Different Types of Trade Promotions and Their Importance in CPG and FMCG.


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Van sales are an important part of the distribution network, and they’re also one of the most challenging. Ensuring that the right product and assortment reaches the right stores in the right geographies is essential in determining the success of a product and brand.


  • How do distributors maximize van sales efficiency?
  • How can Sales Force Automation help in optimising van sales for maximum sales?
  • How do distributors decide what products to stock the vans with, to ensure that the right assortment and product reaches the right customers and ensure that the van returns with minimal returns?


All of these have implications for planning and operating a Van Sales strategy that benefits distributors and the CPG industry standards while being profitable. To answer these questions distributors and CPG companies need to address some very specific challenges:

Stock Loading automation: Stock loading automation is a process of managing, tracking, and delivering inventory with the help of an application. Stock loading involves transporting products from the source to the desired destination. It helps in saving time and increasing efficiency by eliminating human involvement in the process. Stock loading may sound like an easy process, but with multiple companies and huge flows of inventory in today’s markets, it is anything but. Applying technology has the potential to streamline processes, ensure transparency, visibility and save time.


Market potential optimization: Brands and distributors can maximize market potential by analysing geographical sales data, historical outlet transactions, and existing route data and potential, which can help maximize, capture new revenue, and increase efficiency while highlighting opportunities with higher profitability. There is a lot of data that needs to be collected and analyzed to extract meaningful data to help stock the van with the right products and assortment.


Sales management: The challenges in van sales start with inventory management and its visibility. Knowing what’s selling and at what time, will ensure that distributors have the right product and stock and help stock the van with the right inventory. This ensures that the van sales teams carry the exact inventory and nothing more based on past transaction data. 


Inventory Tracking: Knowing what’s exactly in stock and predicting what retailers and customers will want to buy is critical to ensure a successful van sales strategy. Inventory tracking is essential to an efficient van sales strategy and making sure that van sales teams have the right products available to stock the van for each route and providing visibility of the balance available stock during market visits based on sales and delivery.


Real-time Tracking: Tracking sales, activities, and performance is a challenge for the distributors, sales personnel, supervisors, and company admin. Real-time tracking can provide critical data on stocking and inventory management to help revise and improve van sales. 


Payment Collection and Returns: Without real-time data and visibility on payments collected, returns and other activities at the outlet can hamper brands and distributors from driving sales. This also leads to delayed payment collection and cycles. Delay in payments also leads to fewer sales trips for the van.


Stock Unloading / Settlement: Tracking stock unloading and settlement in real-time is challenging. Ensuring brands and distributors have complete visibility of balance stock at the end of the day can help verify the van sales strategy. Access to stock settlement data can help optimize van sales for final settlement and reconciliation.


Route Management: Once the van leaves the warehouse, the brand and distributor do not have any visibility into the van and the sales team’s performance till they come back. Lack of real-time and accurate data also prevents distributors from analyzing route performance and measuring effectiveness and compliance with the plan.


Schemes and promotions: Tracking of schemes and promotions utilisations is also a challenge with van sales. Van sales teams can’t check available schemes, and promotions to boost Outlet-wise sales with targeted promotions.


Smart SSFA applications, integrated with the DMS Suite, can help address these challenges. Comprehensive data analytics support, real time tracking and connectivity and full visibility of salesperson activity and performance help distributors and CPG companies extract the full potential of the van sales teams.


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