Thursday, April 9, 2015

Unlocking Steps for Effective sales in any FMCG Company

You don’t get paid for the Hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the Hour”. (Jim
We all know that sales and marketing in today’s world are not merely constrained to making cold calls and selling products. It’s a constantly revolving field that needs 360 degree approach towards achieving the goals. On Macro Level: Passion for Sales, Creativity and Systematic approach can lead to Effective Sales.

In this article, I would like to throw light on Micro Parameters related to “Systematic steps of essential sales”. For the sake of simplicity, the actions are classified into Long Term activities, Monthly, Weekly and Daily Activities (Refer Fig 1.1). Any Sales admin tool which helps to record such activities, Customized ERP and its analysis will bring operational efficiency, create competitive advantage and reduce cost of operations as well. The steps are divided in Activities and Analysis.

Long Term Activities
Territory Planning: One of the most important aspect is Territory Planning. We need to
divide geography in Beats, Head Quarter, Area, Region and Zones. Names may differ but essence remains the same. Persons should be identified for each territory and made owner of their territory. Benchmarks in terms of Number of Dealers, Retailers, Institutional customers should be defined.
SKU wise Stockist wise targets:
This action will lead to plot “What to sell & Where to sell”. It is an important parameter as Certain focus products or New SKU’s need to be given more weight age in sales. This may differ from one geography to another. Indirectly this will help in setting a standard of right product sales at right place.

Retailer Count wise targets for Field Staff: Number of Retailers / Institutional clients / New clients to be met shall be defined. This will enable us to spread our reach and sales will not be dependent on any particular retailer.

Productive Retailers: Only retailer visits will add no value if they are not giving orders. There should be some marketing efforts to be improve the percentage of productive retailers.
Productive SKU:
Defining how many different SKU’s we plan to book on daily basis will also help us to spread our offerings. More number of active SKU will result in more chances of growth.

Monthly Activities:
Tour Program (TP) submission:
Pre planning of the coming month in the form of TP will drive sales person to plan visits to all of his territories and be prepared for it before time. At times it appears to be very basic or old terminology, but we can always ask to ourselves that have we effectively used this old tool ever?

Review of Retailer List:
A monthly review of retailer list will give a time to time count of active/Inactive and sleeping retailers. The sales person can take measures to leverage the same.

Circulation of Target Sheet for upcoming Month:
A simple but missed most of the time activity. We may have Targets defined somewhere, but are we circulating the same to Field Executive before start of month? Are we taking their view on what's their plan on How to achieve it.

Daily Activities :
Timely alerts:
System should be designed to assist Field executive (FE) and not to monitor
him. Useful Alerts should be planned covering different KPI’s and delivered to Field person to help him meet his next goals/targets. It is an important factor to keep him motivated.

Station to be visited:
Information related to his day working like station to be visited, Retailers pending to Visit, Non productive Retailers, Any new Retailers etc will not only keep him up to date but will also help him in making the day productive.
Stockist Interaction:
Stockist / dealer is a vital link in FMCG sales. Effective communication should be done with each Stockist where field working is taking place for today and yesterday should be done from HO or Regional office. Secondary sales for orders booked yesterday should be confirmed and scope of Primary sales to be identified for short stocks. It can be increased through FMCG software for sales

AM-SO mid day interaction:
Managers know the importance of Mid day interaction with their team, but the problem is that they do not have information at right time so that they can have meaningful discussions on daily basis. System should support Managers with this vital missing link, 

A timely Analysis of the above mentioned activities is vital for the whole process to become productive. This will help in identifying the gaps in the business process and bringing required improvement for the benefit of everyone in the organization.

Monthly review based on KPI’s:
A monthly review with each Field executive in presence of his Manager is of huge importance in sales. Various KPI’s should be discussed, achievements should be appreciated and shortcomings should be discussed for ways of overcoming them. Target compliance, Products sold / missed, Productive call averages, Tour program compliance etc can be managed by MR Reporting software as well as should be discussed and training need should be identified. Required training should be provided on the spot so that doubts can be clarified on immediate basis. Important feedback about market intelligence should be gathered and passed to product management team and other relevant persons.
Weekly review:
A weekly review on lines similar to monthly review but to be conducted by First line Manager in field itself will also be of great benefit. In this review current month can be discussed and steps required to improve current month can be taken well in time.

Daily review for some specific KPI’s:

There are certain KPI’s which are too important to be ignored till Monthly review. We should discuss certain KPI in a way which encourages self analysis by field executive. Executives who booked orders for good value, spread ed product range and spread ed productive retailers should be appreciated and others should be encouraged for a better tomorrow. At the same time, the message should be loud and clear that inefficiencies will lead to a win win situation and inefficiencies are neither welcome nor ignored.

As we know that only taking the gym memberships does not improve your health but what
improves it is the constant efforts towards making days productive. What I mean to say is that a system in place to identify sales activities will be the first step in the positive direction. The operational efficiency will improve with the participation of the people in the system.

Atul Daga is an expert in conventional Retail and Engineering industries CRM. He has done his MBA from Cardiff University, United kingdom. (U.K.). As Business Development & Business Intelligence Manager at Advanz101 Systems, he actively engages himself with some high valued clients in knowledge process outsourcing domain. Atul likes DJ’ing as a hobby. He can be reached at

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