Business Insights 05 Jan 17

Sales Territory Management is a critical strategic tool that aims to evenly spread the workload for sales teams engaging their skills more competently to accomplish tasks. In this context, Beat Plan, also referred as Permanent Journey Plan (PJP), is an important instrument created by field sales professionals to manage their field visits weekly, fortnightly or monthly. It is a vital route plan document created by the sales team that inherently stems out of multiple reservations that they undergo while planning their sales cycle every month.

Focus questions businesses must answer

Quite often you would find them spending significant business time trying to answer questions such as:

  • How often should they service a distributor?
  • Is there a frequent occurrence of over-servicing high value distributor/stockist?
  • Since a specific set of distributors remain underserviced, is there a possibility that an opportunity is lost?
  • Are they spending enough time at each store to understand and analyze customer behavior patterns toward their products?
  • Is there a possibility of generating additional business from each distributor, every time they are serviced through effective merchandise display and retail schemes?
  • Are they judiciously able to apportion their time and money between their distributors that aims to improve their efficiency levels and current business volumes?

Logistical analysis and customer insights will certainly reflect that an effective field route plan will significantly reduce travel time and operational costs while improving the quality of meetings with important customers.

How Retail businesses categorize PJPs?

Retail businesses categorize PJP (s) under effective sales territory management. Through clear definition of territories, sales teams can considerably prevent area overlap between multiple sales executives and enhances productivity by reducing confusion, wastage of time and money. Since sales territories for each field representative clearly demarcated, therefore, they do not compete against each other for the same accounts. Thus, in order to prepare a foolproof field force schedule, various factors such as distributor work hours, sale seasonality, fixed appointments and working hours of the field force are taken into account.

Well defined territories directly impact sales revenues. A well balanced territory division boosts team morale, enhances sales volumes and raises efficiency levels. In fact, research studies indicate that journey planning improves field staff efficiency levels by 30%. Unarguably, a lot of time and thought therefore must be invested in building a PJP document.

Importance of effective territory management:

Fast moving consumer outfits employ territory management as a strategic sales tool to:

  1. A well laid out territory management plan is usually customer-centric in nature. It therefore aims to expand the market coverage and provide enhanced customer service.
  2. Motivates the sales forces and pushes them to deliver better performance. In addition, it aids in effective evaluation that duly rewards and retains high performing sales representatives.
  3. From the management perspective, sales territory management leads to enhanced control and better cost allocation.

Commonly, businesses approach territory management by clearly defining geography, sales potential, background and a combination of other relevant factors. The ultimate objective of demarcating areas is to efficiently allocate resources and maximize sales revenues. It is therefore important to create balanced territories across sales representatives. Poorly divided territories can often lead to sub-optimal levels of activity causing lost opportunities and demotivated field staff. On the contrary, balanced and well thought through territory management fosters better customer relationships. In addition, it raises the possibility of identifying good-quality leads and accomplish sales goals.

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