Tutorials 13 Mar 18

FMCG companies realise the importance of an effective territory (beat) management plan for the sales team since it prevents wastage of time and effort. Clearly defined territories ensure there is no overlap between field executives and that they are aligned to focus on their outlets and generate business that is the ultimate objective of the organization. It is this framework that needs to be smartly designed such that business goals appropriately fits in with resource capabilities to achieve revenue scores.

It is often observed that sales representatives fall short of achieving their sales targets despite the best resources and support allocated to them. On analysing it deeper we find that sales managers identify effective territory design or PJP design as referred in FMCG parlance, as one of the causes that needs a revisit. At FieldAssist, one of our key features is to assist organizations redesign their territory plan on the SFA solution such that field executives can optimize their visits and cover a larger territory in the same business time. Through our real time experiences with big and small FMCGs, we realise that there are certain significant steps that must be considered while designing a territory segmentation strategy to improve efficiency.

  1. Segment your territory – Organizations, depending on their nature of business, segment retail stores either based on geography, customer profile, same product needs or size of the retailer. This categorization can be further filtered through sales technologies such as SFA and redistributed to field representatives.
  2. Objective of Territory Planning – A good retail execution strategy must incorporate the fundamental objectives of the organization as part of the plan. These objectives must be defined at primary levels and broken down to the outlet level. This strategy aims at establishing 3 significant goals for the sales team – service the current outlets, expand to potential outlets and beat competition to obtain their outlets. Thus, the territory mapping plan must accomplish these objectives to optimize efforts and sales.
  1. Route Planning – Once the territory planning is complete, managers can allocate time to each of their field visits and develop an effective route map for the week that covers the entire list of outlets to be covered.
  1. Delegate – While creating the route map, managers must take in to account unique capabilities of each field representative and match them to the territories that are more suitable for them. This includes their network with the retailers, previous retail experience and personal strengths. If they have developed strong relationships in a certain territory, their route map must reflect the same.
  1. Implement – Once these factors have come into play, managers evaluate the plan with their field teams and incorporate the missing elements. With an even distribution of outlets in each territory, field executives are happier to follow the route plan.

A well thought out territory management plan therefore ensure that the organization provides clarity, help build focus within teams and achieve maximum efficiency levels from their field forces while optimizing travel and time costs. Assertive it may sound but strongly believe that by following the above guidelines to create a smart blueprint of territory plan, consumer good companies are sure to see improvements in employee productivity, sales and customer satisfaction.

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