Mobile Technology Articles

What do Successful Sales Managers and Rugby Coaches Have in Common?

Sunday, February 9th, 2020

Sales Managers and rugby coaches have a lot in common. They manage, train and lead teams who dislike paperwork and have a winning mentality. They prepare them and then have little to no control of them when they are out in the field. They have a system-based approach and rely heavily on results-based reports, which are used to monitor, motivate and manage.

The rugby season and sales year has begun. Players and salespeople need to warm up and refocus to achieve their goals and targets.

Rugby is a business. Just as in any enterprise, the year starts with a game plan. The Sales Manager and the Coach have prepared their strategy. They have analysed what went well last year and where they want to see improvement. Their boards have outlined expectations of improved performance. The managers have documented measurable goals, broken down into time frames. Their Business Intelligence (BI) software will provide reports breaking down success into focus areas.

Rugby vs Sales

With the budget set, the training and practice over, the players and salespeople hit the field. It is now up to them to perform. The coach and the sales manager can’t go out and supervise in real-time. The rugby coach can observe from a distance, but the sales manager has no visibility of the sales team until the orders do or don’t come in, along with reports of their version of what took place. Salespeople hate paperwork.

Rugby players may drop the ball, incur penalties, have altercations with competitors, fail in defence and set plays, or even get sent off. Coaches observe performance and take notes. They can provide guidance at half time.

At the end of the match, they look at the statistics, identify what worked and what needs attention. Many sports players have GPS on their clothing, and just about everything they do is recorded electronically, and then broken down and measured in reports.

In the traditional sales world, it’s not so easy. There are only a few ways the Sales Managers gets information. They must wait for orders to be emailed or sent to the office. The accounting system then identifies whether salespeople are achieving their budgets.

Admin, accounting and warehouse staff feel the brunt when errors occur. The Manager will find out there is a problem when complaints surface from staff or customers. Otherwise, they have very little knowledge of what is happening in the field, good or bad, and to make things worse, often long after the event.

The Game Changer

Mobile CRM is the game changer for a Sales Manager providing them with all the information they need in near real-time. The territory and sales activity plans are designed at head office then executed by the team.

The mobile App provides the salesperson with all the knowledge they need about the customer, their history and future opportunities. If the salesperson isn’t following the plan, Business Intelligence (BI) can alert the Sales Manager very quickly, and any issues can be resolved in real-time.

Most of the costly errors associated with paper-based systems are eliminated with with sales force automation. It is easy to identify products that are out-of-stock and offer alternatives. Costly pricing errors can be avoided. Issues can be managed on the spot, and the salespeople can receive feedback in real-time.

“Play the Percentages”

And the icing on the cake? At the end of the day, instead of waiting for the dreaded paperwork, the Sales Manager has all the day’s reports on hand. The results can be quickly analysed and the team provided with feedback on their performance.As you will hear in every post-match interview, there is always room for improvement, to lift the game and move up the ladder.

The Sales Manager and the rugby coach indeed have a lot in common as they identify the gaps and opportunities and reinforce what went well. The cycle continues towards the next successful outing, with inspired team members and happy customers…and the crowd cheers!

 

About Opmetrix

Opmetrix is a leading provider of cloud based software as a service (Saas) for the consumer goods industry. Focussing on field team management, Opmetrix empowers field users with an intuitive mobile app that covers everything a rep needs to sell and merchandise in store including CRM, sales, surveys and retail execution whilst providing managers with real-time visibility and reporting to manage and optimise their team.

Empowering your Mobile Workforce – Part III: 2 things you need to do now

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

In the highly aggressive world of retail, your sales teams need to stand out from others and maximise the limited time they have with their busy clients.

They need access to the latest information regarding orders, client history, contacts and past purchasing trends to ensure they make informed, effective decisions to provide tailored and responsive customer service and truly deliver a Perfect Store Call™.

Here are the two things you need to do to empower your workforce:

# 1: Keep them Mobile

Mobility is key to empowering employees, giving sales and merchandising teams the platform and tools they need for order-entry, shipment tracking, and business intelligence when they need it most – with their customers in the field, when they are on and offline.

#2: Provide the latest data

Empowered employees are informed employees.

Managers are faced with many challenges, especially when it comes to dealing with field based teams. By empowering their employees with mobility and up to the second data, managers are better placed to be able to solve a lot of challenges that can arise including:

  • Having online and offline capabilities
  • Bringing the whole team up to the level of top performers
  • Encouraging top employees to help the rest of the team improve
  • Standardising processes

With a mobile solution, information gets shared with the whole team, building competitiveness with top performers and improving administration company wide.

We hope you enjoyed our blog series.

Opmetrix HQ – A sales manager’s secret to success

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

Sales managers are busy people! Travelling often, off-site with customers, busy at promotional events, and still needing to be aware of everything that’s happening at the same time. Their teams can be spread out across large territories and spend a lot of time on the road themselves.

All these factors can make it challenging to support your team, ensure the achievement of sales goals and work towards increasing the productivity of the team, however, Opmetrix has the solution! Wherever you are, wherever your team are, Opmetrix HQ is the sales manager’s secret to success.

Opmetrix HQ

Designed to enhance performance and team productivity through the use of an interactive map, it provides a bird’s-eye view of your field team, with the ability to view current location, activity, sales totals and more.

What are your reps really doing this week? You don’t have to be there, you already have the data at your fingertips that will tell you exactly what they’re up to.

Team Performance Metrics

Opmetrix HQ gives you a current visual snapshot of your team with instant access to four key metrics to quickly determine their performance:

  • Where are they now? – Location and status updates. Are they with a customer and for how long?
  • How are they servicing customers? – See the number of calls completed today and the time spent with each customer.
  • What hours did they work? – At a glance check what time field teams started their first call of the day and how much is active face-to-face time.
  • What are their sales figures? –  Check the value of orders placed today.

Customer Performance Metrics

Opmetrix HQ helps managers ensure customers are receiving great service. By displaying customers geographically on a map, managers can interactively view customer sales, call notes and a 360-degree dashboard of how a customer is being managed. Great service is the key to customer loyalty and increased spending.

Mobile technology now makes it possible for you to know exactly what’s going on with your team, even when you’re not there. With Opmetrix HQ, you can learn what your team is doing and how efficiently they’re doing it. With the right tactics, you can stay in on top of your sales numbers – no matter where you are.

Empowering your Mobile Workforce – Part II: Who really benefits?

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

There is much discussion in business circles about the empowered employee and the impact on the bottom line.

So who benefits?

  • The Customer

By being able to access the most up to the minute data, an empowered employee provides a customer with a seamless experience and optimum service.

With all their questions answered immediately, customers develop a sense of trust, knowing that their sales representative can get the job done and can be confident their needs will be met.

  • The Company

With a truly mobile workforce, companies are better able to engage their employees, are kept informed of changes and real-time trends and are updated with sales and challenges, allowing them to get a clearer picture of their business and respond with appropriate strategies to grow and develop faster.

  • The Manager

With unparalleled visibility, a manager is more able to manage field based teams. With access to reliable intelligence and a connected work force, managers can develop a sense of trust with their teams, allowing their teams to work autonomously but with clear goals and expectations about targets, service and productivity.

  • The Employee

Motivated and challenged, an empowered employee is committed to the company and the role benefiting from increased job satisfaction, trust from management teams and driven to reach targets.

Empowering your Mobile Workforce – Part I: 5 Key Features

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Empowered employees are committed, loyal and conscientious. They are informed, up to date and connected wherever they are, online and offline.

Globally recognised marketing visionary, Simon Sinek[1], says that empowered employees are the ones that provide exceptional service, something vital in any competitive landscape.

“More than any other kind of employee, the empowered employee is able to create a feeling of true customer service that ultimately yields much greater customer loyalty.

“Companies that give employees the freedom to make decisions, often find that service to internal and external customers is improved. In addition, empowered employees take pride and ownership in their jobs when they know that they can exercise independent judgment when necessary,” says Sinek.

Informed staff feel empowered, managers have great visibility of their teams and customers have their needs met.

Empowered employees provide efficient customer service, delivered with the latest in technological advancements.

5 Features of an empowered sales team include:

  • Mobility

The ability to access to information anywhere, anytime, even without an internet connection.

  • Management Visibility

Being able to centrally manage field tasks and objectives with full visibility on compliance.

  • Personalised Service Offering

This is a complete understanding of the customer, obtained via call notes, photos and contact information so the empowered sales team can tailor their visit and deepen relationships.

  • Call Cycle Management

Ensuring an optimised route and time-in-store for maximum efficiency.

  • Analytics

Full visibility of customer performance to identify opportunities.

For more information on Empowering the Mobile Workforce, stay tuned for our next Blog Post “Who benefits from an empowered workforce?” contact us

[1] https://startwithwhy.com/

 

A Display is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

The point of purchase (POP) is where all elements come together – the buyer, the product and the money. It’s known that 76% of purchasing decisions are made in store and that 68% of all in store purchases are made on impulse, taking consumers 3 to 7 seconds to make a buying decision.

So, what makes consumers choose a brand as opposed to other?

A lot is said of brand awareness and recognition and the necessity of being not only on consumer’s top of the mind but also in front of them when the buying decision is being made. Companies that invest not only in competitive pricing and promotions, but as well as other marketing activities at store level e.g. digital signage, packaging, POP displays etc. are on the right path of a winning recipe.

According to A.R.E. Compliance Study, planned POP displays impact sales by 193%, whilst unplanned displays ignites them by 121% as opposed to 42% when CPG companies opt for no displays at all.

According to the POP Compliance 2016 Whitepaper, “maximising a P.O.P. display program results requires a combination of great design, a clear understanding of display economics, and exceptional execution of all aspects of the display program.”

Results have shown that there’s a discrepancy between the perceived level of compliance by CPG companies vs the reality. Effectiveness, at first perceived to be at 70% , in reality, is shown to be only 40%.

What are the factors that contribute to the failure or success of a planned display program?

A P.O.P. program will only be successful if displays are in place, correctly implemented, and stocked.

Needless to say, compliance at store level is one of the keys for P.O.P. display success, therefore, managers must clearly allocate responsibilities and arm people with the right information so tasks can be properly performed.

Due to the level of complexity surrounding the execution of in store displays, other items such as systems, clarity on information, set tasks, processes and superb project management are critical to the success of a well-executed POP program.

Credit: https://issuu.com/retailenvironments/docs/popcompliance_2016_whitepaper

Relationships vs Technology – The winner is?

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017
With fierce competition for in-store product space, CPG companies need to find new ways to ensure they continue to grow their share of the shelf and maintain a competitive advantage.  With automated direct to store ordering in grocery the norm, field teams have little influence on purchase ordering, but with a solid in-store execution strategy territory managers still hold the key to brand growth.
 
Many believe that empowering a field team with mobile technology is all that is needed, however in our experience the teams with standout success use mobile technology to empower the Territory Manager, but the human relationship is equally if not more important. The value of the relationship between the Territory Manager and store holds the greatest influence of all.  The strength of the Territory Managers connection with the store often ensures battles are won against competitors.
 
Even the largest grocery chains still have room at store level for buyers to adjust shelf positions, add extra stock locations or to jump the queue to fix stock and ticket problems. These outcomes directly affect sales, so benchmarking the store relationship is an important KPI.
 
The mobile solution is the tool to collect relationship information, access historical data and audit current product health, however, only with a great relationship can the Territory Manager influence outcomes.  As a mobile solution, Opmetrix empowers field teams to not only record data but provides simple and fast ways to focus on the following relationship goals
 
  • Maintain a centralised contact list for each store capturing all contacts from store-men to aisle managers, buyers and store managers
  • Ensure there are at least two key active store relationships in the event there is a staff change and a relationship is compromised
  • Measure face to face time with store contacts to monitor over or under servicing
  • Note conversations and all follow-up actions. The motto should be  ‘we do what we say we’re going to do’
  • Make it personal.  Note their pets, sports teams, anniversaries and acknowledge them.  
  • Centralise the information collected so when staff are on holidays there is no interruption to the fantastic service provided.
 
Many CPG companies often talk about that one special rep, who somehow achieved higher than the rest of the team and that customers just loved to deal with.  Even with the best product on the shelf and the strongest data and analytical reporting available, the human factor rivals any technology as the key to success. 

4 ideas on using Sales Templates

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Opmetrix Version 5.5 is packed with exciting new features which include the release of the new Sales Templates.

A sales template is a custom list of products that can be specifically sorted, and optionally have a special price attached to them. Sales templates can be used in many ways to speed up the sales entry process or to promote special items. While the name sounds simple, Sales Templates offer functionality that has been frequently requested by customers.

Many customers are now taking full advantage of this new feature, and if you don’t know how or haven’t started using it yet, here are 4 ideas to get you started:

  1. Make new products stand out

It’s important when launching new products or ranges to keep them front of mind for salespeople.  With sales templates, you can create a ‘New Product focus’ template and add those items to the list.  Your field team will always see them highlighted in the product list.  Even better, setup a product sales report and have Opmetrix send it daily to the field team, then run a leader board with who sold the most.

  1. Monthly Specials

With sales templates, you can set a price against promoted items and set a start and an end date.  Now you can run a weekly or monthly specials list that the field team can easily access along with the special prices for each of those items.

  1. Set the order products are sold

Many products are sold in cabinets and displays.  These could be fridges, cabinet displays, spinner stands or card pockets.  Create a sales template and call it the display name e.g. Nail polish stand.  Add the items and drag them into the order they are on the stand.  Now the field team can select that stand and quickly run down the products list in the same order they are on the shelf.

  1. “Special” pricing for a customer

A common sales expression –  “sometimes we give away the sausages to sell the steak”.   Create a template and target it at just one customer.  Add the products you have negotiated a set price for.  Now those customers will receive their ‘special’ price whenever that product is purchased.

 

Setting up your Sales Templates is simple:

  • Give the template a name (a clear description is helpful to the field team)
  • Select the start and end dates. Templates will only appear for the field team on or during this period

Maintenance:

Sales template maintenance can be found on the Report tab of the Opmetrix CMS. Templates can be added, edited, deleted and copied (duplicated) from this screen.