FMCG field sales management: Need for a sales beat plan
A field sales beat plan or a sales beat plan is a sales route plan made at a day level for every field sales executive to make sales visits to multiple store locations. The sales beat plan is also known as a ‘Permanent Journey Plan.’ These visits are planned at a specific predefined frequency and are essential for handling order collection. This process helps to identify retail stores facing stock outages and replenish them accordingly. Furthermore, stocks on display at these stores are audited and updated with the latest information to ensure a competitive advantage.
Field sales executives need to understand market dynamics, strengthen their relationship with retailers and keep up with consumer demand over time.
A well-defined sales beat plan is core to transforming your field sales management system.
The objective is to consistently maintain optimum service levels at every retail outlet and ensure the right sales executive visits the right store at the right time.
Key sales beat plan challenges
- Planning sales beats becomes complicated if the retail stores have ambiguous, inaccurate, and incomplete addresses.
- Ineffective beat planning may result from poor communication between retail storekeepers and warehouse management Inability to map specific vehicles to particular product categories and geographic areas.
- Inconsistency in the total number of orders collected per beat and volume of products ordered results in either hiring more vehicles for distribution or existing underutilizing transportation; this turns into a considerable cost overhead.
To combat these challenges, consumer goods companies need a single platform that can help them streamline the entire sales cycle and effectively master the art of beat planning.
Here are seven ways how implementing a field sales software can transform FMCG sales with an optimized beat plan.
1. Amplifying sales productivity
Realizing the power of an effective beat planning mechanism empowers your field sales team to maximize productivity. Dista’s field sales management app is an AI-powered sales assistant that helps field sales executives plan their visits, identify better targets for the next stop and ultimately design an optimized route plan for all retail outlets. The software also ensures that every field sales executive understands their role, responsibilities, and targets, resulting in increased productivity and efficiency.
2. Increasing order volumes
Dista’s AI-driven beat planning engine matches the right field sales executive to the right retailers. It assigns stores as per territory, pin codes, and accessibility to make sure that the right field executive service the right retailers at the right time. This helps improve the relationship between the field sales executive and the retailer, opening new opportunities to upsell related products of your company. As a result, this leads to increased order volumes and ultimately leads to maximizing sales.
Moreover, consistent relationship management with the retailer helps develop a strong case for a profitable long-term association.
3. More sales visit in one trip
Field sales executives must strike a balance between the number of trips to retailers in a single day and spending the right amount of time with them. Dista’s AI-driven engine not only designs an optimized beat plan for the field sales executive, enabling them to drive more sales visits in one day but also assists them in allocating sufficient time with every retailer.
Additionally, Dista Sales, AI engine recognizes sales visits patterns based on which it recommends ideal time to visit retailers resulting in driving down instances of late arrival or failures of visits. This helps increase efficiency, reduce replenishment cycles, and increase sales effectiveness.
4. Effective territory management
Regional heads need to segment their territories appropriately to create an effective beat plan. All retail stores must be segmented based on location, size, revenue potential, order requirements, etc.
Dista’s field sales software has an intelligent allocation engine that helps assign and allocate leads to the right field executives based on their skill set, experience, designated territories, and capacity. Regional sales heads and senior management get complete visibility on their respective regions and, therefore, can plan and strategize accordingly.
5. Sales forecasting
A permanent journey plan plays a critical role in determining the sales potential of each retail outlet and region. Based on the number of effective sales visits, orders replenished, frequency of visits, and the sales cycle time, sales heads and business development leaders can predict the sales potential of each store. FMCG brands can use this insight to run targeted campaigns with low sales potential and focus on attracting new consumers. Furthermore, once the concerned stores improve their performance, companies can look towards opening new stores in that location and contribute towards further business expansion.
6. Reporting and analytics
Sales and growth leaders need complete visibility into the entire sales journey of a field sales executive to get a complete picture of their sales team’s performance. Dista’s field sales software does not need manual data entry or any other form of manual data processing regarding ordering replenishments and fulfillment, sales visits, or even customer acquisition. It delivers multiple customizable reports covering all variables and equipping sales leaders with intelligent insights on sales performance, revenue potential, store performance, location performance, sales cycle time, and much more.
7. Enhancing customer experience
Well-structured beat plans help identify problems at the store level regarding products being showcased and sold to customers. Visual merchandising is crucial in driving store sales, and field sales executives can help retailers increase sales by providing the best information regarding product categories. The right products are to be showcased at the store and ultimately provide an enhanced end-consumer experience.
An effective beat plan is mission-critical for enhancing field sales executives’ sales performance and delivering a personalized consumer experience. FMCG brands must realize the potential of designing a customized sales beat strategy to stay ahead of the competition and strengthen their relationship with retailers.
At Dista, we have built a fully customizable field sales software that helps in implementing highly effective beat plans for several consumer goods organizations and accelerated growth. To drive business growth, FMCG organizations must empower their field sales team with all the necessary tools to deliver breakthrough performance.
Get in touch with us to know more about Dista Sales.