Sales Force Effectiveness – Apparel & CPG

Sales force effectiveness is critical to both the top line and bottom line for a company.

To succeed, a company needs to optimize the effectiveness of its sales force and reduce “leakage of revenue” due to poor planning, inefficient use of time, misaligned incentives, high turnover, and lack of facts. Using a data-driven approach to revisit and revamp the sales and marketing processes in an organization often provides quick wins and improves its market position with retailers and consumers.


Target setting:

Target setting not only involves sales and marketing staff but also expectations from sales territories or markets. Data driven target setting with the right methodology can help steer people towards success rather than a fear of failure.

Coverage model:

Replicating coverage structure across territories without understanding the specific conditions of a market is a common mistake committed by organizations. A micro-segmentation approach can improve the results of a sales team.

Organization structure:

Without the right operating model in place, sales managers may spend more time on internal operational issues than customer issues. A good organization structure helps maximize the sales managers’ time with the sales team and the right customers

Key Account Strategy:

All customers are not the same. Many organizations appreciate the importance of a key account strategy but not all have articulated a sales strategy for a group that can represent 70% to 80% of sales.

Sales Team Incentive Mechanism:

Besides aligning incentives to the company’s revenue targets, the right structure will encourage people to “stretch” beyond targets and not worry about setting themselves up for failure the following year.


Route Plan:

Route planning can be an efficient way to reduce the time spent on travelling and can help improve the efficiency of a sales person.

Sales Call:

Sales call analysis often shows that sales people spend more time fixing things and much less time interacting with customers. Quick wins are often achieved by identifying the obstacles to sales and marketing people spending time with customers and then removing them.

Recruitment, Training and Engagement:

People make organization. A structured recruitment process that is based upon successful characteristics ensures sustainable sales success. The right training and engagement reinforces the success.

Stakeholder Relationship Management:

Organizations need to manage internal stakeholders to become successful. Managing internal stakeholders and considering each function’s point of view helps uncover optimization opportunities that have been overlooked.

Marketing Initiatives:

In-store promotions and facings may dramatically improve the store performance. Ensuring that the brand is widely-known and visible is one of the most important areas, for acquiring and retaining customers


Scheduled Reviews and Reporting: Reviews and reporting should take place on a regular basis with a strictly followed agenda, so that all information is communicated and all possible problems are understood. Meetings, where performance is formally reviewed, incentives provided, contests announced and information communicated could improve the overall performance of the stores.


Article (PDF): A fresh look at sales planning

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