Over the past year, we've gone from using Flowfinity for conducting retail surveys to price surveys and on-premise surveys, and expanded the scope from about 300,000 accounts to more than 500,000 accounts across the country.
Constellation Brands Streamlines Field Sales Operations with Flowfinity
Company Size: Large Enterprise
Industry: Consumer Packaged Goods, Beverage
Function: Field Sales Optimization, Retail Execution Management
Constellation Brands is one of the world's leading producers and marketers of beer, wine and spirits. The company's US field sales team has over 400 members and manages up to 600,000 sales accounts across the country.
One of the field sales team's responsibilities is to conduct national account surveys to gather data such as point of sale, distribution, and display execution information, and on-premise brand representation. Much of the data was previously being collected using pencil and paper or spreadsheets that were emailed around, making it time consuming to collate and analyze.
Chuck Cronkhite, Director of Sales Training at Constellation Brands, was looking for a mobile solution that would increase the efficiency and accuracy of collecting and reporting on retail survey data. "We were emailing, using jump drives, and cutting and pasting to roll up the survey data," he said. "We wanted to utilize a mobile platform to streamline all that activity, and make ourselves more effective and more efficient on a day-in, day-out basis."
"We wanted to utilize a mobile platform to streamline (manual) activity, and make ourselves more effective and more efficient on a day-in, day-out basis."
In addition to national reporting, local sales managers and directors conduct their own surveys specific to their objectives. The mobile solution needed to empower local sales teams by giving them the ability to customize their own surveys and generate real-time reports based on local market requirements.
"We needed the ability to collect data at an account, multiply that over a number of accounts and aggregate that information out to actionable ideas for our distributor partners," said Cronkhite. "Ultimately this would enable us to streamline our objectives on a local basis, and provide us with insight into what our business looks like at a national level as well."
"Flowfinity has provided us with a reliable tool to track, monitor and publish actual retail call performance across the entire sales force."
Constellation Brands selected Flowfinity, a proven enterprise mobile app software solution trusted by Fortune 500 consumer goods companies. Flowfinity was selected over other solutions for its extensive offline functionality, the ability to aggregate data collected in the field in real-time, and the flexibility to enable local managers to create their own surveys.
Flowfinity software was used to build a mobile solution with real-time reporting for national and local retail survey data collection to replace the existing paper and spreadsheet system. "Flowfinity has provided us with a reliable tool to track, monitor and publish actual retail call performance across the entire sales force," said a Field Sales Manager.
With Flowfinity, Constellation Brands has:
- Streamlined national and local account survey activity in the U.S.
- Increased productivity of field sales activities
- Achieved real-time survey and reporting capabilities for more nimble sales operations
- Reduced data entry and administrative work
- Improved transparency and accountability of distributors
Streamlined National Survey Activity Improves Planning and Insight
Constellation Brands now uses Flowfinity apps for national surveys, and the data is readily available for reporting and planning. The ease of conducting surveys and rolling up the data has allowed more frequent surveys to be carried out.
"Over the past year, we've gone from using Flowfinity for conducting retail surveys to price surveys and on-premise surveys, and expanded the scope from about 300,000 accounts to more than 500,000 accounts across the country," said Cronkhite.
Specific date and holiday data captured in Flowfinity, along with information about the various objectives set out, is used for planning the following year’s goals and strategies.
"Quarterly reports aggregated in Flowfinity keep us aware of high priority changes that take place in our market, and give us valuable data to use when considering our pricing options," said a Field Sales Manager at Constellation Brands.
Flexible Mobile Platform Delivers Local Control
In addition to conducting national surveys, it was important for sales teams to be able to quickly create their own surveys and to manage their accounts and distributors on a local basis. Constellation Brands customized its solution to allow authorized users to create surveys based on their specific needs. Data collected from those surveys is streamlined and delivered directly to a database for reporting, making it fast and easy to measure many different aspects of retail or on-premise conditions.
"Flowfinity is a comprehensive tool which can be utilized in full force or by specific needs, such as cold box only, or displays only," said one Field Sales Manager.
Cronkhite added, "On top of our national surveys, any of our individual business units, states, and teams on a local market level are conducting an untold number of individual surveys specific to those individual markets. This allows us drive our team toward sales activities that have the largest impact for the organization."
Reduced Administrative Overhead Enables More Survey Opportunities
Since deploying Flowfinity, Constellation Brands has reduced the administrative time needed for spreadsheet analysis and data entry. "Flowfinity has provided us the ability to aggregate data very quickly. What used to take anywhere from an hour to 3 days, we can do that now with the click of a button," said Cronkhite.
"Reducing the administrative burden of managing execution has allowed us to conduct more surveys, more often, to increase data collection opportunities across the organization," he said.
With more time available, the field sales team can gather more data and achieve more insight into how to optimize execution and maximize sales.
"In our old Excel-based system I had to spend hours trying to roll up survey data. With the Flowfinity app, we get results on demand and I’m able to spend more time on analysis rather than cutting, pasting and writing formulas," said a Field Sales Manager. "Flowfinity is fast, it’s automated and it’s efficient at retail. We can have real time recap meetings at the end of each day, so that issues can be immediately reviewed and acted upon."
"Flowfinity is fast, it’s automated and it’s efficient at retail. We can have real time recap meetings at the end of each day, so that issues can be immediately reviewed and acted upon."
Real-Time Execution Information Increases Accountability of Distributors
Constellation Brands' distributors play a critical role in sales operations by delivering products to the point of purchase. Thanks to Flowfinity, the field sales team has more accurate, real-time execution information to relay to distributor partners. "Now we've got something very systematic, very standard that we can turn around and hold our distributor partners accountable towards their execution," said Cronkhite.
Sales managers can also create targeted surveys to measure performance and follow up with local distributors. "Flowfinity provides us the opportunity to utilize locally created templates to measure our distributors/brokers to hold them accountable and discover selling opportunities," said a Field Sales Manager. "Now that we have real-time information, we can effect change with distributors much faster. Flowfinity provides me accountability with my distributors and demands accountability from them."
"Flowfinity provides me accountability with my distributors and demands accountability from them."
Having already expanded their use of Flowfinity since it was first deployed, the field sales team at Constellation Brands plans to explore further opportunities to use the software. "Since implementing Flowfinity, we are now able to roll up our field sales data points and come up with actionable ideas much faster," said Cronkhite. "As we start to think more laterally, there are other departments that could ultimately benefit from the flexibility of this mobile solution."