What is Field Force Optimisation?
To many it’s seen as territory design. To some it’s all about the sales team. But field force optimisation goes much deeper.
In essence it’s the complete alignment of your business planning, marketing and sales functions to achieve your company’s goals. It includes the how, when, what and where of acquiring, growing and retaining customers aligned to the right capability, capacity, size, structure and territory coverage of your sales team.
- How – which channel gives the right balance between “cost to serve” and profitability – (which customers should be handled by indoor vs field sales to maintain profitability)
- Where – are your markets and potential customers
- When – what’s the right visit frequency to keep different types of customers happy, maximise sales and maintain economic viability
- What – is the best offer to maximise sales based on customer type, previous purchases and typical products bought in combination by similar customers
Why consider field force optimisation?
- Your business is expanding and you need to maximise new opportunities and/or geography
- One or more salespeople are leaving and you need to plan for replacements – but could you redistribute the workload rather than recruit (without impacting customer sales or service)?
- Business is down and you need to reduce head count. But who, why and where? And is this the best thing for the business? Could better targeting increase sales?
- You have a new product and/or customer focus. How will this impact the field team? Do territories need realigning? Will you need more or less visits to make a sale?
- Your business is merging with another company. You may have one or more customer databases to merge, the same customers may be being worked by separate sales teams (with different skills) and you will have multiple territory boundaries with overlapping coverage.
Whatever your challenge, our proven field force optimisation model will help resolve your issues. The four key stages are included below:
A detailed analysis and visualisation of the current situation on the ground including your market size and penetration, customer locations and how segmented, sales team locations, coverage and performance, territories and any inefficiencies, team travel distances. We will deliver the results through our interactive online mapping system and this exercise will show you what’s working in your sales operations and where changes can be made.
Granular analysis and modelling of customers and prospects to identify areas of growth potential, including refined segmentation, lifetime value analysis and identification of high value customers at risk. Suitable profile descriptions would be added to to each customer segment to guide effective marketing and sales approaches.
Calculation of workload required to achieve the potential sales – number and duration of visits by segment, visit frequency by segment, sales channel by value (desk or field).
Development of hypothetical scenarios to test the feasibility and risk of achieving various combinations of marketing and sales activity based on existing and/or planned head count. For instance, what would the size of the field team look like based on varying the visit frequency and customer segmentation scheme with the goal of maximising sales and minimising the “cost to serve”.
The structuring of sales teams and design of territories to maximise sales potential, geographic coverage and sales productivity. Can also include the alignment of stockist, outlet or site locations within territories. Importantly, this work would take account of multiple data inputs and varying team skills to adjust territories to suit business objectives and target quotas. Can include developing work zones within territories to optimise visit planning.
“Doing an area manager rebalance for over 850 sites throughout the UK and Ireland is quite a daunting task. Following a few telephone conversations with the team at Tech4T to discuss their methodology, I was convinced the team could work at speed and deliver the requirements on time and in full.
I am really pleased with the output which will have an immensely positive impact on our operational efficiency. I would have no hesitation in recommending Tech4T when it comes to sales team and territory alignment. Thank you”
Chris McCandless. Director of Central Operations, Poundland.
Field Force Optimisation
All organisations have unique needs in this area. As such, we tailor each project and Territory Runner system to suit different data, varying circumstances and budgets.