Keep your sales field team close and your competitors closer
Does a brand’s ability to be agile and responsive have to be compromised by its need for efficiency? In this blog we explore how it is possible for your field sales team to be both responsive and efficient and let’s throw in team motivation for good measure.
Brands need to be responsive to market dynamics, like a competitor’s price promotion or seasonal events, and that is dependent upon the field sales team’s schedule to be in the right place at the right time. However, if your team are operating as efficiently as possible, their ability to be flexible is often compromised by the need for tight schedules and route planning.
So which is it to be? Flexibility or efficiency? Which has the biggest opportunity to your sales targets? It’s a hard one to call, unless you have clear information and data to support your decisions.
Scheduling your field sales team to focus on where the biggest opportunities lie
Your field sales team at each appointment will be gathering information to understand what they can do to grow sales and if that information is correctly interpreted, it will become evident where the best opportunities lie in that territory. Why waste time in a one store when there is a fantastic opportunity elsewhere?
Starting with an outline for the month’s activity is of course essential. However, your ability to move appointments and resources around to be responsive is just as essential. If that involves shuffling a sea of post-it notes over a white board the task can feel daunting and the opportunity diluted by increased admin time. However, an online calendar that can be reshuffled easily with a drag and drop is much more effective, especially when it alerts your team in real time.
If your team are as equally motivated by a sales opportunity as you are (and why wouldn’t they be?), a schedule that may move around is not an inconvenience, rather it feels like you are all working together to achieve the same goals.
When your sales team can see a positive difference from the work they are doing, their sense of achievement and fulfilment is tangible, and by tangible we mean it shows in the sales results. It’s easy to be motivated when results are achieved. Win win.
Repsly is retail execution software that is used through your mobile device or laptop and is updated in real time. The field sales team can see their diary, can receive messages instantly and can plan their days effectively, all in one place.
You can find out much more about Repsly and how it can benefit our sales team from this e-book.
Tools and transparency to deliver field sales team targets
Your field sales team, knowing how their activity is helping them achieve their sales targets, is a team that are more motivated to deliver. Sitting alongside that of course, is confidence in the information they have available.
If the data and information is up to date and as real time as you can get, not only are you and your sales team able to respond in an extremely efficient way, you are also better informed in terms of cause and effect. Your field sales team aren’t having to wait to see results, they are seeing benefits coming through their reporting tools quickly.
It is that responsiveness that helps your team lead the way and make better decisions on the ground to be able to hit their sales targets. If a team member doesn’t know how they are doing and what effect their decisions are having on the end result, it is vey hard for them to keep motivated. If they can see the impact, motivation is much easier to muster.
Conversely, there will be cases when a member of your sales team isn’t achieving the results you would like. With real-time information, and target transparency, remedial action can be discussed and delivered quickly and effectively to make a difference to the month’s results, without the fear of missing their target.
Real time visibility of competition and keeping one step ahead
Real time visibility of your sales team’s activity and results is an incredible advantage to have in today’s tough markets. An even bigger advantage is having real-time visibility of your competitors’ activity.
You can get a sense of what your competition are up to by walking through stores and seeing placements, packaging and price changes. You may even have a inside source of information, however this takes time and resources and is only a snapshot in one location. If your sales team were able to send you real-time photos from stores across your territory you have and earlier insight into what their campaigns consist of, a more holistic view of their activity and you have a timely opportunity to respond with your own activity in the field.
Your field sales team are out there daily in multiple locations and you can have visibility almost instantly of what they are seeing on your customers shelves. A library of in store photos and reports is accessible to you on which to act with your own plans for better retail execution and counter-marketing activity.
How long does it currently take your competitors to respond to your own marketing campaigns? Who has the advantage now? Repsly, with its activity data collection capabilities, can give you and your sales team that advantage.
Repsly is a highly valuable system to all brands and field sales teams. It increases sales team productivity, it facilitates agility in the field to respond to opportunities efficiently and it enables a holistic view of your territory to keep a close eye on the competition. An informed and aligned field sales team have the power to stay ahead of the competition and you have the power to make that happen with a call to GeminiBlue.
A simple phone call to GeminiBlue will set you up with a no obligation demo for Repsly, the data-driven approach to retail execution.
Ready to lift sales by 20%? Give us a call.