Getting on to the field sales to visit retailers, dealers and distributors to book orders, take stock and make collections is a tedious task indeed.
For consumer products like FMCG, durables and home furnishings, this involves 20-30 visits to customers and perform the same repetitive tasks. For any human, it’s not going to be easy for sure.
Furthermore, most of these visits by the sales representatives and executives are un-scheduled and more in the nature of cold calls. These involve interrupting the people who are not interested many times and making such calls take lots of effort and energy.
Because of the above reasons, there is significant inertia in performing these activities and that explains the avoidance behaviour on part of salespeople in executing this kind of work.
According to a recent research conducted by SalesTrends, if given a choice between doing work from the office and in-field, 82% respondents preferred working from office and not in field. This explains the reason for lack of trust amongst sales heads on their field sales executives. They are always concerned whether their executives are actually spending the manhours they are supposed to spend in field. You can track your in-house employees with a CCTV camera or through other ways, but how do you track someone in the field.
They are also worried whether the daily reports submitted by them give the correct picture of their files visits and outcomes. Many a times, the executive would take the orders on telephone but claim them as visits.
In extreme cases, the sales representatives have been even found to work for other companies and brands on a commission basis while drawing full-time salaries from their employers. In some of the consumer brand clients of SalesTrendz, it was also noticed that the schemes and discounts targeted at retail outlets and shops were not passed on to them, but got diverted by the distributors in connivance with field sales executives.
The question is how to deal with all of the above issues effectively. Another problem that aggravates the problem is that there is no reliable mechanism to know whether the salesman is truthful to its organisation. It may take at least 3 to 6 months to know the deviant behaviour of the salesman and considerable damage has already been caused before a decision to drop him is taken.
On the basis of research, SalesTrendz suggested a framework of three prong strategy to deal with this issue and become a win over:
- Real-time location tracking of salesman combined with –
- Equipping them with the right software and app to make their tasks interesting and achievement of targets easy, and
- A lucrative incentive structure for the salesman who works with integrity and passion.
We will continue with further details and reasons for the above strategy in our future blogs/mailers. If you have any other issue concerning you about your field sales executives, please feel free to get back to us and we would definitely help you out on that.
If you have any queries regarding the distribution and sales team management, just click reply to this mail and get back to us. We would love to hear from you.
Founder & COO, SalesTrendz Corp.
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