How can FMCG Companies improve salesman’s technique in order to sell more?
Some FMCG Salesmen, buyers and sellers are more interested in building strong relationships with one another than others.
Factors to consider before being able to forecast salesman’s volume for a new product with reasonable accuracy, and even then many experienced marketers get it wrong as the variables are many and some of them are simply unknown.
The factors to consider are:
1. Product features and quality vs competition
2. Brand Strength if it is a new product from an established brand
3. Advertising Investment to generate awareness and educate consumers on the features of the new product
4. Price and Promotional strategy vs competition
5. Product test scores vs. competitive products based on formal research
6. Retail or distribution capability or customer (retailer) buy in of your products
7. Timing of launch if product is seasonal
8. And any other factors which are unique and category specific
Most organizations take any one or more of these 4 approaches to work out volume for a new product over a specific time frame, lets say one year
The first approach is
Market Share based : this is a holistic marketing approach…..brand managers take all the product and marketing features of the new product, its advertising, pricing etc. and compare it versus competition and estimate a potential market share. This requires experience and analysis of historical data.
Retail store based : this is a sales based approach where they estimate numbers of stores distributed, the initial sell in units, the potential unit sales per store per week to arrive at a volume
Advertising Awareness based : this is a pure above the line based approach which makes assumptions on how many consumers will be made Aware of the product, of that how many will try (Trial) the product, and this percentage is based on research of previous similar new products and how many will come back and buy again which is called Retention
Price Variation based : this is a trade marketing approach and assumes a certain distribution over which volume per week at Everyday shelf price is estimated and volume per week for promotional price is estimated. Then based on trade marketing investments the number of weeks on promotion is planned for the 1st year to arrive at a full year volume
What are the essential analytics needed for FMCG selling-marketing?
The four types of relationships between buyers and sellers are transactional, functional, affiliative, and strategic. The four basic sales strategies salespeople use are script-based selling, needs-satisfaction selling, consultative selling, and strategic-partner selling. Different strategies can be used with in different types of relationships. For example, the same questioning techniques used in needs-satisfaction selling might be used in relationships characterized by consultative selling and strategic-partner selling. The sales process used to sell products is generally the same regardless of the selling strategy used. However, the strategy chosen will depend on the stage the seller is focusing on. For example, if the problem is a new one that requires a customized solution, the salesperson and buyer are likely to spend more time in the needs identification stage. Consequently, a needs-satisfaction strategy or consultation strategy is likely to be used.
How can FMCG companies increase range selling of products/SKUs through distributors’ salesmen
In general, the highest paid salesmen aren’t people who go around chasing hundreds of smaller sales, but those who close large deals with plenty of upside.
Some industries (especially straight to consumer) don’t lend themselves super well to this. Selling to other companies is your best bet.
All sales roles have associated commissions, which is always a motivation for selling more or selling a wide range. I am sure you are doing that. However, if you build your processes around helping your DSR succeed, it won’t matter if they are not on your payroll.
This will mean –
A. Profiling your customer landscape
This means profiling your retail landscape to understand, which retailer can sell what based on its location. Over the period this will help us ensure stock norms are rightly laid out and segment stores to fine tune schemes and targets.
B. Creative design of schemes and targets
Once you have segmented your customers, not only you can define schemes which promote a broader range of products but also target right schemes on the right products.
C. Defining Total Lines Sold (TLS) as a KPI
Make TLS a KPI and define clear monthly targets on it.
A sure way to achieve all above will be to use technology to facilitate it. Do not exclude Distributor Sales Reps from your technology enablement plan. Definitely onboard them on your SFA.
What type of salesmen make the most money? Also how much can they make?
Depends on what you are selling and where. For example, if you are selling something that is more difficult to sell, costs more for the customer, and the audience is more selective then you would earn more than if you sell something that is more common or are in an industry that is predominately made of salespeople.
On the other hand, in some industries it is “a numbers game” where you might make the same as the higher end products or services with limited appeal, if you can sell a high volume.
Generally, salaries are low and commission is high. The retention rate is relatively low, and there are often many people low down and few people high up in such an organization.
In a perfect Digital World simply create useful content and people would pay for what they felt it deserved, and this would be enough to make a living.
Feel-good marketing from experience it doesn’t work.
Writing every day
Hitting the publish button
Most people believe that there’s just one “breed” of salesperson. It’s either that you’re a salesperson, or you’re not. I believe that this is incorrect thinking and we’re going to address why in this article.
Price Focused – transactional sellers.
The Price-Driven Salesperson
This type of rep is the most difficult to train and coach. They are the salespeople who perceive their company, their offerings and themselves as a commodity. They marginalize the value of their solutions by quickly defaulting to price and rushing to present competitive quotes. The primary goal for the price-driven salesperson is to, “Save the client money on the products they are buying elsewhere.” Additionally, these price-driven reps tend to fill the CRM with quoted opportunities that inevitably fall apart due to the prospect disengaging and losing interest.
Product Focused – value sellers.
The Value-Driven Salesperson
The challenge for this type of salesperson is their inability to align solutions with the prospect’s deeper operational and business issues. They build the bridge from them to the customer with product knowledge, quickly responding to interest and need with demonstrations and presentations. These reps often fall short in their qualification and closing process, skipping the critical steps that drive a positive selling outcome.
Value-driven salespeople are especially vulnerable to long endless sales cycles, due to the focus on technical stakeholders who have the greatest amount of product interest but the least amount of influence. They do a great job selling the technical buyers but lack an understanding of how to help this internal champion get the proposal approved.
Customer Focused – consultative sellers.
The Consultative Customer-Focused Salesperson
A salesperson that falls into this category will demonstrate an authentic interest in understanding the prospect’s personal and organizational issues, concerns, and visions.
This type of salesperson is naturally curious, possessing the ability to dig deep into the customer’s world through pre-call planning, as well as engaging the prospect with challenging questions. Beyond these selling skills, a consultative salesperson will challenge the prospect’s way of thinking, engage all stakeholders involved in the decision process and create more collaborative relationships. Prospects are naturally drawn to these reps and are willing to give them more time, since they view the rep as a trusted partner and advisor.
The Caretaker Salesperson
The caretaker is one of the most common types of salesperson that you can hire. Also known as transactional salespeople, these are employees that are often passive and are content to find a comfort zone that they rarely ever leave. They are often known as order-takers because rather than hunting for a potential sale, they wait for the sale to come to them. Caretakers are the types of salesman that are risk-averse, which means that they don’t want to take the chance on a prospective customer rejecting their sales pitch. They will often provide small businesses with competent, steady performance because they are adept at positioning themselves in the right place at the right time to get a sale. If you run a retail business in which the primary job of your sales staff is to help buyers find the products they are already looking for, you should hire a caretaker.
The Professional Salesperson
Another one of the most popular types of salesperson is the professional or the relational sales personality. The professional has strong analytical skills and is able to reason his way through problems. The professional develops good customer/client relationships by building a rapport and connecting with customers and clients by understanding their wants and needs. With these types of salesperson, the goal is to establish a bond that is based on fulfilling expectations. Professional salespeople often get sales because buyers trust them to deliver on what they’ve promised. Professionals are the types of salesman that excel in advertising companies or any type of sales companies in which servicing existing accounts is important.
The Closer Salesperson
Closers are the type of salesman that you often see parodied in used car commercials on TV. They are distinguished by qualities such as persistence, brashness, and a healthy dose of self-confidence. They are often referred to as “born salespeople,” because their mindset is to always be closing a deal, even if the prospective buyer is reluctant to buy. Closers are always finding ways to encourage, coerce, or push customers toward the goal of closing a deal. They are not concerned as much about building future relationships as they are about finalizing the deal that’s in front of them. Closers often have outgoing personalities that can sometimes border on being too aggressive. They don’t take “no” for an answer and they’re able to offer incentives and enticements in situations in which customers need that final push to close a deal.
The Consultant Salesperson
Consultants bring the qualities of a closer with the personal connection often found in professionals. They are well-rounded salespeople who know how to close a deal and build relationships at the same time. They aren’t afraid to solve problems for their customers and to go the extra mile with incentives in pursuit of a long-term relationship. They are skilled at tailoring their sales pitch to each customer’s needs and they are active listeners who are patient when the need requires, but they can also be aggressive with customers who are on the cusp of saying “yes” to a deal.
A salesperson will typically fall into one of these four completely different categories of types. Each of these types will also be an ideal fit to serve different and specific functions of your business. Those four types are:
Hunters enjoy putting themselves out there and meeting new people. They’ve got tons and tons of friends or acquaintances. “They’re a great friend of mine” is a common phrase you’ll hear from hunters. They’re great door openers and great prospectors, but they tend to struggle with follow through. Hunters will fill your lead list when they’re performing at a high level.
Gatherers are the kind of salespeople who can both connect with people fairly quickly and influence them to make a decision. They exude confidence and trustworthiness, but they typically don’t like to make the initial intro and have that first conversation. They love being introduced or teed-up. In other words, they’re your best “closers.”
Planters are in-direct prospectors who love to interact with existing relationships and centers of influence, and they tend to interact with them very well. You can also consider them to be more of a “relationship manager” but still having a direct role in the sales and revenue generation of the firm.
Farmers are best at getting more out of the harvest. In other words, they excel at capturing additional revenue and sales from existing clients. They’re also likely very good at earning referrals from existing clients.
This is an example of what your office could look like if you had somebody in each of these categories:
Hunter = an associate advisor does most of the first appointments and is present at your marketing events, such as seminars and client events.
Gatherer = lead advisor or business owner who comes into 2nd and 3rd appointments to propose plane and attempts to seal the deal.
Planter = an associate client service representative who may lack operational skills but is very good at and comfortable with reaching out clients daily to check in and see how they can be of service.
Farmer = a post-sale service advisor who holds review meetings with the clients.
Can you identify somebody to fill all four of these salesperson roles in your office? Who can potentially fill two similar roles until you have enough people to fill each?
Since emotional intelligence is so important, its role in sales cannot be ignored either. Allow me to provide some vivid examples to illustrate this.
The first example is handling inquisitive clients. When facing clients who continually ask questions, my first reaction was also emotional — as a sales expert, do I need clients to guide me? Later I realized this could simply be the client’s personality. I adjusted my mindset, persisted in listening attentively and answering thoughtfully. To my delight, we eventually became cooperative partners. This is a prime case exemplifying emotional intelligence at work.
The second example is avoiding “fight or flight” reactions. When facing vexing clients, my brain would also misconstrue it as an “attack”. I used to react negatively, uttering harsh words or fleeing. Later I learned to regulate my emotions and communicate rationally. Now I take deep breaths, then calmly express how we can communicate better — the effects are conspicuous.
The third example is building cooperative partnerships. First impressions with clients are crucial, determining if they view you as a collaborative partner or mere supplier. A friend of mine provided exhaustive data and case studies on solutions during his first meeting with a client. The client was deeply impressed by his professionalism and value creation, and they became partners.
In summary, I believe high emotional intelligence can help salespeople better handle complex situations and build client trust. Enhancing emotional intelligence leads to exponentially greater sales success!
Then how can we tangibly augment our emotional intelligence? Today I will share a few practical techniques.
The first technique is daily self-reflection. Find a quiet space, switch off electronic devices, and focus on observing your emotions and triggers throughout the day. This builds self-awareness, which is fundamental to improving other aspects of emotional intelligence.
The second technique is establishing accountability systems. My sales team and I practice regular check-ins to encourage each other, and team members’ emotional intelligence improved remarkably. Having supervision makes us more likely to persist in training emotional intelligence.
The third technique is simulation practice tailored to different clients. Set up dialogue scenarios acting out various client types. Share feelings and improvement methods after practice. This helps prepare us to handle multifaceted clients.
The fourth technique is listening to the TED Talks series, “Future of Emotional Intelligence”. These talks combining scientific and narrative elements have provided great inspiration on emotional intelligence for me. Listening while running, I reaped abundant benefits.
The fifth technique is reading bestsellers like “Insight”. It offers very specific methods to enhance self-awareness, understand others etc., and I learned many emotional intelligence skills from it.
These five techniques summarize efficient ways I have identified to improve emotional intelligence. I believe with perseverant practice, we can all become emotional intelligence experts!
There is a lot of free knowledge available with technical skill videos on YouTube Channel like:
How to calculate Retailer Margin in 65 seconds?
How to Analyse a Category with 33 metrics (FMCG)?
How to make a Basic FMCG Product P&L?
How to write a Brand Strategy?
How to write a brand positioning statement?
What is the average day of a brand manager?
How to explain a short term FMCG/CPG sales decline?
Why FMCG/CPG startups fail?
How FMCG/CPG brand forecast volume for a new product?
What is the relationship between consumer price, retailer margin and brand gross profit?