Consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry trends mean sellers today are under increased pressure to deliver low-cost solutions. However, resorting to simple price-cutting only places the seller among a cohort of competitors racing to the bottom. This approach is a short-sighted solution. Sooner or later CPG sellers need to drive top line sales. At Richardson Sales Performance, we believe CPG sales training should focus on building teams who sell using a consultative approach.
Consumer Packaged Goods Clients
CPG Sellers Need To Drive Up Top Line Sales
Focused CPG industry sellers have plenty to look forward to despite the challenges of increasing competition and pricing pressures. Research from McKinsey reveals that 4.2 billion people will join the consuming class by 2025. That date will mark a turning point. “For the first time ever, the number of people with discretionary income will exceed the number still struggling to meet basic needs,” reports the study. Researchers have called this “the biggest opportunity in the history of capitalism.” However, owning part of that future means first revisiting long-held assumptions about CPG selling.
Sellers must acknowledge that technology has changed the game. “1 million B2B salespeople will lose their jobs to self-service eCommerce by the year 2020,” reports Forrester. The intrusion of technology has become a common threat. Meanwhile, customers are leveraging this data to craft their own solutions. Further research from SAP shows that “Seventy to ninety percent of the B2B customer journey is completed before sales reps are typically engaged.” Data today is ever-present.
Our Approach to CPG Sales Training
Technology means buyers can get the haystack faster than ever. However, sellers are still necessary for finding the needle.
Richardson Sales Performance’s CPG sales training offers solutions that help sellers bring this kind of value upskilling sellers to get them engaging the customer in a dialogue that delves into the details of their needs. Often, even the buyer can benefit from their own answers to these questions. In a rushed world, we too often ignore these critical answers that reveal underlying needs. However, getting these answers has become difficult. “Only 12 percent of buyers want to meet in person with a sales representative,” according to data from Accenture.
Sellers can overcome this challenge with careful preparation. By doing more homework before the first contact sellers will demonstrate value early and often. This kind of introduction immediately establishes the seller as a resource. Credibility is the currency of selling.
Moreover, credibility helps build a more fluid exchange of information and ideas that help reach the sale. This consultative approach results in a collaborative style in which the buyer will often volunteer information rather than settle into rote question/answer roles. Jumpstarting this engagement requires the seller to ask smarter, more incisive questions early. Additionally, the seller must ensure that only the most relevant insights are delivered in the conversation. Preparation is time-consuming, and we often feel the urge to express just how much we’ve prepared. However, it’s important to fight this impulse and cull the findings to the ideas that resonate with the specifics of the customer’s needs. Remember, as you offer information be sure to check along the way that your insights are moving in a direction that resonates with their needs.
Changes to the business environment have made selling more difficult, however, the rewards for those who succeed are enormous. The difference lies in differentiation, deliver compelling analytics and build a two-way relationship with buyers. Sellers who have had proper sales training stand to make momentous gains as millions more people entering the consumer class.
Interested in learning how Richardson Sales Performance can create a customized sales training program for your organization?