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CPG Team Management, Technology, Field Sales

A Business Case for Retail Technology in Cannabis

This past year, the U.S. cannabis industry had a record $17.5 billion in sales, a 46 percent increase from 2019, and is projected to hit nearly $42 billion by 2026. The explosive growth and unique dynamics in the U.S. cannabis marketplace present "never before seen" challenges and opportunities.

While this high growth is exciting, we’ve seen first hand how challenging it can be; dealing with multiple points of distribution types (retail & medical), intense competition (new products launch daily), need for specialization in the field (education, regulation, sales, and promotion). Complexity is high, but demands are even higher on your field team.

Teams that represent this industry need a modern technology platform that enables:

  1. Mobility
  2. Social - communication/collaboration
  3. Rich data capture
  4. Value creation - relevant information at their fingertips
  5. Ease of use

While leaders in this industry need:

  1. Real-time visibility
  2. Actionable analytics
  3. Consumable insights
  4. Agility 

What will technology help uncover and support as Cannabis brands attack the market?

1. Best-in-class Territory, Account, and Activity management

In an ever-changing landscape with new stores, new routes, and new reps coming in and out of the field and switching companies - your systems and solutions need to be top-notch, flexible, and ready for change. We see that teams that stay on top of their route and visit strategy and evolve it based on real-time sales data, tend to sell more successfully and more confidently, and they certainly grow sales faster and better than those that rely on standard, routine routing, and activity plans.


2. Real-time Eyes in the Field and Competitive Intel

This may be one of the few verticals we’ve seen recently where real-time competitive intel is game-changing and crucial for success. It’s more important now than ever that cannabis brands stay on top of their evolving competition, and quickly enable their own team as their products evolve and offerings change. A mobile-first retail solution that can easily enable and coach sales teams with proper talk tracks, documentation, sales sheets right as they need it -  as well as capture real-time competitive intel through comments, photos - all send right back to home-base. All of this is crucial to selling more confidently and taking away share from your competition. As you learn and evolve your talk track and positioning at corporate, so should your field team - in real-time - to keep that fast-paced knowledge base moving throughout the entire organization.

On average, teams who adopt these types of knowledge tools and capture information via forms and surveys in real-time on-site (vs doing data input 1x a week at the end of the week) save around 5-10 hours a week in data input and intel gathering. And ultimately, become much more nimble in how they work and sell in the field.


3. Fast Insights and Reporting

Whether its forecasting and planning, tracking your team's activities, their time in-store, and successes, or just managing field team KPIs - you need an automated way to provide real-time insights on how the field is performing, where client opportunities exist, and how sales are trending as a result of your sales team and brand ambassador work. If this is being done via Xls or emails and anecdotes, it's time to explore something that will provide insights to your team every day. We find teams that assess these kinds of sales and activity insights daily or weekly tend to be far more surgical and more strategic in how and when they deploy their field resources, and which accounts they focus on - resulting in resource deployment and efforts that will have the most impact on sales.

Lastly - I’ll say that you don’t have to just take my word for this case.  Just listen to Chelsea Bedard, CRO at Cann, talk about how new technology tools like Repsly - “an absolute game-changer” - have helped them scale quickly and compete much more confidently in this competitive space.

Download the Whitepaper

Uncover how today’s successful CG companies are winning in the marketplace through nimble retail execution strategies and technologies that improve performance metrics and maximize sales.

Matt Dobosh

Matt is Repsly's Chief Sales Officer.

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