Can AI replace FMCG salesmen?

by Krishna Kothari

May 3, 2021 | 01 min read


Change is both scary and certain.

Technology is changing our lives daily and it is just a matter of time before every single job in the world will completely evolve. One of the largest workforces on the planet, other than the US military or Indian railways, is the sales force in the FMCG industry – that is millions of jobs. These sales teams are both critical and pricey for brands to reach the farthest corners of the world – so if the world is changing and robots might take over what will happen to these jobs – is this change good, bad, ugly?

If you look at the history of technological change, you can see that it follows natural evolution that has happened for millions of years which have enabled the human race to get better and better at solving problems and creating more and more opportunities. This same transformation continues with how brands go to market and get their products to 7 billion of us. The latest incarnation of this evolution is called eRTM – which is digitizing every touch point of your route to market to not only optimize your costs but to exponentially increase your reach by mining those billions of data points.

We @ Bizom are helping hundreds of brands to completely transform their go-to-market strategy with technology empowering every single stakeholder across the FMCG RTM ecosystem, from sales teams to distributors to revenue management teams to brand managers to retailers and many more.

This RTM approach encompasses brands deploying technology across the entire RTM landscape including:

1. Demand sensing – Ability to understand the demand from places where you have little reach to where you want to increase your category share, even from a dominant position by harnessing hyperlocal data such as population movement, socio-economic data, and localized ethnic demand, among 100s of other leading indicators. 

2. Demand generation – Engaging and empowering retailers across channels & territories with these insights and targeted promotions to help them identify the products they must stock and at prices they should sell to their consumers.

3. Demand capture – Leveraging advanced analytics algorithms to help retailers place orders or distributors replenish stock automatically via self-service B2B marketplace apps and interconnected platforms across the FMCG ecosystem.

4. Demand fulfillment – Interconnect every retailer, distributor, and 3PL / last mile delivery partner to fulfill this demand in hours – building an inventory-less ‘Just in the time supply chain.

As technology takes over millions of these tasks from humans, by automating a lot of what you do manually today or via disconnected independent systems, you will:

  • Generate capacity to reach billions of consumers you haven’t yet reached;
  • Elevate the roles of your teams from being order takers to change agents for your customers.

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