Building a field sales team is a FMCG brand’s biggest investment. While expensive, the costs of a field sales team are soon outweighed by the unparalleled competitive advantages brands gain by having experts in every market, driving growth on every shelf. At Repsly, we’re constantly thinking about how we can continue to provide additional value to FMCG brands and their field teams to win more at the shelf.
This article will analyse some of the largest trends and opportunities impacting the Australian retail space, including planogram compliance, route optimisation, planning, and forecasting.
A major factor contributing to consumers losing trust in brands today is poor product availability. According to an Oracle study on consumer behavior, 47 per cent of respondents said out-of-stocks topped their list of bad shopping experiences, and 63 per cent said they were not willing to wait for an item to be back in stock before trying another brand.
Brands that equip their field teams with a retail execution platform for monitoring planogram compliance and stock levels are able to find and correct on-shelf availability issues faster, even as uncertain supply chains make in-store conditions more unpredictable. Fighting out-of-stocks and prioritising product availability to get ahead of inventory shortages is critical to driving customer loyalty in today’s retail space.
Another valuable opportunity for brands is establishing a successful territory management plan. In 2019, 68 per cent of brands lacked the necessary technology to optimise their retail activities, even though in-flight optimisation is key to driving efficiency and ROI.
Teams that lack the ability to optimise their retail execution often operate on a blanket coverage model. Field managers set up routes for their reps, building a predetermined schedule for when they should visit a certain store, how long they spend there, and the activities they focus on while there.
While this approach gives reps an equal shot of uncovering execution opportunities in each account, it’s not the most efficient resource allocation. Since up to 25 per cent of sales can be lost due to poor retail execution, uncovering opportunities to move the needle on sales should be the top priority for every store visit. Luckily, many teams are recognising this area of improvement and finding ways to address it.
Data management strategy
Our final area of focus for brands is having clean data in order to properly plan and forecast work for your field team. Your team has so many regions and territories to cover that understanding day-to-day operations is critical to resource allocation.
Repsly’s data management maturity framework has four stages:
- Infrastructure and enablement.
- Interoperability and enrichment.
- Continuous improvement.
It starts with developing a cohesive data management strategy & planning. Ask your team, what insights will be used to make specific business decisions and actions to improve?
Once answered, we ensure the right systems and procedures are in place, to ensure your brand has the ability to quickly gather and collect the three types of retail execution data and present clear business insights to managers and stakeholders. The same solution can also be used by retail execution teams to transform those business insights into direct action that achieves priority performance goals.
The next stage of maturity focuses on interoperability. By integrating and merging data across multiple data sources, we are able to enrich insights and analyse the correlation between programs and teams.
The final stage is to enact recurring, sustainable procedures where past program outcomes are used to measure historic ROI, predict outcomes, and improve future planning.
Better retail execution starts with better data. Get in touch with Repsly to learn how your brand can get started. Repsly | Contact us