Clearworld Suppliers finds that Skynamo gives its reps and sales manager the kind of information that can help to make a sale.
Skynamo can help you to get very specific –both during calls, and when you’re analyzing historical data – and that helps to drive sales. That’s the word from Lamar Louw, national sales manager at Clearworld Suppliers.
The company imports fine food and beverage brands from Italy, such as San Pellegrino, which is the world’s number one fine dining water. Clearworld Suppliers has steadily grown the business from just the San Pellegrino range, to marinated vegetables, canned foods, olive products, pasta, flour, rice, crisps and tomato products. “Before this year, we were only really playing in the retail space, but as of January, we expanded into the hotel, restaurant and catering side of the business as well,” says Lamar.
The company is represented in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, where it is headquartered, and it is up to Lamar to work with reps to open new doors, get more products into stores, and ensure they stay there – and Skynamo is used specifically for the retail side of the business.
“We are still a very small company,” says Lamar. “We’ve got two reps in the Western Cape and we’re looking to bring a third one in now. We have three in Johannesburg and one in KwaZulu-Natal. We work very closely with each other, but everyone is the captain of their own ship – so we give them responsibility to do what they need to do. So there’s a lot of trust that goes with it.
“Skynamo has really jumped on the bandwagon to assist me with, first and foremost, building the custom reporting, which was exactly what I needed,” says Lamar. “I could tailor it and they were able to help me to make things a bit easier for the company. It also helps me to monitor what my reps are doing, and I’ve worked very closely with the Skynamo team in building the information to the point where it is now.”
Skynamo had already been instituted as a tool by a previous operations manager, says Lamar, and all he did was to build on what had been there, and try to customize a few things – which meant a big focus on forms and reports.
“Our reps are responsible for sales and merchandising – it’s no use if the stock goes to the store but it’s not on the shelves, because then we’re losing sales,” he explains. “So I needed to be guaranteed that the guys were doing three things: going into the stores, getting their orders in, and merchandising.
Lamar made use of the training videos Skynamo makes available to customers, and made sales rep forms that would give him the data and business management reports he needed to make decisions. “Then I actually built one of the forms on there – the visit form,” he says. “And I made everything mandatory, where the guys actually had to state what they were doing, and take a photograph. And if it wasn’t completed, it wouldn’t allow them to clock in the visit. So in that aspect alone, I’m now able to see exactly what’s happening in stores. I can see what the store looks like in real-time.
“I’m also able to get an explanation of what’s happening in the store sale. Yes, it might take them a bit longer in stores, but if a client queries and says to me, this or that wasn’t delivered, or that their shelves look a mess, I can show them the photo of what the store looks like. I’ve actually got tangible evidence to say, ‘This is what your store looks like, and the person was there between this time and that time, and this is what’s happening in the store.’ It’s extremely helpful. What happens after we leave is out of our hands.”
Lamar has also been able to work with Skynamo to customize the reports they need. “That allows me to see my brand sales for last year compared to this year,” he says. “So we can see where we’ve either grown, where we’ve dipped, which SKUs have dipped.” He also makes use of the product sales brand comparison, which allows him to see what was sold this year versus last year, and says he can do an analysis of the past three months to see what moved, and when. “It allows us to answer the important questions in store,” he says.
The other feature he enjoys is being able to analyze the top sales per product because it allows reps to show customers a list of their top products, and being able to show them how the product is doing in other stores – in real-time.
"“The info we need, precisely when we need it”"
But Lamar notes that Skynamo is only as good as the information you put into it. “In the early days, sometimes what the guys were feeding me wasn’t really accurate information. But now that they are, I am able to tailor the reports to them.
“I have sales reps who absolutely love Skynamo and thrive off it, and with some who are even going over and above, and creating tasks for themselves and putting little reminders on for themselves.
He adds that embracing new sales technology is a learning curve, especially for older reps. However, it is the business owner’s prerogative to drive and support change from the top, down. Plus, Skynamo’s training team has smoothed out any hurdles in transition. “ It’s really helpful that, if I see one of my sales reps is struggling with an aspect of Skynamo, I can just book a training session online and they can get the training they need. That’s been a major factor for us.”
Lamar says Skynamo is a valuable management tool, and the customized reports have really made a difference to him in the way he executes his responsibilities. “If I were doing that on Pastel or on our sales reporting, it would take a lot longer to get that same type of information, and a lot more manual input,” he says. “It makes me more productive.