Business Tips 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.

The four things successful National Sales Managers do every day

Sunday, October 20th, 2019


Being a National Sales Manager means having to bring together a solid understanding of market conditions with deliberate strategic management of the team.

Everyday National Sales Managers all over Australia and New Zealand are looking for current market conditions, customer trends, helping their team meet customer’s needs and hitting targets! 

 1.    Maintaining an insatiable desire for business data

A successful NSM knows that data delivered in real-time changes the way business is done. From how to approach new opportunities to managing budgets, field team productivity and watching stock movements.

Having real-time data is essential to making informed decisions when they need to be made. Being able to respond to real-time challenge is what makes the difference. The end-of-month report just doesn’t cut it anymore.

 2.    Remain focused on empowering the team’s performance

Being able to lead, motivate and provide opportunities of growth for field and sales teams are vital for National Sales Managers to be successful.

Managers need to know what the team are doing, what they must do, sales information and the quality of the customer experience.

At Opmetrix, we work with hundreds of National Sales Managers across New Zealand and Australia who represent family owned businesses all the way through to multi-nationals. Their feedback is that our ‘Live Agent’ feature is what they have been wanting – a real-time view of agents in the field: their routes, sales, activity, information and a way to better support them to win when they need it most.  

3.    Communicate across the team, regardless of their location

National Sales Managers live the challenge of managing a ‘team’ who may see each other only a few times a year. Getting team members supporting each other, sharing knowledge and communicating clearly with each other is a power multiplier of effort and a major point of difference for client outcomes.

Having tools and easy channels of communication for collaboration, assists in elevating salespeople who are inherently competitive or who want to feel part of a team.

With Opmetrix’s Field Management App each field agent is seamlessly connected to their company, head-office and teammates. Information can be shared, stored and referred to at any time. National Sales Managers can push out information such as new product brochures and notices with ease ensuring no one gets left behind.

 4.    Provide tools that are as good offline as online

National Sales Managers need their teams to do the best they can in the field, however there are real challenges to productivity for agents when they are on the road.

Successful National Sales Managers know they need to arm their field and sales teams with tools that truly have mobility at the heart of their design. It makes a major difference to team member’s productivity and job satisfaction.

The ability to instantly view client details and documents or record new information from any device while on the go, cuts down on administrative time, prevents delays in business and confusion.  

National Sales Managers have many issues to juggle and high targets to hit, however with the right technology tools in place, they can empower their teams to deliver.

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.

How National Sales Managers can develop the cycle of success for their Field teams

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019

National Sales Managers need to manage teams of people they don’t often see, along with thousands of clients across the country, and deliver on targets every day. They need a system of success their entire team can work with, to ensure everyone wins.

At Opmetrix, we work with hundreds of National Sales Managers across New Zealand and Australia who represent family owned businesses all the way through to multi-nationals. After hundreds of interactions with Sales Managers, we’ve distilled the winning formula into the Opmetrix Cycle of Success.

This is what successful National Sales Managers tell us works for them:

  1. Mobilise the field team

Managers need tools for their team that work seamlessly in the field. They need to work offline as well as online and have mobility at the core of their design. To be successful, field teams need complete access to customer call notes, contacts, photos, sales history and current opportunities. In order to do their best store call, they need to be empowered with the information before walking in the door.

“We wouldn’t expect a master carpenter to turn up with blunt tools, and the same goes for field teams. We need to give them tools purpose built so they can do their best in the field.” Oliver Huggins, Managing Director Opmetrix

  1. Set goals and check compliance

The National Sales Managers we work with tell us, being very clear about in-store tasks such as surveys, or completing a simple analysis of the customer, makes all the difference. Field teams have only set amount of time in store so it’s important to present and prioritise the tasks they must complete and show how far through they are. The more focused the team member, the better it is for them and their customer. This direction needs to come from the National Sales Manager and can easily be done in Opmetrix which uses a dedicated task list per customer.

“I love that I know what I need to do when I go to a store. I feel like I’m doing what is expected of me, it helps me focus and I can steer the conversation with the client in ways that benefit us both.” Hellers Smallgoods Opmetrix App User from insight survey

  1. Engage and communicate

National Sales Managers know that when field teams can communicate with head office, problems get resolved faster.  Teams that escalate product issues or customer feedback immediately along with photos find that problems are less likely to flare up into bigger issues – saving everyone hassle, time and money.

“My team know they can escalate in-store queries to key members at our head office and it won’t fall between the cracks. We might be separated physically, but we are connected when it counts.” Richard Casey, National Sales Manager, Partmaster Automotive Parts


Figure 1 Opmetrix’ Cycle of Success for National Sales Managers
  1. Measure and report

National Sales Managers have told us benchmarking field team performance increases productivity for it encourages friendly competition but also accountability of time and effort. However, the trick is to report on the right things and consistently. The Opmetrix analytics function allows for ease of measuring and reporting on aspects like field team performance, comparative sales, client visits and more. In only a few clicks busy managers can create and share the reports and dashboards they need.

  1. Identify new Targets and Goals

What successful National Sales Managers never do is sit on their laurels. The information and data team members collect needs to be reviewed and analysed by managers to identify opportunities and gaps that will increase their business performance. This then leads to the creation of new goals, tasks and objectives for the field team. This is the key step that closes the loop and ensures each cycle improves on the previous one. The result is business success, inspired team members and happy customers.

  1. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Closing the circle on these five steps is a powerful formula for continued success. Combined with mobile technology to make the process fast and efficient you will see immediate results that keep the team connected, informed and inspired, ensuring both customers and company wins.

Insourcing vs Outsourcing Field Merchandiser Services

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

Insourcing has many advantages, with the obvious one being the ability to maintain full control of your business activity.  Companies experiencing rapid growth often choose to insource, investing heavily in sales and marketing, utilising network strategy to develop strong business relationships. Bringing processes handled by third-party firms in-house can also be accomplished by vertical integration through the supply chain.

However, there is a global trend towards outsourcing, with agility and cost effectiveness named as core considerations when companies review their go-to-market strategy. Increasing trading costs and erosion of retail prices mean more companies are looking to outsource their brand management, merchandising and key account management functions. Sales and Merchandising agencies (SMA’s) represent around 20% of grocery scanned sales for Australia and around 6% for New Zealand. Outsourcing enables a brand owner to focus on core competencies and strategy, while employing specialist skills.

Opmetrix Wall

Over 40% of brokers in New Zealand use Opmetrix to collect data and provide detailed report analysis to their principals. With seamless sharing, organisation and management of customer information and near real-time data, Opmetrix can segment data and report separately by principal has seen it become dominant for SMA’s.

SMA’s offer significant advantages including the ability to cater to a wider national coverage with increased call frequency, allowing smaller firms to leverage existing sales infrastructure, consolidation across several brands for in-store managers, and enhanced flexibility of resources to contract extra specialist services as required.

Analysis of buyer behaviour and competitor activity also assists with promotional or distribution drive activities and leads to insights for marketing campaigns and new products.

Recently SMA – CS Brokers selected Opmetrix for their field team. Stephen Hay, Managing Director of CS Brokers says SMA’s “have an absolute focus on retail and the nuances of the FMCG market with their core competency managing the sales channel, whether grocery, route, pharmacy, mass merchants or food service. Focusing on this single aspect of supply to the market, SMAs deliver a level of expertise that a manufacturer or importer would find costly to replicate.”

Whether you insource or outsource, the ability to provide excellent service is the key to success. The influence to increase sales based on distribution, shelf and in-store accuracy is paramount. Make sure you have the field and analytical tools you need to deliver.

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.

We’re Successful Now – Why Should I Consider Ecommerce For My Business Today?

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

If there is one thing consistent in business – it is change. While the age-old act of selling products to someone who then sells them to their customers has remained, how it is done, when, and by whom has dramatically changed.

We have seen the dramatic uplift of consumers buying their goods and services online, however, we are also seeing this trend exponentially rise in the B2B space. In fact, it is estimated by Forrester Research that by 2017, 56%[1] of all B2B purchases will be completed online.

Whilst those who have already added ecommerce to their tool kit will attest to the way it supported their businesses to grow, there are those who believe it has no place in their B2B operation.

This is completely understandable, especially as many sales and ordering practices have been ‘the way they are’ for many years and they work! And, many business operators will be reluctant to move their already too busy clients onto a new way of ordering from them. However, the benefits of adding ecommerce to your weaponry far out weigh the cons.

Like any new process or adaption of new technology, proper thought and consideration needs to be applied, and Opmetrix have had that front and centre in the development of this new solution.

So, what is ecommerce?

If you have ever bought anything online, you have engaged with ecommerce. It is basically buying and selling products and goods over the internet.

Opmetrix’s ecommerce, provides you with website functionality through which you can load up your inventory, apply different pricing for different clients, and feature new productst– all connected to your existing Opmetrix account via your accounting software.

Your customers can buy from you literally anytime they want.

Why add ecommerce to your business?

More and more businesses are hearing from their clients that they need a quicker and more effective way of ordering that doesn’t rely on being available with a rep comes around or emailing or phoning in an order. As the new generation of business owners and operators come into play, customer expectations will be increasingly in line with what ecommerce delivers.

Some of the top reasons to add ecommerce includes:

  1. When businesses have more than one way to buy from them (omnichannel) e.g. face-to-face and online, they have higher-value customers than those that have only one channel. According to a survey by Accenture and Forrester Research, 72% of respondents agreed that omnichannel customers are substantially more valuable.
  2. Your customers discover more of your range their way. The way your clients can ‘self-serve’ allows them to discover more of your range, this on average drives up the value of your order.
  3. Expanded client footprint. Promoting your online ordering gives your smaller or more remote customers your reps can’t see all the time, access to your range of products. This allows you to service a larger number of clients more regularly.
  4. You’re always open. Online ordering means your clients don’t have to wait until your business hours to make orders. And with many small business owners and operators working all sorts of hours, it makes sense to be open to them all the time.

If you are interested in learning how your business can benefit from Opmetrix’s Ecommerce Solution, contact us now.

For more information click here.

[1] Viewed: 8/2/2018:

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



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.


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. 

Mobile Devices – Your Sales Field Team Tools of Trade

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

The Consumer Goods (CG) sector is highly competitive, and a proactive service mindset is essential to be on top of store coverage and execution. Helping your customer succeed helps your business succeed, and adding value is key. Your sales team need the right tools out in the field, with the functionality to empower a proactive approach. A mobile sales solution that not only helps your sales field with execution but helps increase store coverage, gives you a competitive advantage.

Opmetrix provides a comprehensive mobile, cloud-based Sales Force Automation (SFA) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution for managers and field teams, including sales reps, merchandisers, distributors and delivery drivers. With a deep understanding of the competitive market requirements in Australia and New Zealand, we partner with you and provide a locally based support team to deliver premium service at every step.

What are the best iPads or Tablets to use?

Opmetrix is platform agnostic. This means you can use Opmetrix App on your iPad, or Android/ Windows tablet. While price is often a consideration, we recommend considering your business requirements over the medium term to provide your team with the most appropriate device.

For an overview of the top 10 tablets for 2016, take a look at this review here.

What about Smartphone options?

Opmetrix Team is a low-cost licensing product designed for Sales Managers, Merchandisers or part-time sales people, who are able to use on their own smartphone in the field in a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) capacity.

With access to shared call notes, photos, tasks and in-store survey audits, Territory Managers have the ability to instruct merchandisers when they need to escalate issues or get tasks completed, and can see the results when done.


How can Opmetrix add value to your business?

Field teams love the Opmetrix App, which saves them time in the field. Use Opmetrix for:

  • Guided selling through the use of journey plans, objectives, surveys and audits to support call cycle compliance.
  • Automating sales activities, business systems and processes to keep the focus on the customer relationship, and potential up-sell or cross-sell opportunities.
  • Capturing customer insight or competitor activity on the ground, to escalate immediately.
  • Management by metrics – the web based Opmetrix Reporting Suite and Management Dashboard for the office provides full visibility and transparency for optimising your sales field team activities.

Define success by identifying goals and key outcomes. Opmetrix can help with those execution gaps and variables that contribute to failure in the field.

If you’d like a Demo, contact our team for more information.