Outsourced Sales Support : Plug & Play to Scale Up

Outsourced Sales Support : Plug & Play to Scale Up

An experienced and properly trained salesperson increases the chance of product placement by close to 50%. 

Start Ups looking for growth require access to the right sales resources in a cost effective manner. At Centric, we provide an out-sourced sales service that helps firms scale-up quickly in a highly competitive world. Our offering includes pragmatic, fact based sales strategy and experienced  feet on street for last mile execution support. Over the past three years, we have helped firms in multiple categories scale up in a metric driven, cost effective manner.  This note is focused on our offering for brands in the FMCG and Apparel category.

The Centric approach towards Outsourced  Sales Support includes the following:

Experienced Consultants with real, world CXO level experience:

Our consultants have run businesses across categories. They leverage their in-depth category knowledge – gained in companies like Unilever, Arvind Brands, Unibic and Lavazza to quickly identify the barriers and triggers to trial / placement. This is in turn layered with contemporary knowledge of the market –  gained from our ongoing cross category consulting engagements.

  • eg, An MNC apparel brand was struggling to increase sales despite superior quality products and committed leadership. Centric was engaged to provide a comprehensive sales strategy and execution support to help grow the business. After interacting with the trade, we realized the problem was an inefficient distribution strategy and sub-optimal product mix. Within 6 weeks, we provided the leadership team with a fact based understanding of market potential, desired product range, estimated sales, required investments and a time frame by when the company would break even.

The leadership team came on-board with our approach. While the product team quickly introduced new offerings to address fast moving categories – our team went about opening doors in large format stores.  We worked with the client, for over a year, to ensure product placement in correct channels and efficient servicing of key customers. We also helped the Client build a lean sales team who could take the business forward. Based on our combined efforts, the company grew significantly and will achieve business goals as per plan.

Key Benefit : An experienced approach towards sales strategy builds a realistic business plan – factoring in  brand offering, the competitive context and barriers and triggers to brand trial / adoption.  It also provides the necessary inputs a brand needs to act on, in order to achieve desired business goals.

Wide Network of Professional Relationships

Our consultants have run business units for decades and engaged in multiple outsourced sales engagements across household care, food, apparel and other categories. As a result, we have a wide range of professional connections with trade partners across multiple channels (eg  Super Markets, Modern Trade and On-Line platforms) .

Thus we are able to quickly identify the cost of retail entry and ensure brand placement in multiple formats based on feedback from trade partners. This allows us to present a fact based sales projection, detailed metrics of performance and a road map to achieve business goals. Our experienced consultants in turn are able to close last mile execution based – with our principals providing close supervision.

eg. A large egg producer wanted to launch a branded offering. They approached Centric to get a quick understanding of market potential and cost of retail entry. We designed attractive packaging for the brand and went to the trade to gauge response. Our team was able to present the client with a trade feedback based business plan within 6 weeks – to take a go / no go decision. In this case, the client decided to not launch a branded offering, based on the cost of investment and current market sentiments.

Key Benefit:  By leveraging our trade network, brands can quickly estimate cost of retail entry and arrive at a fact based sales plan. This minimizes the risks involved in a new brand launch and enables the brand owner to take an informed decision related to investments, time frame and required resources. To know more about our Retail Strategy Offerings click here

Trained and Qualified Feet on Street

At Centric, we believe the last mile plays a key role in brand placement. Hence our sales consultants are carefully chosen, have over a decade of real world experience and a working knowledge of the relevant sales channel. Plus we train them to represent the client’s brand in an effective but professional manner.

eg. An FMCG Start Up was unable to place their brand in super markets – citing lack of trade response. They were also unable to engage a distributor for their brand. Centric was engaged, to help them build a realistic, fact-based sales plan and provide the execution support to achieve the same.

Our trade dipstick revealed there was a gap in the market and the brand had potential to gain share from the monolithic market leader. However to win over the trade we had to demonstrate off-take and proper servicing capability.

Centric placed an experienced sales consultant on the assignment – who opened 100 stores in 3 months. To support placement and ensure off- take we provided attractive point of sale material and tactical on-ground promotions. We also recommended the client stop all above the line advertising until adequate brand placement was accomplished – using the funds for sales promotion instead.

Over 4 months, we were able to build place the product in both stand alone stores and key accounts, service the market, identify triggers for consumer off take and demonstrate the brand would achieve projected business numbers in 14  months. During that time period, we were able to engage distributors to ensure proper servicing of the market based on sales performance. Centric continued to open doors, service key customers  and provide tactical support for 16 months to ensure business numbers are met.

 

Key Benefit: Firms looking to scale up are often not able to attract the right talent or handle them properly. By plugging into the Centric Sales Platform, firms get access to highly qualified sales people who are monitored properly – using proven tools and techniques for maximum efficiency.

 

Metric Driven & Cost Effective approach to sales up scaling

At Centric, we provide a structured approach towards sales based on our past experience in multi- national companies.  Our offering includes a detailed fact based channel wise business plan, pre-identified investments to help achieve sales targets and experienced sales consultants for last mile execution. Each engagement is led by a senior principal who personally supervises the performance against plan and works with the client to meet business numbers. As a result fledgling brands are able to scale up quickly in a structured manner.

In terms of support,  each engagement includes a principal consultant with CXO level sales experience who runs the sales process, a qualified and trained senior sales consultant who opens doors and relationship manager who manages key accounts. We also design and print the required point of sales material and runs tactical social media campaigns within this budget.

Key Benefit: Clients are able to plug into an efficiently running sales system to scale up their business. As a business grows, we also work with the client to on-board sales people who are trained by us. This ensures a smooth transition once Centric has achieve key metrics and the client’s team is ready to manage the system.

 

In Summation:

New brands require strong sales and marketing support to make a mark in this competitive market. By plugging into an Outsourced Sales Platform, run by a professional organization, firms are able to quickly gauge market acceptance to their brand and arrive at a critical mass.

Once the firm establishes a desired position, we encourage our clients to on-board the right sales team to keep the brand in the right direction. Our principals, train and hand hold the team over a quarter to ensure there is a smooth transition.

 

Thank you for reading this post.

To know more about our offerings please contact rini@centricbrandadvisors.com

Read more in the Hindu Business Line – 7 Steps to a Successful Retail Launch by Rini Dutta

 

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