Future of Field Sales Management: Understanding 3 Key Operational Areas

Sales | 5 minutes to read

22nd Nov, 2021

 

Fundamentals of field sales and marketing have changed in the last 2 years and what worked earlier, no longer works now. Traditional field sales strategies must be reengineered with data-oriented program management platform for best results.

Snapshot:

    • Technology-powered platforms have altered ways to direct, manage, and execute field campaigns

    • Enterprises need an agile data-centric platform to create and execute winning field marketing programs

    • Here are three key operational areas in field sales marketing that need to be prioritized

    The pandemic expedited a need for organizational agility and digital transformation that otherwise seemed a pipe dream. Similar problems face field sales agencies – they are now in the middle of sink or swim situation. The last 18 months have introduced a lot of changes in the field sales processes across industries. It has left many desiring greater insights and control of their on-shelf SKUs. Traditional field sales and marketing strategies must be clubbed with the latest technology frameworks and processes for better retail execution and competitive market edge through effective partner engagement.

    The current market scenario has improved considerably with fears of contagion slowly subsiding down and people more open towards in-person sales. For effective field sales management, enterprises need a framework that is futuristic, mainstream, and set the field up for success. Let’s look at the three key operational areas that enterprises must prioritize to create a winning trade marketing program:

    Campaigns

    Every enterprise must have a field sales force that can set up new surveys on its own or modify them without any technical support. It is quintessential for them to obtain real-time summary reports on their data collection programs. Having an outdated field sales management tool can become an obstacle in achieving all these objectives. They now need a robust field force management system to execute these tasks and direct the field team based on the day-to-day priorities. An agile field force management platform is quintessential to implement and track on-the-fly reactive shelf audits, in-store branding campaigns, or product launches.

    Additionally, the field team must be able to change their routes based on the latest sales data or merchandising priorities. While there is a need for scheduling, the field program must have the flexibility to direct field visits based on real-time demands.

    The retail landscape is changing very quickly and is always unpredictable. If a field sales and marketing team never changes or updates its routes and moves with a blanket approach, then there is a clear mismatch emerges between the way a field sales force is working and the market dynamics are operating. Hence, it is crucial that a trade marketing team plan their weekly visits around a set of pain points they want to resolve in the field rather than a set of accounts they want to visit.

    In-store execution

    A robust field sale and marketing platform must have the functionality to save the offline data collected by the field sales force until it can safely sync online. This saves time and prevents critical errors from getting lodged in the system due to a lack of online connectivity. Additionally, advanced BI analytics tools effectively capture, organize, and communicate field data with relevant stakeholders for a 360-degree program view. The manual process of data reporting leads to inaccuracies and loss of business-critical data from the ground, which can affect decision-making. Also, it uses up field reps’ valuable hours on data collection and reporting rather than making key account visits and maximizing sales.

    Insights and actions 

    Another crucial aspect of an end-to-end retail management tool is that it must provide a real-time holistic view of the entire program. It must give complete and updated store information such as planogram and sales data. This allows the field reps to leverage sales data on the best-selling products in the past and profitable distributors and stores in a particular region. Using real-time intent data, a field sales team can actually do more fact-based selling. This will help increase the conversion rate of the field sales force.

    At its core, a good retail execution platform must enable the field sales and marketing team to be independent in their actions to maximize their geo coverage and boost brand visibility.

    Conclusion

    Going forward in 2022, smart brands must build a more coherent and data-driven field sales team to maximize their geo coverage and boost demand generation in the market. They must leverage AI-powered platforms to manage their field campaigns and collect key business data from the ground up. While the last 2 years have created some changes and setbacks for traditional field marketing programs, the future will be led by technology transformation and digital acceleration.

    Contact us if you want a better understanding of our end-to-end demand generation solutions for modern enterprises.

    Additionally, download our eBook “Trade Marketing – The Ultimate Guide” to navigate the basics of field sales and marketing in the modern marketplace and obtain thorough grounding on the industry-proven solutions and process for executing a holistic trade marketing programs.

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