The FMCG sector has been a fast-growing sector in the world economy and with its increase in share in the economy, it is expected to grow more in the future. But there are certain difficulties on the way for the FMCG sector towards moving further:

1. Distribution of different outlets across geographies.
2. The FMCG sector is quite competitive now and probably there will be an increase in competition in the future which can make it harder to do business.
3. Lots of products to showcase with limited working employees.

To improve on this, companies need to push the sales of their products and ensure that their products and services are available across all potential outlets.

Strategies that work for one outlet might not work for another one due to numerous reasons. So one needs to think and classify outlets based on their performance so that there can be efficient planning for visits, schemes, and other sales activities.

There are around four categories in which outlets can be classified so as to increase sales opportunities:

1. Regular Outlets
2. Key Outlets
3. New Business
4. Zero Outlets

Now, as you have understood the difficulties faced by FMCGs, here are some of my thoughts that I have gathered through my experience, which will help to convert Zero Sales Outlets into Key Outlets and hence will help in increasing sales.

FMCGs are dependent on their field salesmen and if the FMCG companies are facing issues with them, it would result in zero sales outlets. From my experience what I have noticed is that, on average only 2 hours a day is effectively used as productive hours by a salesman. About 15% of salesmen’s time is spent on unproductive work like attendance, traveling and manual reporting. Also, about 30% of their time is spent traveling between outlets and from one area to another.

ordering-appBy eliminating these unproductive hours, sales team productivity can be easily increased by 50-60%, and in order to increase the productivity, following fours points should be kept in mind:

1. Identify key outlets.
2. Increase the frequency of visits to more prominent key outlets.
3. Make visit plans following the sales.
4. Identifying zero sales outlets.

1. Identifying Key Outlets

Key outlets should be identified so that more focus of your salesman visit will be on those outlets. Wasting time over visiting the outlets that are not the prominent ones will be of no use and hence will be unproductive. Hence, identifying key outlets is crucial.

2. Increase the Frequency of Visits to more Prominent Key Outlets

Now, after identifying key outlets, the field sales team should visit those outlets more frequently, so that the sales in the key outlets never dips.

3. Make Visit Plans Following Sales

Now, if you have identified two or three key outlets, then you should make a visit plan based on outlets with the highest probability of sales.

4. Identify Your Business Zero Sales

Identifying the zero sales outlets of your business is also one of the crucial activities, which can be helpful for a salesman to turn these into key outlets. The reasons for zero sales include less sales at outlets, better incentives from competitors. It could also sometimes be due to assumptions by salesmen.

Identifying the key outlets, turning unproductive hours into productive ones isn’t an easy task to do, right? You now know “why” it is important to identify the key outlets and zero outlets but “how” it is to be done probably is the question in your mind. Well, now to give a clear straightforward answer to this - It's quite simple to identify key outlets right now and with the digital transformation it has become easy for FMCG companies to do so. FMCGs can now use Field Sales Force Automation Apps, which are equipped with features like identifying key outlets and zero sales outlets, creating beat plans and visit plans for sales reps along with validating the outlet visits.

One such app that does all the work is the Delta Sales App, a product of the company named Delta Tech. Equipped with features like Field Sales Order Automation, Payment & Collection Automation, Automated Report & Analytics, Attendance Management, Target Management, Expense Reporting, and many more, the field reps app is being used and appreciated by over 20,000 sales reps all over the world.

To learn more about the product, please book a demo.

Date: Sep 17, 2020     Author: Abhay Chauhan

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