Why your consumer product sales strategy needs to incorporate predictive modeling

Consumer Products Writer

For consumer product companies to leverage sales and increase overall growth, professional development is a top priority for the VP of sales. But it can be challenging to determine where to allocate resources and training budgets. The VP of sales needs to pay careful attention to return on investment (ROI) and ensure that educational spending is improving sales team performance.

Here are three data-driven approaches that executives can use to tackle team education and enablement challenges for consumer product sales.

Platforms for messaging alignment

At a CPG company, the VP of sales is responsible for developing and driving go-to-market strategies while also ensuring a unified value proposition. These pillars are integral to achieving steady, sustainable growth. Team members across the organization need to ensure they're engaging with the right channel partners and communicating a compelling value proposition.

As organizations grow and become more complex, however, it can be challenging for teams to align around a common vision. Training and coaching are necessities, according to technology and consulting firm CEB, and adding a coaching element to your training can improve returns fourfold. Data plays an important role in this learning and development process, as managers can use coaching analytics to improve their feedback and training process. With these metrics, coaching becomes more efficient and tailored to the organization's needs.

Master data management

Market fragmentation and supply chain complexities are creating new challenges for CPG brands that previously relied on a few channel partners for distribution. The VP of sales needs direct insight into this market to ensure that teams are pursuing the right opportunities, along with resources to support this visibility. A master data management plan can help teams share and reinforce their knowledge more efficiently.

According to Consumer Goods Technology, CPG leaders are already using master data management systems to track messaging and value propositions throughout the entire supply chain. Sales leaders play a critical role in developing an integrated picture, providing data governance and improving data quality so teams have an accurate view of the entire business when making in-the-moment judgment calls.

Thanks to improved automation, teams have more time to learn and apply their knowledge. They're also able to better contextualize that knowledge within the overall business and develop a more holistic consumer product sales strategy. With this data-driven efficiency, VPs of sales can more effectively align their professional development budgets to their companies' bottom lines.

Quantitative feedback systems

Organizations need to make sure that their training and development programs are effective over the long term. One way to achieve this goal is to develop a feedback channel through quantitative data that can be tracked over an extended period of time. SaaS company HubSpot has developed a model that can be applied to any industry, reports Ringio. The company asks sales reps to rank training sessions from most to least helpful after six months on the job to better understand how effective or ineffective particular programs are.

This data opens doors for a larger, company-wide predictive modeling opportunity. CPG brands can measure employee progress over time and better align learning and development curricula to employees, improving overall company performance as a result. Over time, the cumulative impact of these efforts can add up. For instance, McKesson, a company that supplies one-third of the prescription drugs used by hospitals and pharmacies in North America, has saved over $1 billion while improving sustainability through decreased carbon emissions in its supply chain operations.

Taking the McKesson example to heart, CPG brands must use data to better align their learning and development programs to create an effective consumer products sales program. Develop a data-driven lesson plan, provide universal access to company data and build quantitative feedback systems to improve precision. The effects will result in an invaluable feedback loop.

Mobilize your sales team with data analytics. Visit the IBM Consumer Products Industry Solutions Page to learn more.