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Exceedra Byte:
The Power of Seller Insights

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Watch the second episode of our new Exceedra Byte mini-series focused on the basics of Retail Execution. This week, Andres Jejen, VP of Solutions Engineering uncovers the power of the data in the hands of the field people.

Sometimes companies consider that Retail Execution is only a way to gather information from the field and forget that salespeople are their closest and most effective vehicle to conduct any kind of strategic initiative. But to achieve that, they need to be armed with as many information and data points as they need to make adequate decisions and drive actions that will increase the opportunities for selling.

A recurrent trend in modern Retail Execution is the usage of “seller insights” to drive better in-store activity. Simply put, seller insight data allows instant analysis of product and category behaviors and trends by leveraging multiple data sources. At the level of the sales rep, the information is broken down to the individual store and SKU, but compared within the same segment, cluster of stores, category, or region to generate a benchmark and prescribe to the store personnel what will be the most profitable activities to execute. At the end of the day, it comes down to helping your customers sell more so you can sell more in turn.

A historical challenge on the usage of seller insights in the field relates to how to provide “just enough” information for the sales rep to use. While typically one may think that it will be enough to provide them with a report, the truth is that the data on its own doesn’t provide the insights required as the rep is forced to analyze and contextualize the information provided. And given that their in-store time is limited, analyzing information while in a visit is probably not a smart investment. Here’s where the part of the “insights” come into play: the idea is not just to provide reps with “data”, but with “actions” and “ideas” that the data can fuel. For instance, if we provide historical ePOS data to the rep, it is not enough to say: “we have an average demand of 10 pieces of product X, while our running inventory is of 1 or 2”. Instead, we can say, “we might have a virtual inventory running with product X, go and assess the real level of inventory and discuss with the store manager for any order quantity increases”. At the same time, Product X will appear as a suggested product in our Order Entry, ready for the validation with the Store manager.

The idea is not just to provide reps with data, but with actions and ideas that the data can fuel.

As you could see from the previous example, the rep didn’t have to run any complex reports, nor engage into complicated workflows and navigate back and forth to leverage the data. Instead, seller insights are valuable if used in the context of a specific action, and thus, Retail Execution solutions are forced to provide that information timely when the rep is executing that action. But this is not the only use case. Field personnel can also use aggregated information to drive better decisions in regards of upselling, applying promotions or drive specific behaviors. The key word here is “simplicity”: people in the field are not meant to perform data mining or complex analysis, instead, via automation processes the system should supply the pre-consumed data points in a simple and effective way to be used.

We see more and more organizations that are consuming data as part of their core processes, bringing Retail Execution from mere commodity to a strategic solution that will increase their output and selling opportunities. And here at Exceedra we have the right solution to leverage your data assets.

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Exceedra Byte is a weekly vlog series where we take complex trade and revenue growth management topics and break them down into byte-sized pieces. Stay tuned every Thursday for new episodes.

Watch the previous episode of Exceedra Byte – Retail Execution Paradigm

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