Why should your company invest in a DSD sales app?

You may have heard the phrase ‘direct store delivery sales’ (‘DSD sales’) but always wondered what it is. Here’s where you find out. Some brands and wholesalers deliver their products directly to the retailers’ distribution center, but if you want to move your product through the supply chain faster, then delivering your product directly to them (DSD) may suit your company better.

DSD sales goes one step further than DSD by empowering your route or delivery staff to sell whilst they are out in the field. It makes sense for your route staff to sell to your customers. After all, they see them frequently and probably have a good relationship with them. But this won’t be possible without the right DSD sales app.

How does a DSD app empower your delivery staff with the tools they need to sell

According to Honeywell, Direct Store Delivery is seen as a key component of B2B companies’ strategies moving forward, and as contributing to an increase in their revenue.

But in the past, your route staff delivered your product and left. They had no tools and therefore no way of knowing what each customer had previously purchased or what they may want to purchase again.

But with a DSD sales app, your route staff are in a different place.

With 24/7 visibility into previous sales orders, valuable information about pricing, promotions and other customer data, they can take your customers next order there and then, without waiting for the sales rep’s next visit.

The addition of an e-catalog with a flexible search facility makes it easy to place and take orders wherever and whenever it is convenient. Your staff can take payments whilst out in the field, create invoices and more.

With your route staff armed with the information they need, they can become part of your salesforce.

Have the perfect view of your inventory levels

A DSD sales app means having information at the click of a button. Importantly, this includes inventory levels, so your delivery staff know exactly what is in stock, in real-time, and know when to expect it if it isn’t. This means your customers are happier as they are fully in the picture and won’t be left disappointed waiting for an item that never comes. They can also focus on selling only products that are in stock.

They can keep track of damaged or returned goods and record each item with ease. All the data is seamlessly transferred to your back office, so all your staff are looking at the same picture. Stagnant inventory will be eliminated as end of season stock can be promoted whilst out in the field.

Take control of your distribution logistics

By combining your DSD sales app with a route accounting solution you will be completely in control. Integration with a GPS system such as WAZE or Google maps means your route and sales staff can plan and manage their routes in a matter of minutes, instead of spending hours working out routes on maps each night.

Sales Managers will always know where to find their staff as geo-tagging and time-stamping allows complete visibility in real-time of where they are, who they have seen and who they are planning to see.

DSD sales will grow in importance in the future as more and more companies realize the efficiencies of using delivery staff as sales reps.

When giving your delivery staff the added responsibility of selling, you need to ensure they have the best tool to help them manage all their tasks effectively, so their new job is as easy and seamless as possible.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.