Optimizing Sales & Marketing Effectiveness

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1 Optimizing Sales & Marketing Effectiveness Measuring Results Across Distributed Sales Channels Published: August 2013 Version 1

2 The overall goal of consumer goods manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors is to ensure that the right product is available at the right place at the right time, in the right quality and quantity, at the lowest possible expense. Achieving this goal presents ongoing challenges at many points along the distribution channel. One of the most common difficulties is collecting and utilizing sales data as inventory passes through the various stages of the multi-tiered sales process. Measuring and optimizing sales and promotional performance across distributed sales channels is a major problem large and small companies have solved with the right software solution. Maintaining visibility in and across sales channels is complicated by: The distributed nature of the sales channel: Products pass from suppliers, to wholesalers, to distributors, to retailers, before finally reaching the consumer. It can be difficult to track inventory and sales results as products move through the channel. The growing amount of data: Data is generated each time a different party in the distributed sales channel touches the product, from suppliers, distribution partners, retailers, and 3 rd party data vendors. The volume of data can be overwhelming. The diversity of the data: The variety and sources of data defies analysis because it is trapped in systems that are not integrated into a single unified view of the business. Lack of adequate analysis and reporting capabilities: Many companies struggle to gain insight using cumbersome, error-prone spreadsheets or systems never designed to meet the analysis and reporting demands of today s consumer-driven businesses. Measuring results and optimizing marketing and sales effectiveness is achievable when companies are able to harness their data to gain a 360-degree view of their inventory and sales levels across their distributed sales channels. Transforming Data into Insight The majority of business managers have recently seen their decision-windows shrink while IT has watched data volumes grow at a rapid rate. The faster a company can transform its growing volumes of data to information and quickly deliver this information where needed, the more rapidly equipped it is to: Make better, more informed decisions Focus on areas of opportunity or need Build stronger, more lasting relationships with accounts Grow the business VERSION 1: Optimizing Sales & Marketing Effectiveness in the Distributed Sales Channel Page 2

3 New tablet-based mobile technologies for self-service reporting and analysis are enabling increasingly mobile sales organizations to achieve true data-driven decisionmaking and information delivery. Data-driven decision-making is the primary objective of business intelligence (BI) solutions. By integrating data from disparate source systems, transforming it into intuitive reports and dashboards, and delivering it to the right people at the right time, effective BI solutions empower users throughout the company to gain insights that drive the business. Self-service reports and dashboards enable executives and staff to oversee performance and easily investigate problems and opportunities The Sales VP of a distributor can start her day by viewing interactive performance reports showing the key metrics by which the business operates. Data from many different internal and external systems can be aggregated from the distributor s internal systems (ERP, Order Entry, Shipments, etc.), from retailers data feeds, and from 3 rd party syndicated sell-through data. The Sales VP can quickly identify problems and opportunities and then drill down to view the details. Sales are down in the Southeast? With a simple touch she can see that, in comparison to last year, one of the product lines has dropped significantly. She can drill down further to see the problem is isolated to a single sales rep or retailer. In highly competitive industries where consumer demand changes rapidly, reaction time and the ability to proactively affect change play critical roles in brand and account management. The Marketing Manager can load his promotion analysis report to evaluate the latest results. It is always difficult to attribute sales results to a specific campaign, but the report gives him the ability to analyze results before, during and after the promotion. He notices the sales numbers during the promotion were dramatically higher for the Massachusetts sales team, but flat for his New York sales team. With a few clicks he VERSION 1: Optimizing Sales & Marketing Effectiveness in the Distributed Sales Channel Page 3

4 can see that the New York sales group experienced good results with the previous quarter s promotion, so he will call a meeting to share his analysis, understand why, and plan future promotions based on these results. This approach overcomes the common problem of not referencing available, relevant data in decision-making because of the enormous effort required to access it, gain consensus on its accuracy, and turn it into useful information. If a customer places an order that significantly deviates from their order history, rapid analysis uncovers the new development. Outliers are easily spotted and quickly Case Study: Role-Based Dashboards Challenge: Beverage distributor, Lipman Brothers, had plenty of reports; pages and pages of reports showing monthly sales data, product shipments to accounts, overall brand performance, etc. Employees were spending too much time searching and sifting through reports to find specific numbers, and reformatting data to support their decision-making. Improve promotion management by transforming data into the information essential to timely, data-driven decision-making investigated further through interactive reports and graphs. The customer can be contacted before the order is shipped to determine whether it is a calculated change in behavior or an ordering error requiring revision. By analyzing orders, discounts, inventory levels, shipments, and trends, companies minimize their out-of-stocks, reduce returns, strengthen customer relationships, and maintain optimal inventory levels and product mix. By leveraging the growing variety of available data, companies derive insights for more effective product and inventory decision-making. Companies able to quickly and accurately collect, deliver, and analyze large volumes of inventory, sales, and promotional data maintain a distinct competitive advantage over other players who lag in obtaining and translating their data into information. Solution: Lipman Brothers deployed role-based dashboards to automatically deliver key metrics to users based on their area of responsibility. Dashboards now automatically provide the sales organization with a single view reflecting data on sales incentives, volumes, and goals. Dynamic filters can be applied by selecting values from drop-down lists in the dashboard to view the results for a subset of products, or one region, or a specific timeframe so getting the perfect view of the data they need is simple and fast. The information in each dashboard rolls up to a more consolidated view for high level managers, allowing for streamlined communication and rapid decision-making. Results: Time-to-information has been reduced at all levels of the organization, from the COO down to the individual market managers. Speed and accuracy have been improved. By giving users timely access to data, Lipman Brothers can grow their business, communicate more efficiently with their accounts, and build stronger relationships with their channel partners. Their dashboards help them make better decisions and allow them to pinpoint areas that require attention. Read the full Lipman Brothers case study at VERSION 1: Optimizing Sales & Marketing Effectiveness in the Distributed Sales Channel Page 4

5 Improve product and inventory decision-making by leveraging growing data and discovering trends and outliers BI applications offer reporting and analysis solutions to address the shrinking decisionwindows experienced by companies managing distributed sales channels. The best BI solution smoothly integrates the disparate data sources and places the reporting and analytical power in the hands of the end users. The users rapidly transform data into information using an intuitive, self-service interface, freeing IT from report requests and boosting productivity across the company. Time-consuming and error-prone program management tasks are automated, resulting in accurate, timely data upon which all levels and units of the company can agree. Self-service BI enables managers to analyze corporate data from their desktops, cross-referencing any combination of data dimensions (such as salesperson, customer, supplier, distributor, category, brand, size, month, year-to-date, region, etc.) and generating ad hoc reports as often as necessary. Dynamic reports and graphs are easily accessed and users click on summary data to display the underlying detail. With the right BI solution, tracking statistics and promotions for sold/unsold accounts, profit, and percent of change is faster, easier, and more productive. Empowering Mobile Sales Teams To effectively compete, field sales reps need sales and program data available to them at the point of interaction with channel partners. What are the latest sales numbers? How are we tracking against targets? What are the current inventory levels? What new products and promotions are available? Sales reps in the office and in the field must be supported with the most up-to-date information and promotional assets. The sales models used to monitor product promotions and sales incentives have become increasingly complex and the number of related data sources that need to be integrated and analyzed has increased exponentially. Companies need to effectively manage these complex sales models in order to gain visibility into their promotions and incentive programs and to enable the sales force to optimize their performance. Self- VERSION 1: Optimizing Sales & Marketing Effectiveness in the Distributed Sales Channel Page 5

6 service access to key program metrics, by role, on a daily basis, enables efficient program management, along with other goal-oriented initiatives such as incentives, placements, and quotas. Maintaining a thorough understanding of the impact of each program fosters ongoing successful promotion development; increasing revenues and building brands. Convenient information access increases the productivity of the sales team and enables data-driven decision-making in the field - - to effectively manage programs and other goal-oriented initiatives. The right BI solution empowers the sales team to identify new accounts and existing account sales opportunities based on current and historic data. Users determine whether current accounts are executing well or poorly across programs, brands, price-points, and quotas. They identify marginal accounts exhibiting poor performance, needing special attention. By understanding the customer and the sales process better, sales people discover better ways to sell more products. An important means to achieving this heightened understanding is by providing sales managers and reps with standard reports on brand performance, account and chain volume and trends, inventories, and more. A sales force equipped with the latest promotion and product performance information and the insight gained from the related analyses is positioned to develop strong customer relationships in their role as recognized product experts. By working closely and effectively with key accounts, sales and management develop strategies to accurately address sales channel requirements as well as market and store-level shopping patterns and needs. Case Study: Enterprise BI Helps Supplier Stay Ahead of the Competition Challenge: Campari America is one of the top 10 largest beverage alcohol suppliers in the world, representing brands including SKYY Vodka and Wild Turkey, as well as the Campari brand. Campari understands the pressure of a market where over 4,000 brands are competing for mindshare and shelf space with distributors and retailers. It needed a secret weapon to ensure it could stay competitive. Solution: Campari needed to provide employees and partners with easy access to business-critical information -- brand performance, market performance, and inventory levels through all stages of the distribution channel. They deployed a BI solution that integrated data from their own internal sales system as well as 3rd party syndicated data that showed product movement and brand performance through their downstream channel partners at distributors and retailers. Linking Insight to Action Key metrics delivered via intuitive dashboards and reports make it much easier and faster for companies to see how they are performing and to reveal business problems and opportunities. Presenting decision-makers with the most important information as a starting point shifts the reliance away from report overload and allows users to quickly direct their attention to areas that need it. Linking insight to action, the best dashboards and reports enable decision makers to take actions, whether to restock inventory, adjust the product mix, contact a customer, or redefine sales territories. Results: The Campari field sales team is now equipped with web-based reports and dashboards on brand performance, depletions, and distributor inventories -- by state, region, market, and account type. Managers can easily track performance against goals. Marketing is empowered with a dashboard that helps them analyze the results of promotions and invest future efforts and budgets for maximum impact. The Software as a Service (SaaS) deployment is easy to scale and cost-effective. Even the first year after rollout, Campari experienced significant increases in case volume and revenue and a positive impact on planning. Read the full Campari case study at VERSION 1: Optimizing Sales & Marketing Effectiveness in the Distributed Sales Channel Page 6

7 Consumer goods manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors are increasingly turning to easy-to-use business intelligence tools and the latest advances in new tablet-based devices to deliver information, gain insights from their many data sources, and improve their ability to act on those insights. An at-a-glance view of key metrics helps managers manage and sales reps sell. Real-time access to data analytics keeps everyone united in the goals of the business. Reports and dashboards provide a starting point for exploration, delivering information and powerful data navigation tools to the user s fingertips. Users gain the time-saving ability to quickly filter information by customer, brand, supplier, sales rep or other key dimensions to reveal detailed insight on the data presented, instantaneously. By performing what-if analysis, modeling potential changes in the go-to-market strategy, companies gain real-time insight into business performance. Companies able to quickly act upon these data-driven insights gain a competitive edge and are well-positioned to seize new market opportunities. Rapidly develop insights by exploring key metrics and link those insights to actions that drive growth Low Total Cost of Ownership In the ongoing struggle to squeeze more efficiency from the same or fewer resources, the cost and return on investment of a new BI solution deserves careful consideration. An effective BI solution, offering the benefits described above, does not necessarily require a large investment in systems, databases, and consulting services. Conventional OLAP-based BI technologies typically require building a data warehouse before analytics and reporting is even possible representing a costly and prolonged undertaking before benefits can be achieved. Fortunately, a low-cost, high functionality, rapid implementation alternative to conventional OLAP-based BI technologies exists. Dimensional Insight s BI platform does not require the purchase or licensing of an underlying database or costly efforts required to build a data warehouse before value is derived. Because of Dimensional Insight s integrated platform VERSION 1: Optimizing Sales & Marketing Effectiveness in the Distributed Sales Channel Page 7

8 capabilities and flexibility, implementations are extremely rapid relative to traditional BI platform alternatives. By leveraging existing systems as well as avoiding the cost of additional databases, Dimensional Insight customers enjoy a lower total cost of ownership compared to alternative BI solutions. Case Study: Driving Growth with BI Effective BI Solution: An Industry Standard To achieve their overall goal, suppliers and distributors benefit from BI at every step of the sales channel: Suppliers develop the right products by tracking and forecasting changing consumer behavior as well as understanding lessons learned from past product and brand performance. Products are delivered to the right place at the right time through effective management of inventory, distribution channels, promotional activity, and customer relationships. Producing the right quality and right quantity of product depends upon the quality and efficient management of the supply channel, procurement, and production processes. Bringing products to market at the lowest possible cost requires broad knowledge of the market and efficiency of the company and its production processes. Every aspect of delivering on the overall goal requires transforming large volumes of data to information and linking insight to action. It is no wonder that BI is becoming the industry standard for companies in the highly competitive, dynamic consumer goods industry. Challenge: Martignetti Companies is the 7 th largest wine and spirits distributor in the U.S. Martignetti tracks the sales and inventory movement of 15,000 SKUs. As a result of their growth, silos of information had built up between departments, resulting in major disconnects across the organization. To continue to succeed, Martignetti needed to integrate their data from multiple systems in multiple departments to create a single source of truth. Solution: What started out as a sales analysis tool at Martignetti Companies has grown into an enterprise BI solution. By providing self-service reporting and analysis to all departments, Martignetti enables data-driven decision-making throughout the organization and gains a 360- degree view of the business. Results: Martignetti attributes 2-5% of its growth to effectively utilizing powerful reporting and analytics throughout the company. With up-todate information in the hands of the sales reps, the sales team maintains a better understanding of how and where each product is selling. By analyzing performance metrics, they monitor product and geographic trends, compare actual performance to goals, and identify retailers with low re-order or high refusal rates to uncover opportunities to increase sales and improve service levels at the point of sale. Their BI solution enables Martignetti to gain rapid insight into the purchasing behavior of their customers and use these insights to produce a very positive effect on the customer s business, their relationship with Martignetti, and Martignetti s revenues. Strategic application of BI for easy, rapid access to brand performance history has contributed to numerous successful new product launches for Martignetti. Read the full Martignetti case study at VERSION 1: Optimizing Sales & Marketing Effectiveness in the Distributed Sales Channel Page 8

9 About Dimensional Insight Dimensional Insight, Inc. is a leading provider of BI solutions with our BI platform and family of purpose-built applications. Our data integration, modeling, reporting capabilities, analytics, portals, dashboards, and applications empower users throughout the enterprise to make timely, data-driven decisions. Thousands of worldwide customers choose Dimensional Insight solutions for flexibility, ease of integration, and rapid time-to-value. Dimensional Insight consistently ranks as a top performing BI vendor in customer satisfaction Dimensional Insight, Inc. All rights reserved. Dimensional Insight and Dimensional Insight products and services as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Dimensional Insight, Inc. All other company names, products and services used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. The information published herein is subject to change without notice. This publication is for informational purposes only, without representation or warranty of any kind, and Dimensional Insight shall not be liable for errors or omissions with respect to this publication. VERSION 1: Optimizing Sales & Marketing Effectiveness in the Distributed Sales Channel Page 9

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