Re-imagine farm-to-table journey and deliver crunchy distributor experience for a leading Snacks giant using CPG Cloud
Food and Beverages, CPG
Salesforce CPG Cloud, Tableau
Formed in 1981, Balaji Wafers is one of the fastest growing snacks brand in Indian market with Rs 2000 crore revenues and biggest market share in key states.
“What differentiates Balaji Wafers from the giants of the FMCG industry is that we remain laser-focused on the consumer,” says Shyam Virani, Director at Balaji Wafers. “You won’t find another brand of packaged snacks that delivers the quality, quantity, and price we do.”
The company products, which range from the classic salted potato chips to ‘Indian’ foods like gathiya and aloo sev, to ‘Indianized’ western snacks like chilli cheese nachos – are the talk of the town.
“Our philosophy is simple – offer the tastiest snacks, and make them easily accessible to the consumer,” says Virani. “We also ensure the freshest products by supplying retailers twice a week instead of the industry average of once a week,” he continues.
Thanks to this consumer-first approach, Balaji Wafers is growing at an impressive 20% year-over-year with 50+ products, 5,000+ employees, three automated factories, and a strong foothold in 12 Indian states.
While Balaji Wafers has been growing rapidly, it set in place a vision to digitize it’s sales execution and partner channel collaboration process via a comprehensive model of onboarding, mentoring and tracking distributor performance.
Alongside, the management team wanted to empower distributors to be more productive and build predictable processes to drive channel efficiencies. These included understanding their sales execution tactics, performing structured audits, tracking infrastructure and identifying growth opportunities.
By identifying which distributors are performing the best and why, they can help other distributors improve their game. And with real-time sales insights, they can quickly spot issues in the value chain. However lack of digitization meant that there was limited ability to understand the distributor needs.
This led to challenges like:
- Broken Distributor experience with multiple siloed systems and manual tracking of distributor performance.
- Absence of Dealer 360 view with no consolidated view of their retailers, retail routes, retail execution and beat planning for field Sales team.
- Siloed Field Sales Execution Process Lack of digitization in their operations relying heavily on Excel sheets and manual documentation by their Field Sales team, with data from field visits and audits scattered across spreadsheets, emails, and text messages, making it difficult to track.
- Inability to capture Field Insights Inability to unify, streamline, and transform data coming from channel partners into actionable insights
Aethereus helped the client team to design a scalable solution blueprint for field sales execution and distributor experience needs. Next up, Aethereus, identified key features from and recommended using Salesforce CPG Cloud to enable a strong distributor experience platform. Aethereus used an MVP based approach to showcase ‘Art-of-Possible’ to Balaji team and further refine user experience based on client needs.
The to-be process was designed to ensure visibility into planned daily Sales visits, enter key Sales metrics and capture real-time Market Intelligence. Key Solutions tenets include:
- Enabling Multi Channel Dealer Acquisition and Onboarding: Managing the entire Onboarding process – right from a distributor inquiring on Balaji Wafers website, to sales rep assignments, to all the back-and-forth communications after that, leading to distributor onboarding – was designed and captured in Salesforce.
- Audit and Compliance Operations by Field Sales Team: Developed an intuitive Mobile application for the Field Sales Team to collect the dealers and retailer’s information efficiently across multiple devices.
- Smart Field coordination and Route planning using Salesforce Maps to identify and recording the GPS locations of all farms, retail stores in respective areas, and planning the distributor’s sales territory accordingly, re-carving it when new stores come up same or nearby area – driving increased coordination between field teams.
- Retail Field Execution based on Data insights: Implemented Beat Planning using Visit Management and action plans for various tasks that the sales reps perform with dealers, and retailers enabling them to have all the data and tools they need at their fingertips, even before reaching a dealer warehouse or retail store leading to faster and smoother audits.
Aethereus was very supportive and flexible, often understanding our needs better than we did,” says Virani. “Having worked with other companies in the industry, they knew a number of best practices that would benefit us. And even after Salesforce was rolled out, they continued to help us improvise and iterate based on user feedback.”
- Streamlined the end-to-end process of managing and auditing distributors, dealers and retailers.
- Improved and clear mapped view of sales territories helping Balaji Wafers to identify and fix market gaps at faster pace.
- Real time ability to spot performance issues in the distributor value chain and address the same.
- Improved audit effectiveness with an objective and checklist based framework, enabling easy data compilation and analysis.
- Improved real time Data Intelligence from Dealer and Retailers surveys enabling dealers to serve their territories better, while also improving their profitability
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