Over the last few years, The Mars Agency has been helping clients respond to an unprecedented series of events triggered by the global COVID-19 crisis that have created numerous, ongoing challenges for the traditional CPG sales organization — and, in many ways, have significantly blurred the lines between the traditional sales and marketing functions.
Among these challenges has been the dramatic acceleration of three marketplace trends that already were altering the classic retailer-supplier relationship before the pandemic, but which now are demanding immediate changes to longstanding business practices:
- The growth in ecommerce as a popular CPG shopping channel.
- The emergence of retail media as a critical tool for shopper/consumer engagement.
- The increasing value of first-party shopper data as a growth catalyst.
To understand the current state of CPG sales organizations, their current practices, their most critical needs, and the efforts they’re undertaking to build a stronger retailer-supplier relationship in response to these changes, The Mars Agency has conducted in-depth interviews with one dozen sales leaders.
Participants ranged from EVPs at top-10 CPG companies to sales executives at emerging startups, who were promised anonymity to ensure that the discussions would be as candid as possible. We also interviewed executives at four leading retailers to gain their perspective on the elements of a best-in-class partnership.
The resulting report, “Sales Team Transformation: A Blueprint for Change,” presents 11 key considerations that CPG sales organizations should explore if they want to drive sustainable growth by establishing efficient, effective partnerships with retailers.
Participants in the project received a comprehensive, 30-page report that chronicles the discussions in detail and examines each of the recommendations at length. The report is intended to be an ongoing, “living” document of guidelines for the industry that we will update periodically.
An Executive Summary of the report is available for download below. CPG sales leaders who are interested in receiving a copy of the complete report by having a discussion with The Mars Agency to help inform future updates should contact Peter Breen, VP-Content Development, at [email protected].