One has always looked at mSFA as a tool to automate Sales process and also as a step towards digitisation. One needs to look at SFA beyond the above objectives. It is important for the company which is implementing mSFA process and the partner who is providing the solution to collaborate together and list down objectives pre and post mSFA implementation. The industry is now witnessing a scenario as customers are increasingly looking at Return on investment (ROI) on mSFA implementation beyond automation and digitisation.
mSFA has been instrumental in driving profitability by increasing topline, driving range selling through focussed channel /product alignment, driving profitable products; helping create go to market on new product launches, reducing wastages, and improving collection mechanisms.
Below are four ways how mSFA is driving profitability in the industry today.
Increasing topline – mSFA helps Sell More Sell Better by helping cover retail outlets every single day. It effectively defines a journey plan, sets targets by outlets and by SKU. The solution helps companies prioritise product offerings, launch incentive schemes for trade and salesmen and monitor performance real time against set targets. Most importantly, it enables product placement on the shelf and drive offtake.
Enabling Product Channel design and strategy – mSFA solution helps align channel /SKU objectives. Product architecture and intelligence built in the solution helps and guides salesmen, remember key SKUs which need to be sold in thousands of outlets during the market beat. It also helps in driving SKU strategy and high margin products through range selling which can be a part of ‘Must sell / Focus SKU’. In case of modern retail, the solution helps drive SKU strategy basis segmentation.
In short, mSFA solution helps plan, monitor and drive channel / SKU strategy; which is the key to driving market share by category and thereof profitability. It enables to create high margin product segments which can become a part of focus SKUs for the target segments. It thereby, helps expand the market for high margin products.
Helping design go to market programs for new product launches – mSFA helps construct ‘Go to Market’ strategy covering aspects of product launch- distribution, brand objectives, monitor and measure brand visibility, design, launch, monitor and measure trade promotions and sales incentives for trade and salesmen. It also enables sampling, which is an integral part of a new product launch and helps measure effectiveness of the promotion, both pre and post.
Cost optimization – mSFA helps drive order optimization basis product shelf life through historical data and system intelligence; thereby reducing returns which has a direct impact on costs.
It helps design credit controls for channels which has a direct impact on creating the right framework for balancing order intake and credit controls. Right credit control framework also enables collection through alternate channels, thereby optimising costs.
The writer is Executive Vice President, WINIT