Industry: Wholesale distribution and sales

Business Challenges

This company is the leading coffee company in  Romania, producing and distributing roast and ground coffee, instant and  cappuccino. After entering the Romanian market in 1995, the company has already  reached the top position with a market share of almost 50%, supported by  intense promotional activities. However, en route to this enviable position  there were significant challenges to be overcome throughout its sales and  marketing organization.

No Way  to Effectively Benchmark Sales Agents

The company was naturally striving to find  ways to improve its sales system so agents in the field would use their time  efficiently and be more effective when visiting retailers. However, this proved  difficult since field sales managers were working exclusively from paper  reports submitted by agents. As a result they had to spend much time and effort  to see the comparative performance of agents, brands and retail customers. This  made it quite difficult to identify areas where sales and distribution could be  improved.

A Lack  of Visibility into Sales Data

The job of the company’s Central Sales  department is to examine the sales data sent in by field sales managers and use  this data to anticipate trends in the market, make predictions and develop  overall sales strategies. But this information was arriving through a  hodge-podge of paper and Web reports, which Central Sales then had to enter  into its databases. Then when planners needed a report ― comparing brands,  counties, regions or one of many other possible criteria ― analysts had to  request it from the IT department, since making queries to the database  required advanced IT skills. This awkward situation meant that requests for  reports took some time, and some cross-comparisons were simply not possible.

Marketing  Lacks Timely Insight into Sales

Marketing staff also needed to see field  sales data broken down in many ways by brand and geographic area to discover  how well promotions were working, and plan new ones. In particular they need  timely data to fine-tune campaigns in progress. But like the central sales  planners, all database queries had to go through IT, reducing the agility of  campaigns and hampering performance.

Unnecessary  Labor and Opportunity Costs

With all database queries going through the IT  department, the 20-person IT staff was spending about two-thirds of their time  preparing reports for sales and marketing purposes. This represented a  tremendous expenditure in personnel who should have been performing their core  functions of support, maintenance and troubleshooting.

Challenge Highlights

  • Field sales managers spending  far too much time on paperwork when trying to benchmark performance and  motivate agents
  • Central sales planners can’t  work effectively when waiting too long for comparative sales figures
  • Marketers require more timely  data to respond to sales trends and fine-tune campaigns
  • Unnecessarily large IT staff  wasting time performing database queries for sales and marketing

Solution

See  and Compare Results

After deploying Panorama’s BI Solution, field  sales managers can compare the performance of sales agents and brands across  counties and through different retailers. They can also benchmark their own  performance against other regions. The result: less than two months after  implementation, the company had increased sales by 25%.  The IT manager who implemented the new system  said, “Before Panorama we thought we were pretty good at selling, but it showed  us problems we didn’t know were there.”

Enable  Self-Service Access to Sales Data

By using Panorama, central sales planners and  analysts can now create ― on their own, and in a few seconds ― highly guided  sales reports broken down by brand, region, county or any other relevant  criteria. This self-service approach to BI lets them anticipate trends in the  market, make predictions and develop overall sales strategies much more  effectively than they could before.

Timely  Feedback on Marketing Campaigns

Similarly, by analyzing sales by region,  brand or store, marketing staff can now get a near real-time view of how well  campaigns are performing. This kind of rapid feedback saves manual effort and  leads to more accurate and informed decision making about which programs are  working, which aren’t and how to fix them. It is then possible to identify and  expand successful programs, and discontinue or revamp ones that are  underperforming.

IT  More Efficient and Refocused on Core Duties

At Panorama’s launch, IT held workshops for  sales managers, planner and marketers, teaching them how to work with the  system, and prepared a handbook of how it should be used and what its  capabilities were. Since then, IT professionals are now spending only about an  hour a day assisting in database queries ― compared to the two-thirds of their  time this task was previously consuming. This allows skilled and valuable staff  to redeploy to their core areas of support, maintenance, troubleshooting and  building for the future.

Solution Highlights

  • Less than two months after  launch, the company realized a 25% increase in sales across the company
  • Field sales managers can now  compare and motivate agents in the field and benchmark their own performance
  • Self-service access to sales  data for mangers across the company to improve efficiency and agility
  • Track and improve performance  of marketing campaigns with near real-time view of sales
  • Realize significantly more  value from operational IT staff

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