MXV Consulting

CASE STUDIES: SALES FORCE EFFECTIVENESS

TRANSFORMING THE SALES FORCE FOR AN FMCG CLIENT

Situation:
An FMCG client was finding it difficult to maintain market share and was unable to meet targets across territories. The company had identified sales force management as one of the key issues. Our charter was to review the existing practices and identify areas of improvement.

Insight:
We approached this issue by conducting a detailed assessment of the client’s sales management systems using our SFE framework and benchmarking them with several of the leading players in the industry.  The discovery process highlighted three interrelated issues. The target setting and review process was weak, staffing norms had not been

Case Insight

revisisted in a long time and the incentive structure caused  sales representatives to push for volumes over profitability. As a result of these three factors, the client was losing share in high growth territories (where it was under-representated) and in premium segments (where the selling process was more involved)

Implementation:
Our solution focussed on addressing the three elements identified above
  • A new target setting process was created. This process was fact based and incorporated market trends and sales representative performance. Importantly the calendar for target setting was realigned so that all the representatives knew their targets and had an opportunity to discuss them. A fresh review calendar was also put in place which enabled head office to have a clearer picture of the market performance and for the organization to take a corrective action in time.

implementation

  • The staffing levels were revisited. Territories which were underserved were given additional staff and smaller territories were consolidated / earmarked as training grounds for new sales persons. The improved coverage of large territories had an immediate impact on sales performance
  • The incentive structure for the sales force was redefined to reflect the changed market reality. Competitors had gained a strong foothold with premium brands. The sales force incentives were modified to reflect the profit impact of different brands and for improvements in in-store branding. Significant training was conducted to educate the team on market conditions and reorient them towards the company’s new requirements.

Incentive System

Impact:
Implementing the new processes, structure and incentive schemes resulted in a rapid turnaround in the client’s sales performance. Underserved large areas returned to growth and market share in premium brands improved significantly. A follow-up survey conducted with the sales force showed that their motivation levels have improved considerably because of the new incentive system and improved target setting process.