SodaStream looks to Complexica to bring the AI

SodaStream implements new CRM

SodaStream is taking a leap into artificial intelligence (AI) as it looks at changing how it goes to market in the coming few years.

Complexica will shortly provide SodaStream staff with capabilities for dynamic call planning, guided-selling, route optimisation, CRM, and order processing, through the deployment of its Customer Opportunity Profiler (COP), Touchless CRM, and Order Management System (OMS), which are collectively powered by Complexica’s artificial intelligence (AI) engine, Larry the Digital Analyst.

While the AI solution is being rolled out for sales opportunity management initially, it is hoped the project will grow in scope to include above and below the line activities in future.

General manager of SodaStream, Mark Fenton, said as someone who loves data, he is particularly excited to see what AI can do with its database once it is fully implemented.

“We used a sales-based CRM called Pepperi previously, which is appropriate for what it does, but it’s basically data collection and doesn’t have any intelligence built-in. The use of AI interested me, particularly for making smart database decisions to improve efficiency and improved rates of sales,” he told CMO.

“SodaStream's products are distributed across a broad set of outlets operating under different business models, ranging from ‘big-box retailers’ to small convenience stores. This affects the ability to influence range, share-of-shelf, and stock holdings at the store level, and also adds complexity to retail execution and field sales models. Given the rise of AI and prescriptive analytics in recent times, SodaStream has partnered with Complexica to help automatically predict the ‘next best stores’ to visit at any given time, provide each rep with the 'next best conversations' for each store, and dynamically optimise individual call plans.” 

The team has spent months with Complexica talking this though and landed on key outcomes to deliver. Fenton is confident once it gets to implementation stage, it will go well.

“The business gets amazing data from retailers already, and also get weekly sku-based data, so will be utilising that data to direct sales teams to areas of opportunity and to more effectively manage weekly call cycles. There is no point in visiting stores with plenty of stock, so each will have a call cycle generated based on where opportunities are, and based on the business and differentiating variables,” he said. 

While Complexica is more on the selling side, particularly around opportunity management, for now, on the marketing side SodaStream uses a mix modelling approach through Mindshare, who provide it with above the line marketing.

“In the longer term, I plan on revisiting what we can do with Complexica. I have big dreams around below and above-the-line activities, combining them together, which could be incredible, but the business needs to walk towards it rather than trying to solve everything initiall," Fenton continued. 

“SodaStream has only got 30-40 SKUs and a core consumer, so we are well placed to do something innovative into the future. The business is evolving, and as it moves on, I’ll be looking at changing our core audience as we tap out on sparkling water, so there will be some change in how SodaStream goes to market in 2021 and 2022.

“At the moment it is building small to make sure the business gets the foundation right.”

Complexica will help SodaStream Australia in the deployment of a number of software applications for optimising sales force activities and managing customer relationships and interactions within a retail execution setting.

“SodaStream is the world’s largest manufacturer, distributor and marketer of sparkling water making systems, and Australia represents one of our highest growth markets worldwide. As such, it is always seeking ways to stay ahead of growing customer demand to ensure products are promptly available in an ever-increasing number of outlets throughout the country,” Fenton added.

Launched in 1903, SodaStream has grown to become the world's largest manufacturer, distributor and marketer of home carbonation systems. With 1.5 billion litres of home-made sparkling water provided each year to millions of homes worldwide, it makes SodaStream one of the largest beverage companies in the world, with machines being sold in over 60,000 retail stores, in 45 countries worldwide. In 2018, SodaStream was acquired by PepsiCo.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia. 

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