S2 NEWSLETTER: 12TH MAY 2022
How to create an effective sales territory plan IN 2022.
By WillIAM GRACE, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
Finding the best outlets for your brand or category can sometimes be like finding a needle in a haystack. How do I know that the pub, supermarket, restaurant, or corner shop that I am selling to is frequented by the end consumer that my product is targeting?
The sheer number and range of sales outlets in the UK can make this seem like an impossible task, especially within the context of planning sales territories and maximising the efficiency of field sales teams. The simple mantra of getting products into the hands of the right people, via the right outlets, in the right locations is essential in maximising your return on sales spend.
#1. GETTING THE MOST FROM FIELD SALES TEAMS
As organisations grow through acquisition, diversification and increasingly complex routes to market, the challenge for brand owners is to streamline resources to focus on consolidating product ranging for a complete category picture and, at the same time, limiting the cost of expensive field sales resources.
Factoring in visit frequency and range targets is a science that requires an understanding of both the total sales potential and of the range turnover rate based on market segment and consumer occasion modelling.
Achieving an appropriate sales territory balance is an important factor in maintaining satisfaction with your customers, salespeople, and for your company as a whole.
If territories differ sharply by geographical size or growth potential and slip out of balance, sales personnel may be given too much or too little work. This can lead to under or over-servicing of retail customers, a lack of prioritization and a poor return on your investment.
Sales territory planning provides the means to optimise the allocation of your people and resources to the right outlets in the best locations to maximise return on investment. It creates balanced sales territories based on call frequency and volume for growth, maintain and fix metrics.
#2. HOW DO I GO ABOUT SALES TERRITORY PLANNING?
We have established the importance of efficient and balanced Sales Territory Planning, but it can be a very complex and time-consuming exercise for major brand owners. It is important to have detailed, up to date information about your market, as an inaccurate sales territory plan could be as harmful as not having a plan at all! In other words, how do I carry out accurate Sales Territory Planning so that it benefits my business?
To answer that, S2 have 4 key steps to follow:
- Grade and rank stores against each individual outlet’s footfall potential and growth opportunity. This requires both detailed and comprehensive knowledge of store and customer segmentation techniques – another area of expertise for S2.
Once stores have been ranked and graded, businesses are then able to re-design sales territories to ensure they are of similar sizes, both in terms of geography, number of individual outlets and sales potential.
- Match your sales execs and resources to the new, optimised sales territories to provide efficiencies around service levels. Brands will be able to optimise the usage of the field sales force to reduce costs and increase productivity.
3. Base the field sales force route planning on the proximity to sales territories and stores. This will reduce travel time and increase time in-store, meaning field sales reps can target more customers per day and per week.
4. Ensure your brand has access to geographic mapping of sales territories to improve market coverage and route to market. This allows you to visualise all stores and sales territories, understand under and over-performing regions and outlets, and measure the effectiveness of your field sales teams on a national or local scale.
As an example of this, Serendipity2 has created MarketView – our Google-enabled data visualisation, analysis and reporting software tool – providing a brilliant platform for our clients to map their territories.
#3. THE BENEFITS
Businesses that have an effective sales territory plan and call optimisation strategy are much better informed on prioritising sales force effectiveness at both a national and localised level.
The allocation of field sales teams and resources have been refocused on the outlets and locations of greatest potential in driving range, distribution, merchandising and return on investment. Central marketing planning and execution is also more efficient in focusing on areas of greatest potential return.
Sales territory planning and called optimisation is a key tool brands use to maximise the impact of new product launches, tailoring category and portfolio offerings to suit territory preferences (such as through variation in pack size or flavours) and improve the targeting of key on and offline promotional activation programmes.
#4. S2’S EXPERIENCE IN SALES TERRITORY PLANNING
Sales territory planning and call optimisation is an area of real expertise for S2. We have worked with many of the UK’s and the world’s leading brands, including one of the largest brewers in Europe and the biggest soft drinks company in the world.
As the organisation grew through acquisitions, product diversification and increasingly complex routes to market, the challenge for the brand owner was to streamline resources to focus on consolidating product ranging for a complete category picture and, at the same time, limiting the cost of expensive field sales resources.
S2 was tasked with the creation of clear and quick views on existing and prospect outlets by sales channel and their location’s external geo-demographic composition. This aids the identification of potential new business uplift and – by including call optimisation models – can also be used to increase call frequency and in call time.
Using MarketView – our Google-enabled data visualisation, analysis and reporting software tool – as well as our own predictive algorithms, we were able to analyse the total coverage outlets status, allocate opportunity grades to assign call frequency and in call times and remodel field sales resources to create balanced sales territories which optimised call models. From grocery superstores, pubs, clubs, fast food restaurants and independent convenience stores to sporting venues, leisure attractions, coffee shops, garage forecourts, wholesalers and workplaces, our outlet database underpinned the brand owner’s entire field sales strategy and activation programme.
Please get in touch with us at S2 using the form below to learn more about how we can create an effective sales territory and call optimisation plan for your business.
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