Guide to managing point-of-sale visits
You know the adage, "Retail is detail", therefore the control of the execution of the placing on shelves and the promotion appears to be very important. While it is relatively easy to visit a single point of sale, it is much more complex to monitor a stores network. To assist you in this process, here are the elements to check during your store audits.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO VISIT STORES?
Check the referencing of your products
In mass distribution, referencing a product means integrating the assortment offered in the distribution channels of a brand. It is previoulsy negotiated by the key accounts and must be checked by the sales teams in the field. The aim is to ensure that the products are correctly displayed on the shelves. Indeed, it can happen that the products are not on the shelves for various reasons (choice of store, poor communication, stock shortage...). Thus, we make the referencing process more reliable, ensure the presence of the offer in the point of sale and guarantee its distribution.
Promote your offer
Visiting the points of sale is also to ensure the promotion of its offer. We check the merchandising quality: do I have enough products on the shelf? Is my facing compliant? Is my product placed in the right place on the shelf (hot zone / cold zone)? We can also set up promotional operations with the department manager. This can range from a positioning on the central aisle or at the head of the shelf to an animation service aimed at making people discover the product on the spot (tasting, free trials, samples...).
Maintaining and improving relations with your distributors
Between manufacturers and distributors, relations are sometimes conflicting with a fierce struggle for the sharing of the value created. But to better face the challenges (ecological challenge, changes in consumption patterns, economic crisis...) new collaborative strategies based on trust have emerged. Maintaining good relationships allows to develop sales promotion. Distributors will more easily accept a brand's POS or their sales promotions, and in exchange the brands will offer them exclusive advantages. A logistical collaboration can also be a win-win situation for both sides. Thus, a just-in-time procurement strategy will allow the distributor to save on storage costs and limit the risk of failure when referencing an innovation. For its part, the manufacturer will more easily reference its product and take the place of its competitors. Finally, we all know that access to information is a real competitive advantage. Maintaining good relations will therefore make exchanges more fluid and enrich everyone's knowledge.
WHAT ARE THE BEST TIMES TO VISIT POINTS OF SALE?
Preparing for the highlights
The assortment of supermarket chains is wide. It ranges from food to toys, household appliances, garden, home, car, clothing, etc... This depth of assortment leads to different highlights during the year. Toys will sell very well during the Christmas holidays (October, November, December); where Asian food will sell massively during the Chinese New Year in February. The sales teams therefore have a calendar dictated by seasonal highlights. During these key moments, the objective is to make the offer as visible as possible, to surf the seasonality effect and boost sales. When you visit a point of sale, the idea is to negotiate the implementation of POS, demonstrations services or positioning on the central aisle to ensure additional sales.
Negotiations for referencing in promotional catalogs
Retailers operate with the help of catalogs and leaflets that tend to become more and more digital. All supports bring an important visibility which is at the heart of the promotional strategy of manufacturers. It is therefore in the interest of the sales forces to develop links with their distributors to ensure maximum exposure on these promotional media.
When performance is not up to expectations
Close monitoring of performance indicators allows sales teams to identify points of sale that are not meeting transformation objectives. And identifying the causes as quickly as possible (products missing from the shelves, wrong place on the shelves, undelivered products, etc.) allows them to take effective action more quickly.
At the customer's request
It is certainly the least frequent of all reasons for sales forces to visit the points of sale, but distributors can ask brands to come and see them. This may be to negotiate a different referencing, to ask for services to boost the store or to order more products if an innovation is successful.
HOW TO BE MORE EFFICIENT DURING YOUR VISITS?
Plan your activity intelligently
To boost your efficiency in the field, the eCOS® Sales SFA starts by helping you organize your routing. Each point of sale is given a dedicated file and a performance score.
This allows you to plan your visits and identify the distributors that need them to sell better. Geolocation is also a great help to propose plan B nearby, in case of withdrawal or shortened visits.
eCOS® Sales is also a tool that follows you at every stage of your store visits. Make your linear survey, note, check, order... Everything is possible, directly on all your electronic devices, even offline.
Wasting time entering your reports in the evening when you get home is now an issue from the past.
Always have the right documents with you
You may also need access to documents (product sheets, promotional plan, photos...). To do this eCOS® Sales offers you a full-fledged and very complete document management tool.
All formats are taken into account and the storage possibilities are infinite.
Track your activity in real time
Commercial activity is not limited to field actions. The development of its turnover can only be done if we identify the right levers to operate.
The best way to manage your activity correctly is to have a clear, reliable and quickly accessible dashboard. Performance indicators must also be able to be updated in real time.
With eCOS® Sales, track your ND, WD, shelf share, prices, transformations and more, live from your smartphone.