A growing number of companies worldwide have begun to recognize the advantages of using crowdsourcing to monitor in-store activities.
Smartphone-enabled shoppers provide a great advantage when it comes to gathering geo-located data and pictures, as part of OOS studies and distribution compliance checks. At the same time they also proved their efficiency in performing merchandising tasks, such as building promotional displays or replenishing shelves directly where needed.
Can the Crowd also take up a more active role such as performing sales?
Sales are a crucial component for any organization, but a traditional approach can be a costly tool when used within specific channels. Convenience stores, for instance, are getting more and more popular among consumers. As a result, manufacturers of all sizes are called to increase their presence in this more variegated channel, which is characterized by smaller volumes and different market dynamics. Sending employed sales reps to smaller stores — often located in less-populated areas —without much guarantee of success can turn out to be an expensive and unjustified activity for most companies.
Here’s where a Crowd of on-demand sales reps comes into play, stretching the footprint and capabilities of any company exactly when and where needed. By outsourcing the sale of specific SKUs to an on-demand Crowd that is already located in the right areas, any organization can maximize the outcome of its sales processes whilst increasing its presence in specific channels and optimizing budgets and human resources.
While delegating monitoring activities to a Crowd of shoppers might be perceived as “safe” for manufacturers, things get more complicated when it comes to letting a Crowd “speak” for a brand.
At Roamler we have been conducting crowd-supported sales for some years now, addressing every possible doubt from our clients by developing smart solutions to ensure them a flawless, effective and measurable process. Furthermore, each finalized sales is also followed up with in-store checks performed by our regular monitoring Crowd, who reports on the availability of the ordered SKUs.
Here are the main 6 reasons why you can trust the Crowd to extend your sales activities:
1. Success-based compensation model
We adopt a compensation model that takes into account the different scenarios our Crowd could encounter while performing a specific task, from an SKU already being on the shelves to the store owner not being available to the actual sales conversation taking place.
For this reason, the cost of each visit is based on success rather than a fixed rate. This helps our clients optimize their budgets and encourages our Crowd to improve their performance.
Since the start of our Crowd-supported sales, we saw our average conversion rate spike from 24% to over 50%.
2. Advanced profiling options ensure you the right Crowd
Over the years, we’ve been able to profile the members of our Crowd not only according to demographics but — most importantly — according to skills, experience, accuracy level and success rate. The combination of data and technology has allowed us to form more specialized Crowds that are specifically trained to perform more complex activities, such as in-store merchandising and sales.
3. Intensive training to represent any brand in-store
Our sales Crowd is personally selected and interviewed by our staff. The most suitable profiles follow an 8-step training program aimed at testing and improving their sales skills.
For every assignment, each member of the Crowd receives product-specific training, which enables him/her to provide all the possible information requested to finalize an order.
4. A consultative approach aimed at increasing value
Practice has taught us that a profound understanding of the added value of having a specific product on the shelves is far more effective than a perfect knowledge of the product itself. For this reason, we always instruct the members of our Crowd to emphasize the top SKUs that drive sales in each category and suggest how a currently missing product might complement them, bringing better results to the retailer itself.
5. Location-based intelligence enables a more efficient process
At Roamler we work with an advanced location database, which is constantly updated with new information gathered during each visit. Our data also includes the credentials of the store owner and information about his/her in-store presence. This applied intelligence allows us to increase the efficiency of the whole process and maximize the chance to close the sale.
6. Seamless integration with existing systems and procedures
Our on-demand sales reps are specifically instructed to move through all possible scenarios. According to the type of retailer they are visiting, they present and sell promotional materials, specific listings or single SKUs. The ordering procedure is carried out according to our clients’ needs and integrates seamlessly with each company’s existing ordering systems.
Big manufacturers such as P&G, Unilever and Jack Link’s have been among the first brands to trust and adopt Crowd-supported sales to stretch their capabilities and increase the availability of their products in Germany, the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Are you considering adding on-demand resources to your own sales force? Contact us.