Tracking and improving productivity of the field team managing retail execution is one of the most important priority for any company these days. No matter whether the team is tasked with performing visual merchandising activities or capturing secondary order details or expanding retail footprint, you can only manage their productivity provided you have defined right set of KPI metrics for your team and enabled them with a state-of-the-art mobility based SFA solution which can track those metrics.
It’s and old practice to track field team productivity by simply counting number of daily visits / calls. While this may work well in some scenarios, definitely having this as the only metrics doesn’t work out well in today’s ever changing business paradigm. Here are some quick pointers why we think so:
- The visit target set may not be logical. Hardly any analysis is being done before setting these targets and in most of the cases, it goes by the gut feeling of RSMs or ASMs. That brings in lot of subjectivity in the measurement mechanism.
- It ignores territory parameters (and certain other important attributes) such outlet density, outlet category etc. Distance between stores varies significantly depending on the geography. For example, in metro cities there are more stores in the same locality, whereas in up-country that’s not the case. Also, you would like more time to be spent in your premium outlets compared to some of the regular one.
- Thirdly, Daily Visit Target achievement may not ensure optimum territory coverage. For example, just to meet the daily target, your team may end-up visiting not so important stores more frequently than the important once. Or, think about the worst - some important stores might get left out completely.
- Finally, the visit targets are static and not self-improving. In any high-performance organization, it is very important that any flaw in the targets set against measurement parameters gets corrected regularly. Also, basis the overall achievement results, the targets should also continuously change to ensure sustained business growth.
So, what should be the ideal metrics to measure field team’s productivity? And how do we track them efficiently? If you have best-in-class Sales Force Automation solution, you can actually track more relevant metrics easily. Here is a summary of such modern-day measurement parameters which are key in improving field team’s productivity:
- Time spent in store: Relationship building is a key think in retail execution and more time your field team spends with the retailer, relationship grows stronger. Hence, it is important to track in an entire day of field visit, how much time the team is actually spending at the outlet.
- Time per KM traveled: Simple way of improving field team productivity is to reduce the travel time. So, it is important to track on an average how much time someone is spending in travelling 1 KM. If it goes above certain predefined threshold, some immediate action must be taken. If the person is deciding his own visit plan, he must be told about the inefficiency and in case, he is following some predefined journey plan, that needs to be corrected.
- Store visit target by category: As we mentioned earlier, not all stores are of equal importance and hence, number of stores to be visited should be driven by store category. This is easy to manage and execute, when we set visit target for a month instead of daily. For example, a much more logical target could be all platinum outlets must be visited at least 4 times in a month and similarly 3 for Gold, 2 for Silver and 1 for Bronze.
- Unique Stores Visited: While important outlets must be visited more, it is also important to cover most of the retail universe at least once in a month. Hence, a metrics on number of unique stores visited is very important parameter to track.
- New Stores Added: Channel expansion is a continuous thing and is key to drive business growth. You field sales team must be tasked with adding new outlets to the universe and should have a monthly target for the same.
Measuring these parameters becomes super easy when you have an SFA solution that comes with flexible mobile app platform and a cutting-edge BI analytics engine at the back-end. With that you can not only manage your field team’s productivity, but the SFA solution can also help you in continuous improvement and optimization of such targets by analyzing past achievements and many other parameters.