A retail sales pitch isn’t just about presenting a sales deck with some numbers in it. It’s about telling an insightful brand story. As a sales representative, your task is to assemble a narrative about why your product is either the perfect fit for a new retailer, or why it should be displayed more prominently within an existing one. Data is essential to set the scene, introduce key storylines, or reveal an unexpected plot twist.
Here are the key considerations every sales team should keep in mind when putting together their best sales story…
Every compelling sales story begins with a sharp, data-driven insight. While data access can be expensive, manufacturers should make every effort to obtain even a limited data set. It’s far preferable to use a focused but relevant data point than to wait for a complete data package that may never materialize.
The good news is that, when it comes to obtaining data, there are several options to which CPGs can turn:
- A syndicated data provider is the best option for obtaining comprehensive market data in the continental United States. It includes everything from the latest trends to competitor sales data.
- If you already have a retail account, you may be able to access a retailer portal that highlights key performance indicators within a category (though it probably won’t include competitor data).
- When all else fails, you can always visit store locations in person for surface-level information. Conducting shelf reads can tell you which brands are the most popular within a category and establish pricing benchmarks.
A comprehensive data set will generate the most robust insights for each sales story, but don’t let the perfect the enemy of the good. A single data point that highlights strong performance can jump-start a much larger sales journey when used effectively.
When presenting any story, it’s essential to keep your audience in mind. Your brand may have it’s place within the Natural Channel, but would you tell the same story in Convenience? Look at trends within your competitors at the retailer you’re looking to sell into. Where do they have room for you? Why does your brand deserve it’s shot on the shelf at that particular store?
Retailers don’t necessarily care how your product tastes or whether it’s well-reviewed. If your brand is huge within the Keto community, good for you — but unless you come to that meeting prepared to share why Keto isn’t just a health fad, and to prove that Keto consumers shop at gas stations too, you’ll probably lose out. Retailers want to know what’s in it for them, not for your trendy fat-laden brownie.
For most retailers, a great story should start by addressing the following data points:
- Sales velocity: How quickly can your brand sell products? If you have limited distribution opportunities but sell out every week, that’s a good sign that distribution should increase.
- Dollar sales: If your total number of transactions is low, but your dollar sales per point of distribution are high, retailers can use your products to enhance the category.
- Instill FOMO: If they don’t take your fat-laden brownie, someone else already has, and your customers are going to those retailers to get it (along with their cheese, eggs, and water bottles). While you can’t share syndicated market data with another customer directly, you can easily mask the data (e.g. Retailer A, B, C, etc.) to show the markets that took your product, and are growing, to prove your point.
While creating a sales story may seem straightforward, managing complex sales data is not. That’s why Bedrock Analytics helps CPG vendors develop sales stories by harmonizing raw data from multiple sources and rendering it as human-readable insights. These features make it easier for CPG professionals to create sales reports, surface actionable insights, and craft compelling sales presentations. Contact our CPG experts today for more details.