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How to achieve the ‘perfect store’ visit every time

Many consumer goods companies are seeking out the perfect store.  

Those setting themselves up for success are defining the strategic vision for the perfect store at the senior leadership level – defining what it means for the organisation.

No matter how well you define your vision of the perfect store, you will not realise the worth to the business without flawless execution – from senior management at head office down to the individual reps in store.  You must avoid common pitfalls like misalignment of internal departments and team goals, failure to clarify sales team member roles and who takes responsibility for which tasks.

Here are some key considerations to help deliver the perfect store visits for your organisation:

  1. Invest in the right processes, tools and technology.

Make sure you have invested in a technology solution that can generate a continuous flow of real-time, store specific data and close the loop between your head office and your field teams. Make the most of today’s mobile devices and give your reps access to the most up to date insights while out in the field.

  1. Communicate the perfect store vision to your field teams.

Reps must know what they are aiming for in store and what they will be measured against (KPI’s). Provide specific plans, task lists and objectives by store for merchandising activities as well as getting the perfect order. Motivate and compensate your reps for achieving perfect store status.

  1. Engage and consult the retailer.

Allow your reps to take a consultative, data driven approach with retailers improving operational efficiency and fostering meaningful relationships with store managers and owners. Part of this means providing reps with the right mobile tools and devices. A visual, fact based pitch will more likely win over a busy store manager resulting in an in store sale or promotion and display activity.

  1. Take measures to improve productivity.

A more productive field force will unlock opportunities to focus on value adding activities in store and getting to more stores. By reducing driving time, administration and data processing time with route optimisation and better systems and technology in the field your reps can deliver additional results above the productivity gains themselves.

  1. Measure, improve and repeat.

Implement ongoing checks and balances to evaluate and measure activity. Adjust KPI’s accordingly, make better business decisions, and target high yield territories and stores. And always look to course correct if necessary with visibility generated by a closed loop system.  

Perfect Store visits executed correctly offer more productive field teams, visibility into lost sales opportunities such as OOS & promotional non compliance, and the ability to identify new opportunities with the store manager, take orders and sell more in the store.

Bring your company’s “perfect store” to life – invest in today’s latest technology and tools, communicate, motivate and compensate your field teams and actively consult to store managers by sharing store specific data. This will result in increased sales – a win for you, your sales teams, the retailer and your end consumer.

Kerrie-Anne Turner is VP Asia Pacific & MD Australia with StayinFront Group Australia.

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