Creating an agile field sales solution for your retail merchandising company is a huge step towards increasing productivity in your business; if you have already completed this process- congratulations! However, designing the solution is only the first step. In order for a retail merchandising software to be completely successful at boosting company productivity it must be implemented efficiently. In this post, we will discuss some tips that will help field marketing managers with the task of on-boarding field reps to the new retail merchandising software so that efficiency doesn't suffer in the transition to a new system.
One of the most important aspects to keep in mind when rolling out a Retail Merchandising Software is to start simple so that you don't overwhelm your field reps. Avoid rolling out a complete solution on day one. Instead, implement just a few new functionalities at a time. As reps get comfortable with these functionalities you can begin to expand, eventually rolling out the entire solution to cover all of your needs.
Rolling out a solution that is designed to make reps' lives easier will also be much more streamlined, as the reps will be on board with the changes in work flow and process. For example, reps will be quicker to get behind a solution that encourages the use of simple data collection functionality, such as photo documentation. Features like custom, mobile forms eliminate end-of-day reporting and paper documentation, eliminating hassle from reps' daily tasks. Because of this, reps will be quicker to buy in, and increased support helps field marketing managers when rolling out these kinds of solutions for their retail merchandising companies.
Logistically, rolling out a retail merchandising software is much easier when using an existing cloud-based solution, so you don't have to worry about customizations, development schedules, or infrastructure. This will not only save your field management team time and money, but it will allow your merchandising company to begin executing the agile field sales strategy sooner, increasing productivity right away.
Another way to best practice for implementing a new retail merchandising software is to hold reps accountable for using the system. By publishing metrics and challenging lapses in usage, field marketing managers let reps know that they are expected to use the new solution, and that it does matter to the field management team. Reinforcing the benefits of the solution to reps by shedding light on the power of the functionality of the system can also encourage them to participate if support is lacking.
Lastly, once your reps begin using the new Retail Merchandising Software, be prepared to provide training and support for them in an effort to get them proficient with the strategy more quickly. Simple 5 minute how-to videos are easy to create and can take the fear out of new users, often turning a tentative user into someone who is well-versed in the functionality and benefit of the solution. Also be ready to provide support, as simple things like forgotten passwords and turning off data services can make new users jaded. This way you can generate more traction as reps begin to buy in to the solution.
By taking the time to think through a plan to streamline the implementation process for a new retail merchandising software, field merchandising managers can get so much more out of the strategy they have already worked so hard to design for their retail merchandising company. The sooner the plan is put in to action, the sooner your merchandising company will experience boosted productivity, making considering an implementation plan just as important as designing the solution itself.
Frank Brogie is the Product Marketing Manager at Repsly. When he’s not thinking about how to position and sell Repsly’s products, Frank loves to explore Boston by bike and hunt for vintage cars through a camera lens. On weekends you can count on Frank to organize a pickup basketball game or play disc golf. An avid podcast listener, Frank recommends Philosophize This, 99% Invisible, and Radiolab.