For any business enterprise, the key to success lies in foresight and taking informed decisions at the right time. This becomes possible with the accurate sales data at all distribution levels including Primary, Secondary and Tertiary. Most of the companies, then be it FMCG, Pharma, Electric & Electrical, Home Appliances, Mobile & Cellular, or for that matter any manufacturing body that deals in indirect sales focus on collecting and managing primary data with the help of ERPs. This results in digression of the importance of Secondary and Tertiary level sales data. The paradox however is that the sales data at these two levels (Secondary & Tertiary) is the real goldmine, which can provide significant value for streamlining sales. Let us find out how.
Importance of Secondary and Tertiary Sales Data
Primary level sale is the movement/selling of products from principal manufacturer or C&F agents (carrying and forward agents) to stockists. While this level (primary sales) is important to track the immediate sales, the next levels in the sales distribution channel including movement of goods from stockists to distributors and sub-distributors (secondary sales) are even more important.
Let us study this with the help of an example of apparel manufacturing business. Generally, a line of clothing has a shelf life after manufacturing. It is circulated in the market with the strategy to be sold within a limited period from the manufacturing date. The reason for this is that after a certain time period, a new design will hit the market and the old design will be less in demand. It is crucial to know the demand generated for apparels in the market- how much the dealers, sub-dealers, wholesalers and retailer are purchasing (secondary data) and how much the consumers are buying (tertiary data). If the manufacturer relies only on primary sales data for charting out the manufacturing and distribution strategy, it will fail to become a foolproof methodology. So the primary sales data correlates to the data that floats on secondary and tertiary level sales and measuring these levels very closely becomes critically important.
Shift in Buying and Selling Perspective
The buying and distribution pattern has also witnessed tremendous changes lately. The inclusion of multiple vendors, in-shop demonstrators and super specialty stores like Wal-Mart, Reliance Retail, Big Bazaar and Subhiksha have altered the distribution process from linear to multi-directional. Single end-product may have multiple vendors, distributors and dealers. In such a large and diversified chain, identifying the loopholes with primary sales alone is not possible. If the inventory is slow-moving, stagnant or obsolete, obtaining real-time data, with the help of Customer Sales Management CRM can help you identify and resolve the roadblocks. Hence the Secondary and Tertiary Sales data benefits in following ways:
Better logistics and warehouse management- Absence of secondary and tertiary level data blurs the demand-supply graph. Automation of all supply chains in order to ensure efficient and timely delivery of goods aids in maintaining a demand-supply balance.
In-depth market understanding and consumer behavior- Dealers/retailers purchase reflects the buying pattern of end-customers. Tracking secondary sales data with the help of a fully integrated Sales Tracking System helps you to know which segment, region, and product mix have high and low demands.
Formulating and evaluating distribution strategies- Know the distribution channels performance and strategize the next distribution cycles accordingly. When you are aware that certain distributors have a good selling capacity, you can increase your product supply to them. On the other hand, you can plan-out lucrative schemes for distributors who are under-performing or who are less motivated to sell your products.
Having explained that there are significant benefits of utilizing Secondary and Tertiary Sales data properly, we also want to reiterate that a good secondary sales system simplifies and streamlines the sales processes and increases sales visibility till your product is finally bought by the end customer. A robust Customer Sales CRM offers seamless visibility across channels and enables you to track sales force activity and gauze their individual performance, thus empowering you to take informed decisions on time, every time.
Rakesh Kumar is a business consultant of Zed Sales. Zed Sales is a leading sales management software in India. Zed Sales has lots of innovative features including target management software, payment management software etc. To know more visit our website now!