Data Geeks and Sales Jocks— it’s an uncomfortable union that has plagued most CPG companies ever since “Big Data” and the omni-channel experience started changing the way merchants buy items in the retail space. More often than not, the Data Geeks make things too complex and the insights aren’t actionable. The Sales Jocks ignore the data driven decision making and lose the opportunity to create value for everyone in the relationship. Data based selling isn’t the future—it’s already here. The future is in rapidly taking insights and turning them into actionable insights by sales ops teams and that means the Data Geeks and the Sales Jocks need to form a more perfect union.
That is the thesis behind The Allan Sullivan Company. Founded by Steve Gohde and Reed Acrey, The Allan Sullivan Company is sales and analytics firm empowering manufacturers with the power of analytics by automating their sales operations through its Mission Control analytics system. What makes The Allan Sullivan Company different than most analytical firms is its approach in maximizing sales talent through technology to deliver a high-touch, personalized experience to its clients while reducing overall cost. Gohde says, “We want to leverage technology to allow our salespeople to be the absolute best in the area where they are really gifted, which is human interaction—getting things done.” Adding to the same, Acrey mentions, “We embody the perfect combination of the art and science of sales.”
Gohde highlights that in retail analytics, every client has a unique set of needs, and delivering a highly tailored solution is no easy feat. It requires a considerable amount of time and resources to analyze multiple KPIs—POS performance, in-stocks, service metrics, and more—which are not “relationship building” activities but to implement the insights, it sooner or later has to be handed off to a real, live person. As such, with limited resources, most of their clients struggle to achieve the right balance in face-to-face interactions and managing crucial backend operations backed by robust analytics. To undo this imbalance, The Allan Sullivan Company leverages technology to reduce backend staff while enhancing the quality of output. Gohde remarks, “By hitting the sweet spot between art and science of sales, we align closely to our clients’ goals, needs, and capabilities. In doing so, we find the best possible programs that benefit retailers, manufacturers, and their customers and provide them with a high-touch experience with less overhead.”
Typically, while performing category analytics and reporting, it takes a series of steps to determine the root cause of a problem in terms of product behaviour and response.
While other retail sales analysts perform the process on specific items once a month, The Allan Sullivan Company utilizes automation to perform analysis on each item, every single week, across every retailer. Through automation, the company not only helps eliminate manual errors, but also accelerates the speed of analysis and generates a higher quality output. They then over invest in high quality people to present the findings in an easy-to-understand format that drives action ability. “We use a very light AI to perform all the analysis and generate the final output. Our goal is to make a superhuman sales professional—fuse great talent and great technology, without losing the human element, to deliver tremendous growth capabilities to our customers. The robustness, speed, and depth of our analysis are unparalleled in the industry,” says Acrey.
By hitting the sweet spot between art and science of sales, we align closely to our clients’ goals, needs, and capabilities
To illustrate the unique capabilities of The Allan Sullivan Company, Gohde and Acrey shed light on their engagement with a private label food manufacturer in the grocery space. The manufacturer encountered several relationship problems with its retailer and was perceived as an unresponsive problem vendor. The Allan Sullivan Company adopted a three-pronged approach. First off, by collecting data and analyzing over a hundred KPIs on every single item at each store, the team identified the problems the vendor was facing and gained an entire lay of the land. Then, through their analytics engine, the team handed the client a laundry list of things to improve service levels at the retailer. “Following that, our sales team stepped in and started generating relationships with the client and tactically implemented all of the insights that our retail analytics engine produced. We provided our client with sales data, in-stock reports, and more to quickly turn things around for them,” notes Acrey. While the client was initially on the decline—less than $2 Million at the retailer, upon collaborating with The Allan Sullivan Company, they have progressed to over $27 Million in shipments and are now recognized as the second largest vendor in the category.
With a keen focus on delivering high value to clients, The Allan Sullivan Company will continue to redefine the dynamics of retail analytics. Driven by an aim to be disruptive in the marketplace, the company is well on its way to achieving exponential growth in the years to come.