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Retail Greatness Blog

Compare: Time Spent with Customers vs. Time Spent in the Field (PTP)

Productive-Time Percentage (PTP) is the metric that measures the amount of time a rep spends in the field versus the amount of time that rep spends with customers in the store and determines just how productive the rep is during each of these time periods.

Topics: Time Study Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness

Mobile Technology: Enabling Retailers to Exceed Customer Service Expectations

A while back, the Retail TouchPoints blog shared a post that truly puts into perspective how helpful mobile technology can be in a retail environment. 

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness mobile field service

Understanding Mobile Data Collection (MDC)

Mobile data collection (MDC) has revolutionized the ways in which management can stay connected to their teams.  At times it may seem like this technology creates more questions than it answers, but in actuality, it is helpfully pointing out the areas that need attention. 
Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness mobile data collection mobile field merchandising software

Making It "All About the Customer" Rather Than "All About Me"

No customer wants to enter a store just to see its employees dilly-dallying on their smartphones. How valued would you feel if instead of trying to help you find what you're looking for or offering you information on the latest and greatest products the store has in stock, its employees are standing around looking bored, as if their phones are the only things to save them and if you were to ask them a question, you'd be interrupting them?

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness

12 Tips to Help Retailers in the Pet Industry Increase Their Bottom Line

Bumping up sales may not seem like an easy task for a retailer to accomplish, but it's actually not as hard as it seems. The pet industry in particular can be rather lucrative, as the American Pet Products Association proved when it estimated back in 2012 that almost $53 billion was spent on pets that year. What can we say; we love our animals.

Pet retailers share common goals with other retailers, specifically, the three pillars of: increasing traffic, increasing basket size, and improving margin.

What follows are 12 suggestions that can help retailers in the pet industry see significant increases in their overall bottom lines, by staying true to the three pillars above.

Topics: Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness increasing retail sales retail sales training retail sales techniques retail sales skills consumer goods mission vision values

9 Qualities of Successful Field Reps

Every Field Manager knows that there is a significant difference between the Field Rep that is just there for a paycheck and the Field Rep who honestly loves their job and is willing to go above and beyond to ensure that every customer that walks through that store's door has an overwhelmingly positive experience.  

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness hiring a field rep

How to Create the Perfect Retail Execution Software Request for Proposal (RFP)

Sending out requests for proposals (RFPs) to vendors can seem like a daunting task, but if you follow a simple template, creating your request for proposal is a lot easier than you might think.

An RFP is the best way to get information about different vendors and the services they offer. The responses you receive will help you compare vendors and decide what vendor will best fit your business's needs.

Your RFP should include as much information about your business and your on-going projects as possible, so that the vendors understand what you need from them and what they ought to address in their proposal. The better and more detailed an RFP you send out, the better and more detailed your responses will be.

Topics: Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness choosing an in-store execution platform creating a request for proposal how to create a request for proposal

9 Quotes about the Retail Industry that Will Inspire You to Be a Better Consumer Goods Professional

Sometimes even the best professionals can use a morale boost -- after all, working in the consumer goods industry is no easy feat, and it helps to know that there are others out there who have been in your same position and have triumphed over potential adversity.

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness

The Best Way to Train Your Field Merchandising Team

Your field team is as good as you've hired and trained them to be. While hiring is beyond the scope of this post, once you have the right people 'on the bus,' their potential to benefit your business is built on the foundation of your training.

Are you doing everything possible to have the best trained (and therefore, most effective) field force possible? Read on to achieve training greatness!

Topics: Field Rep Greatness managing field reps Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness merchandiser training training your field force field force training

How to Remain Relevant as a Field Service Merchandiser and Sales Person as Retail Technology Explodes

Retail Pro recently cooked up a blog post concerning three types of technologies that retailers should seriously consider incorporating into their day-to-day, if they aren't using them already.

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness relevance to retail industry retail technology coming changes to store technology

Manufacturers:  Achieve Greatness by Mastering These 3 Ways of Staying Ahead of the CPG Curve

The next hardest thing to actually landing your product on a retail store's shelf is to then maintain and possibly even grow your customer base.  What follows are three tips to help you edge out the competition and maintain relevancy in this constantly advancing field.

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness manufacturer greatness mobile crm retail pricing strategy dominate social media current technology

The Most Important Sale – Getting Sold On Your Company and the Products it Handles

Now that you’re (hopefully) sold on the need to get and keep Every Store Perfect – and if you’re not, you need to go back and re-read why it’s important – let’s take things a step further. It’s not enough to only be sold on the concept of Perfect Stores, but additionally you need to be every bit as firmly sold on your company and every product it handles.

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness product knowledge

Developing a Business Case for Retail Execution Software

Implementing in a new in-store service execution platform is no minor investment. It will have important and far-reaching impacts on your company and the way it functions. So, when deciding what software solution is right for your company, it's important to develop a business case to justify this significant decision. 

If you've done your homework, you should already have a clear view of your business's current operational capabilities, and you should understand your financial levers and where you'd like to focus the greatest leverage as you move forward. Let this be your starting point.

Topics: Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness choosing an in-store execution platform building a business case implementing in-store execution platforms

How Field Sales and Service Reps Can Become Better Sales People

The Retail TouchPoints blog talks about the new Jennifer Lawrence film Joy and how it appeals to anyone connected to the retail business in any way.

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness field sales cpg sales in-store sales field service retail sales techniques

How to Implement a Successful BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Program in Mobile Retail Field Merchandising and Sales --and Why You Should

If you haven't yet heard of BYOD, then you're about to, and in a big way.  According to IDC, the mobile workforce is expected to swell to over 105 million people by the year 2020 -- nearly 75 percent of the entire United States workforce.  That's a lot of people who will be working via their mobile devices!

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness byod bring your own device

Field Managers: 7 Interview Questions to Ask to Weed Out Bad Field Sales Candidates

You could ask a thousand questions in a job interview and still not pose the right ones.  There's a big difference between hiring Mr./Mrs. "Right Candidate" and Mr./Mrs. "Right Candidate for Right Now." 

Topics: Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness

Why Perfect Stores?

Perfect stores equal a better world. You may not realize it, but by getting and keeping Every Store Perfect you’re positively impacting the lives of literally millions of people. Here’s how:

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness perfect stores every store perfect store perfection

Field Reps:  Where does the On-Line Buying Revolution Leave You?

For as long as people have been buying and selling, there's been a war going on for the minds, and wallet of the buyers; and as technology has become a potent weapon in that war.  Manufacturers and retailers are embracing 'Omnichannel' as a way to reach customers everywhere, and in many cases online shopping is viewed as a less expensive, and 24x7 reach into the consumers' wallets.

While it's kind of scary for people who make their living by providing service to stores, retail is here to stay.  However, that's not to say that a field rep reaching for greatness should ignore online.  So this post will get you up to speed on current thinking, as well as provide some tips to add value to the system.

The Retail TouchPoints blog recently wrote up a post explaining how data is helping to ease the debate between which medium is better: the brick-and-mortar store or the online marketplace.  As it turns out, the company that can tow the line between both entities tends to be the most successful.   

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness

Retail Merchandising Software Vendors:  Determine How they Compare

If you're in the market for a new in-store execution software for your business, you need to understand how to evaluate vendors effectively. As you will likely have multiple vendors to choose from, it's important to have an objective system in place to help you decide which one will be the best fit for your company.

Start thinking about the criteria that you need vendors to meet, would like them to meet, and would love them to meet, before you even draft your request for proposal (RFP). These things should factor heavily into your RFP.

Once you've sent your RFP on its way (and confirmed that each vendor has received it), it's time to sit back and wait for vendors' responses.

Topics: Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness choosing an in-store execution platform how to evaluate vendors evaluating software vendors

Field Reps:  What to Expect as a New User of Mobile Field Merchandising and Sales Management Software

So you've been told that your company is about to start up with a new software vendor supplying mobile field merchandising software, and you're wondering how your work life is about to change? It's normal to experience a little apprehension when starting anything new.  For many, using apps can cause anxiety.  So I'm writing this post to let you know that it's going to be all right.  In fact, your life is about to get easier.  Read on to learn how...

Topics: Field Rep Greatness a day in the life of a field rep

How to Get Promoted to Field Manager on Your Merchandising Sales and Service Field Team -- or How to Be a Better Field Manager

It's not an easy life for a Field Manager, that's for sure.  Duties on their plates range from managing schedules, completions, endless hiring, training, coaching, follow-up, and business exception approvals to providing fill-in merchandising and sales work, customer service and overseeing the software solution that the company uses while regularly working with the company's vendor on same.

Topics: Field Manager Greatness

Personality Traits to Look for In a Merchandising Field Representative

While some people dread the process of hiring a new field sales or service professional, doing so can become a pleasant experience if you hire people with the right personality traits.  Here is a list of often overlooked traits that can make or break your field team.

Topics: Field Manager Greatness how to hire a field rep how to hire a merchandiser what to look for in a field rep hiring a field rep

Why Your Merchandising Field Team is Failing

It's a blustery winter day. The thoughts of relaxing by the fireplace reading a good book seem much more inviting than wondering why your field merchandising team isn't performing. Yet, try as you might, your mind keeps drifting back to the lackluster performance exhibited by your team and what you might do to improve it.

Well, stoke the fire and curl up with your device, because we're going to give you the answers you seek, here and now.

Topics: clarity in communication Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness leadership becoming an effective leader leading your field force

The Key to Successful Merchandising in Small or Convenience Stores

The C-Store business is changing dramatically.  Pay-at-the-pump, declining tobacco sales, shrinking gasoline margin, and increased competition from drug chains pose real threats.  In response C-Stores are expanding food service offerings, driving gas purchasers into the store, attempting to increase basket size, driving perfect assortment at each store, and of course defining and holding people accountable to merchandising best practices.

If you're responsible for merchandising small stores or a convenience stores, you may find that it's one of the hardest store types to get and keep every store perfect. How do you make your stock visually appealing when you simply don't have the floor space that other big-box stores would allow? How do you catch the attention of people focused on an in-and-out trip while in a hurry?  How do you get the right product mix, in the right plan-o-grams without overcrowding displays and creating chaos?

Everyone finds it difficult to break through.  General Mills Convenience and Foodservice helps us out with a 2013 study.  We'll use it and it's data as the basis of why this is so difficult, and then provide answers and strategies from the key learnings and best practices.

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness c-store convenience store

Merchandising Graduate School: How Knowedge Drives a Better Field Team

When it comes to increasing field force efficiency and productivity, perhaps nothing can make your team stronger than knowledge. Yes, it’s important for your field reps to have the types of personalities that put retailers’ minds at ease and that inspire trust. However, it’s absolutely crucial for a good field rep to be able to generate new business by interacting with consumers and, in some cases, inspire relationships with new retailers as well.

Topics: Field Rep Greatness Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness competitive intelligence educating your field force product knowledge field force efficiency

The Ultimate Skills for Successful Field Force Management

I recently had lunch with a friend who supervises a large sales force. Mark — we'll call him explained that he used to love working in sales, but since he became a supervisor, he often dreaded coming to work. He felt he knew the job, but he did not have the "secret skills" needed to successfully supervise his team. He just wanted to be good at his job again, but he had no clue where to start.

I spoke with Mark on several occasions, and I noticed four key ingredients as he was asking himself, "what are the makings of a great field force supervisor?"

Now let's face it, that is a great question every sales force team leader must ask. So let's answer it right here. Ready?

Topics: Field Manager Greatness Field Executive Greatness field force management leadership improving field force management field management