Successful FMCG brands are built on a foundation of intelligent territory management when it comes to retail execution. These brands mentor their field representatives to ensure they are equipped with in-store data that fosters productive relationships with their accounts, and the skill set to unlock retail activation insights to drive revenue growth and expanded presence on store shelves.
Territory management education is paramount in markets where shipping costs and inventory and distribution timelines can vary wildly region by region. Repsly’s 10+ years of experience working alongside FMCG companies of all verticals and sizes have uncovered the following strategies to help field teams drive success across all facets of retail execution.
Success requires commitment – and cooperation
The most growth-minded FMCG brands we have partnered with establish a detailed plan of how much time should be allocated to each account, developed in concert with field reps – if they act as equal collaborators in the plan, they will be more likely to follow it. While creating a strategy, you might consider keeping three things in mind: 1) you want to maintain current clients, 2) reach out to potential clients, and 3) obtain new clients from your competitors. This plan should also consider your reps’ personal connections and strengths, and their histories with the client. Personalisation of each plan puts your team in the best position to grow your brand’s sales and exposure.
However, no plan survives real-world circumstances, so it is important to be flexible even after implementation. Stay focused on the critical metrics of how your reps are performing over the different territories you have assigned them and note what works and what needs to be adjusted. Even better, you can teach your reps to recognize data-based opportunities on their own.
The importance of understanding activity
All successful field teams need to be able to determine the holes in their execution. By sharing regular reports that display area coverage, field teams can address coverage gaps and ensure the top accounts are receiving the proper attention. Additionally, sharing time in-store vs. travel time enables retail execution teams to gain insight into the field reps’ travel patterns and can determine if further route optimisation is needed. Finally, by comparing field rep performance against frequency cycle benchmarks, field reps can better present their true impact on retail success.
Drive revenue and save revenue
Revenue-driving metrics are wins or verifiable data points that show growth in your brands’ performance on store shelves. Advanced field teams track revenue-driving activities during store visits – including metrics such as new displays won, or new orders placed. By measuring displays and order volume and presenting robust reports that indicate positive ongoing trends, field teams can show executives the quantifiable results that demonstrate their value to retail execution initiatives.
Promotional display success is also a key metric field sales teams should track – FMCG brands spend $500 billion on trade promotions annually, but nearly 72 per cent of brands take losses on promotions.
Field teams can play a critical role in correcting pricing errors, distribution voids, out of stocks, and other compliance errors which can limit sales velocity off the shelf. Availability and compliance improvements represent your brand’s revenue-saving activities, so tracking stores with poor compliance or availability, and then demonstrating the team’s actions to fix and improve execution in those stores, is a great way to prove that your field team is driving revenue by pulling along the lower-performing stores to meet overall expectations.