How Sales Force Automation Can Track Execution Compliance?

September 13, 2022

Many global brands have defined guidelines related to retail executions, such as visibility, listing, display, or other factors. These guidelines can be in the form of internal execution compliance or in terms of a contract with the customer. For example, in the FMCG industry, it is common practice to buy prominent shelves and place products in those "hot zones." Liquor brands typically contract with major five-star hotel chains to put their brands on top of the drinks menu or serve their brands as pouring in cocktails. In the electronics segment, brands spend a significant amount to design planograms and ensure product display in stores are planogram compliant.

The next question is whether these guidelines, compliances, and contracts should be tracked. The answer is yes, as brands spend a significant amount of money to maintain such compliances with the end objective of increasing retail visibility and capturing the maximum possible mind share of the customer, which in turn boosts sales. Therefore, it makes sense to track the execution of those compliances, especially if it can be done with minimal effort and budget.

The Role of a Flexible and Capable Sales Force Solution

A flexible and capable Sales Force Solution (SFA) is essential for tracking retail execution compliance. This solution can be used to track and derive insights from these guidelines, contracts, and compliances. The right SFA vendor should provide a solution and services that can accommodate all the variations and complexities of these guidelines, contracts, and compliances.

The Process for Achieving Retail Execution Compliance

To achieve retail execution compliance, the following process should be followed:

1. Use a Completely Flexible SFA Solution

Compliances, guidelines, contracts, etc. vary significantly depending on geography, retail chain, channel, and other parameters. Therefore, the SFA solution (app + backend) should be so flexible that all variations and complexities can be accommodated through configurations only, ensuring quick implementation and change management.

2. Allow Sales Teams to Submit Execution Photos

The app workflow should be simple enough that all sales teams need to do is take photos, as many as required. The app should show all other information that is important for the sales team to know, but they should not be required to do any calculations while using the app. They must submit all relevant real execution images from the point of execution.

3. Audit the Submitted Images

Either the SFA service provider or a third-party vendor must provide a service of performing a stringent audit of the submitted photos against the compliance parameters. The SFA solution must provide a backend platform to the auditors where they can see images against retail outlets and audit parameters in a user-friendly way. This step can be completely replaced by an image recognition algorithm, depending on the complexity of the audit parameters and the quality of the images.

4. Use a Strong BI Solution in the Backend of the SFA

While audit scores are available by every parameter (because that is how auditors enter it), it is necessary to see the data at different summarization levels along with proof (images). To identify contract violations with the customer and for internal evaluation and course correction, it is necessary to draw all necessary insights. This requires an SFA solution with a sophisticated BI engine at the backend that can handle complex logic and create various visualizations.

5. Publish Audit Results

After the backend audits are finished, reports and dashboards should be generated as needed and shared with all stakeholders. If there is a contract, then violations must be highlighted, and necessary clarifications or actions must be taken so the violations do not become repetitive in nature.

6. Reward and Recognize Outstanding Performers

When it comes to execution compliance, exceptional performers from the sales or merchandising team should be acknowledged and rewarded.This can be done through multiple gamification options such as publishing a leaderboard or awarding badges against different parameters (with different colors such as Gold, Silver, Bronze, etc.). Finally, some sort of monetary reward should also be given to further motivate the team and generate healthy competition within them.

To learn more about how Assistive can be used to track Retail Execution Compliance, visit this page.