Traits of an Effective B2B Consumer Goods Industry Leader

Traits of an Effective B2B Consumer Goods Industry Leader

Ivantius Limampauw, VP - Sales, PT Esensi Solusi Buana, 0

Ivantius is a seasoned B2B industry professional with over 12 years of cross-functional experience across sales departments, especially in the consumer goods vertical. In a recent interaction with CEO Insights Asia, he shared his insights on the current state of the consumer goods segment and key strategies for business leaders to be successful in the B2B consumer goods arena. Below are a few key extracts from the exclusive interview -

What are some of the emerging trends that are disrupting the consumer goods space lately?
Over the last 5-7 years, we are seeing a tremendous shift in the consumer buying pattern in Indonesia, wherein customers are increasingly opting for online shopping especially post the COVID-19 pandemic. Easy access to a broad spectrum of goods under a single roof with heightened convenience that the e-Commerce platforms offer is the key factors driving this trend. Thus, businesses today are increasingly relying on e-Commerce and D2C platforms to strengthen their online presence and reach-out to their consumer segments. However, change management has been one of the biggest challenges for businesses in the consumer goods industry for quite some time now. Although there is a gradual shift happening within the industry towards using online channels, there is still a strong need to educate and create awareness among consumer goods companies about the benefits that online mediums offer over traditional offline channels.

In terms of technology adoption, business are increasingly leveraging data analytics to derive valuable insights about consumer behavior, market trends and numerous parameters that enable them to achieve optimized process outcomes. This has eased the decision making process for business leaders by reducing the risk levels across various aspects of the organization. Additionally, AI is now being extensively used by companies to analyze historical data, predict future trends and take necessary action based on the recommendations provided by the AI algorithm. Further, AI is enabling organizations to streamline their end-to-end processes, achieve better process outcomes and customer experience levels by facilitating personalization of their product/service offerings.

Suggest a few strategies to optimize the route-to-market in the consumer goods segment.
Firstly, companies must identify their target markets and conduct a thorough analysis of whether their product or service can be profitable or not in that market segment. To do so, they must do clear market segmentation around channel selection, customer demographics, geographic location and many others. Once they have a clear picture of their target customer segment, the organization must setup a strong and optimized distribution network while keeping in mind the cost-efficiency of product delivery to the end customer. Some
of the key factors that business leaders must be mindful here are warehousing, logistics & transportation costs and many others. Also, it is extremely critical for companies in the consumer goods segment to integrate strong execution with collaboration and build strong relationships with retailers, distributions and other channel partners to ensure that their on-ground distribution network stays aligned with achieving the overall organizational objectives.

Throw some light on the key qualities of a successful leader in the consumer goods area.
Firstly, a business leader must lead by example and give the team member not only theoretical but also practical assistance in solving diverse scenarios within the business environment. Secondly, he/she must maintain complete trust, transparency and an open line of communication with all the team members regarding any feedback, suggestion or insight from the market. Also, leaders must acknowledge the employees who have exhibited outstanding performance by offering any kind of awards, recognition or rewards. This not only boosts the employees' morale, but also creates a healthy competition among them to perform better each day. Most importantly, leader must create conducive environment for the employees to freely express their ideas and experiment without fearing failure, while simultaneously making sure that they develop a mindset of learning through mistakes.

A business leader must lead by example and give the team member not only theoretical but also practical assistance in solving diverse scenarios within the business environment.

Briefly explain the importance of having well-defined vision and mission statements in the B2B consumer goods space.
Of late, we are witnessing a flurry off companies entering into B2B segment. Thus, it is crucial for a business leader to have a clearly defined vision and mission statement to gain a competitive edge in the market. A common mistake that I have seen B2B industry leaders make is despite having a clear vision and organizational objectives, they falter at developing effective long term strategies that are required to achieve those objectives. In today's dynamic B2B landscape, it is paramount for every organization to have the right combination of short and long term goals, which can only be achieved by being agile in the strategies that they have in place.

How do you expect the consumer goods industry to evolve in the near future?
Going forward, companies that will effectively leverage data to derive meaningful insights and accordingly chalk-out business strategies are bound to taste success in the B2B market. Thus, I expect an increased adoption of AI/ML algorithms by the consumer goods industry to analyze customer data and take necessary action based on the insights/predictions provided by the algorithm. Additionally, I strongly that organizations will be able to completely automate their end-to-end process by leveraging technologies such as AI, ML and robotics, especially for inventory management, formulating GTM strategy and providing tailored products or services.

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