One key mantra for a successful sales strategy of an FMCG company is supply chain optimization. Customers have always been at the core of the FMCG supply chain, and it is incumbent upon businesses to fulfill their needs by creating both time and place utility. After all, they desire the best experience from start to end, whether online or offline.
One of the most important touchpoints for them in the FMCG supply chain is the sales and marketing executives, particularly the salesmen in the field. They are the ones who make products available to end-users by employing a variety of tactics and gimmicks. So, it’s important for FMCG companies to define an efficient system that allows salesmen to maintain their product distribution seamlessly.
Deriving the benefits of salesman journey planning in FMCG
Salesman journey planning is a day-level sales route optimization plan that’s designed for sales and marketing executives to improve their individual efficiency level and that of the FMCG supply chain at large. Under this plan, the executives visit several FMCG stores at a pre-set frequency. The purpose of these visits is to increase the efficiency of order collection, improve visual merchandising and assist in competitor analysis.
If done right, salesman journey planning can help FMCG companies to up their supply chain optimization. It ensures there are the right service levels provided at each retail outlet. In other words, it intends to put the right salesperson at the right outlet at the right time on the right day.
Salesmen across the FMCG industry face a number of challenges if the supply chain route is not properly optimized. However, salesman journey planning can help them overcome these challenges to a great extent. It can help sales representatives to identify, understand and leverage impactful opportunities by considering competitor actions, market dynamics, and, not to forget, customer engagement.
66% of a salesperson’s time is spent on non-sales activities. In many companies, sales reps have to go through sales data and excel sheets to map their own routes, leading to missed opportunities and lost time. Sales route planning could combine sales and customer data to automatically plan the most efficient routes for salespeople. This way, sales reps waste less time on repetitive, mundane tasks and more on speaking with customers, increasing both productivity and revenue.
Creating a salesman journey plan using technology
It’s true that creating and optimizing an FMCG supply chain is a tough job requiring careful planning and execution. However, there’s technology that comes to save the day. There’s a wealth of software for logistics planning and route optimization, which can help FMCG companies to create a permanent journey plan(PJP) for salespeople. These software tools do so by considering various aspects like number of outlets, number of visits per outlet, available salespeople, holiday calendar, etc. By using map routing and data-optimized schedules offered by these tools, businesses can greatly improve the productivity of their salesmen.
Maps routing involves the use of mapping software to chart out the most efficient route for getting from one location to the other. These are extremely quick tools that can help businesses estimate their travel times and change routes based on possible delays.
There are also route planning software solutions that integrate various sales data automatically to plan the best route for sales representatives. The map routing software leverages the insights to chart out a route that factors in sales goals, multiple stops, delivery schedules, and strict deadlines. It can help salesmen avoid problems and identify new opportunities by accessing relevant data related to customers and regions.
Salesman journey planning using logistics and map routing software can increase productivity and reduce overall costs. It can greatly optimize the FMCG supply chain and ensure that the product distribution system works efficiently. When that happens, businesses stand a better chance of serving their customers in a timely manner and eliminate unnecessary hassles that come up due to inefficient supply chain processes.
When an FMCG company adopts salesman journey planning, sales representatives become equipped with data to make agile and informed decisions. From traffic updates to customer data to competitive analysis data, everything can be accessed through a single solution. It can be a great boon to FMCG companies that operate in a competitive landscape and looking to expand their market share.