When the pandemic descended upon us last year, most organizations promptly realized that the way ahead for businesses was to move online. Even traditional industries such as FMCG and manufacturing had to reimagine the way they conduct business and identify ways to engage with and drive ease of business for their retailers. Given the proliferation of mobile apps and a strong internet, most manufacturers thought that rolling out a mobile app to provide retailers with information and order placement would work out as a replacement plan. However, these apps did not see the expected adoption primarily because the retailers did not want to engage with a deluge of apps on their phones and hence, were hesitant in adopting the same.
Given the complexities of the retailer landscape coupled with COVID-imposed lockdowns and travel restrictions, it was clear that the solution to navigating this complex landscape would stem from a more comprehensive technology solution. For this, it was essential to first understand the challenges that needed resolving.
Increase sales footprint and enable multi-channel demand capturing
While the world is gradually moving back to the pre-COVID days, we are still a long way from operating in full force. With people reluctant to meet salespeople, getting sales appointments is proving to be more challenging than ever. These companies also have to make sure that they expand their sales footprint and connect not only with their tier 1 retailers but also the tier 2 and 3 retailers.
With social distancing norms and travel restrictions in place, expanding the sales footprint to connect with all the three retailer tiers becomes harder. Even if the sales force is active, making sure that all the retailers under the umbrella can be seamlessly engaged is a tall order.
Manufacturers thus need to have the right mechanisms in place and ramping up offline omnichannel capabilities. Technology has to complement the salesforce by enabling telephonic multi-channel demand capture using trained telecalling executives. Technology solutions also have to make telecalling smarter by automating calling queues for telecallers for specifically those outlets that the salespeople could not meet. Enabling auto-dialler integrations is another way in which organizations can assist their salespeople to drive their productivity and get orders easily.
Telecalling can be a powerful tool since it helps organizations reach each and everyone in their retailer base irrespective of their tier status. It helps organizations proactively capture orders and remain in the eye-line of the retailer while driving up cross-selling and upselling opportunities by gaining insights into buying patterns, seasonal demands, and customer needs.
Drive retailer engagement
The salesforce had been doing all the heavy lifting to keep retailers engaged with the organization. Regular visits and continuous communication coupled with information on discounts, promotional bundles, and exclusive offers helped augment relationships between retailers and manufacturers. However, even when things were normal, most organizations struggled to help their salespeople meet all their retailers. Salespeople often focused heavily on their Tier 1 retailers, leaving the Tier 2 and 3 retailers with sub-optimal engagement levels.
Retailer mobile apps were supposed to help in this area. But the challenge with the retailer apps was that these did not foster deep engagement as they were just single brand operating platforms. Replacing retailer apps with telecalling can help bridge this great divide and help organizations build deep and meaningful engagement with their entire retailer base. A robust technology-driven telecalling platform can be used to capture all relevant retailer information for telecalling agents to drive better conversations. The information at hand can also be used to identify schemes or loyalty programs that will attract the retailer. It can further be used to disseminate information regarding new schemes, loyalty programs, goodies, and exclusive club memberships, etc. to keep the retailer engaged and hooked to the brand.
Having proper mechanisms to track and manage and increase the total visibility into end-to-end sales also becomes important to drive sales and retain competitiveness in today’s market.
Collect retailer feedback
Hearing the voice of the customer is essential to succeed in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace. This is where most of the apps falter as they are unable to capture detailed customer feedback and concerns. While people are now used to online interactions, they want to know that their concerns and challenges are being heard and then addressed.
Developing a strong escalation management system and having the right mechanisms to collect retailer feedback are strong engagement strategies. The absence of these mechanisms can make retailers feel alienated and can lead them to drop the brand as well.
Collecting such feedback also helps brands get deep insights into brand perception and product, market and brand feedback since the retailers are the closest to the end-users. This information can then be used to fuel engagement strategies and also drive product improvement plans.
Since the sales force is on the backfoot owing to the social condition, organizations need to help their salespeople with additional resources. The way ahead is to complement the field force with telecalling so that organizations can communicate better with the customers, capture orders proactively, and increase their sales and engagement footprint by driving elevated conversations with all their clients.
Using a comprehensive telecalling platform, organizations can increase their market reach, make order generation systematic and proactive, and gain transparency into buying patterns and thereby drive better customer interactions.Let’s connect to discuss how we can assist you quickly set up a comprehensive telecalling service.