Importance of a SFA Solution for your Field Team Supervisors

September 13, 2022

Sales Force Automation (SFA) solution is an integral part of the retail industry today. It is essential that all retail execution activities, such as order taking, fulfillment, customer stock taking, visibility, merchandising, and competition activities, are tracked by enabling sales executives or merchandisers with an SFA mobile app. In recent years, companies are providing a similar solution to their supervisors or team leads, enabling them to work more seamlessly with the field team's SFA app. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of investing in an SFA solution for managers and supervisors and how to select the right one.

Importance of SFA solution for Field Team Supervisors

Supervisors or other senior executives must regularly visit the market to establish discipline in terms of the number of visits and beat adherence. With an SFA solution in place, market visits can be adequately tracked, and data can be collected efficiently. It helps supervisors to ensure that market visits are being done as per the predefined beat plan or PJP. An SFA solution also enables supervisors to conduct random outlet audits and report their findings along with evidence, providing evidence of brand visibility, share of shelf, payment status, customer feedback, etc.

In larger organizations, it is mandatory for seniors to accompany the field sales team on certain days during the sales call other than doing regular market visits. However, there is no mechanism to track the actual occurrence until the managers are using an app-based solution to report such associates or join calls with the team. The solution must have a flexible backend to customize the activity/task list basis all such variations instead of having a few fixed sets of workflows.

For supervisors to make operational or tactical decisions, they need quick, easy, and regular access to performance-related data of the field force. It is crucial to have a crisp report on the number of outlets visited, total orders placed, MTD target vs achievement, etc., so they can take immediate action as and when required. This eliminates the lead-time of sharing information and resolving the team's queries, helping them focus on delivering better results.

Choosing the Right SFA Solution

Supervisor's app or manager's app is essential for companies to empower their senior executives. However, before selecting a solution, it is crucial to understand the requirements and check if the shortlisted solution supports the following functionalities:

Beat Planning for Team Leads

The solution must have a Beat/PJP planning feature not just for the field force, but for anyone else higher up in the hierarchy. This feature helps supervisors to do a market visit and report data efficiently.

Customizable Activity Creation

A manager is not supposed to do the same activities that his team members are doing when he is visiting any outlet. The solution must have a flexible backend to customize the activity/task list basis seniority, market, outlet type, seasonality, etc.

Functionality to Report Joint Calls

The solution must have a stand-alone module to report several details of any joint call to check the occurrence and effectiveness of such calls.

Powerful Mobile Analytics

The mobile solution must be integrated with a powerful Business Intelligence (BI) engine so that customized requirements from different stakeholders can be catered to without much of a challenge. The data must be represented in a crisp and intuitive way, making it easy for managers to check reports or dashboards.

Push Notifications & Chats

The solution must have an option to send notifications to their team members and also to chat with them as and when required to get quick updates or to resolve their queries. These features help in improving the team productivity to a great extent in the long run.

In conclusion, an SFA solution for supervisors is vital to improve productivity and effectiveness and allows the sales and marketing team to work more seamlessly. Companies must choose the right solution that fits their requirements to ensure the greatest ROI.