all the information that reps need to prepare for meetings. It also provides checklists so they can ensure all the most important tasks and conversations are completed when onsite with their customers.

“Salesforce automates mundane admin so our sales reps can focus on value-add tasks,” comments Rubod. “We’ve actually won efficiency gains worth 90 minutes a day, which means each rep can make more visits and spend more time with customers.”

With its analytics, scorecards, and performance monitoring, Salesforce is also helping the company shift to data-driven – rather than experience-driven – decision-making. In the future, this may involve incorporating external data, such as marketing insights, for sales reps to share with their customers and help them make more informed purchasing decisions.

Embracing online sales as a more efficient B2B route to market

DanForce also offers the ability to:

  • Manage portfolios of instore products and assets
  • Capture inventory audits and provide a 360-degree view of customers
  • Simplify collaboration between sales and service teams

While the mobile app makes it easier to capture orders while in-store if that’s the customer’s preference, Danone is starting to move to order online, which aligns with current trends. Gartner’s Future of Sales research shows that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels.

“We’re seeing an industry shift towards online channels in B2B sales,” comments Wolf. “With store managers able to complete orders in their own time and recommendation engines boosting product awareness, online channels have been shown to increase order values. Plus, it frees up sales reps to focus on having more meaningful conversations with their customers.”

By providing B2B sales teams with the right platforms – from CRM and mobile apps to e-commerce sites – consumer goods companies can keep up with their retail customers and boost sales. They can also improve the employee experience to ensure they’re winning and keeping the best salespeople.

Discover how Salesforce Consumer Goods Cloud can help you step up the employee experience and increase sales.

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