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CPG, how will you boost sales performance in 2018?

CPG, how will you choose to augment your sales team in 2018?

Each year, global insights and technology company CEB, now a subsidiary of Gartner, surveys its network of sales executives in order to aggregate the top challenges they face in the year ahead.  At cebglobal you can download CEB’s report of what issues sales leaders believe must be solved imminently in order for their companies to be successful in 2018.

The top three challenges for 2018 are not surprising:

  • new customer acquisition
  • sales talent acquisition and growth
  • existing account retention and growth

How will these challenges be addressed in 2018?

Well, 80% of the sales leaders said that in order to meet the challenges, skills development and sales augmentation initiatives would be ‘critically important to success in 2018’, while 2 out of 3 sales leaders said they would also focus on initiatives to improve ‘account and opportunity management’.

Their intentions are clear and rationally, on target; but it is ultimately the quality and effectiveness of the initiatives that they choose to invest in that will determine if their sales teams are successful or not in 2018.

So, the critical question to ask sales leaders at the onset of 2018, is: What initiatives will you use to augment your sales teams so that they unlock new opportunities, achieve enhanced productivity and unleash their excellence this year?

The global market is awash with ‘solutions’ to augment sales teams.  I would say that the real challenge facing sales executives at this start of 2018 is: What will you choose?

Sales success this year hinges upon the right answer to that question.

Because we are a tech company rooted in decades of CPG experience, we know first-hand that what CPG sales teams need most to boost performance is instant, accurate insights from their company’s Big Data.  But this needs to also be available at 50% of the costs, and in 20% of the time to ensure their company’s success.  The quality of the sales development and augmentation initiatives chosen by the sales exec in 2018 are going to be the critical success factors of the year!

Sales people need a tech solution that works with them seamlessly.  It needs to take into account their job-driven mobility as well as their inherent personal strengths when it comes to people versus processes, conversations versus systems and collaborations versus procedures.  They need compelling, real insights at their fingertips in the moment so that they are empowered to engage and add tangible value to customers.  They need workflows that excite and delight them because they truly help them sell more and sell better.

Because we are also in the late stages of the second decade of the 21st Century, CPG sales professionals also need easy and inspiring ways for them to find their place in the sun on the tech team.  The latest machine learning and artificial intelligence projects have made the future clear – machines can think faster and make better predictions than humans can.  This is critical to the CPG sales professional because resource-heavy trade promotion planning, management, execution and optimisation rests on predictions.  Sales professionals need tools and initiatives that develop them easily in ways that they are empowered and confident in harnessing the phenomenal power of tech to unleash their excellence.