Why is it important to collect data out in the field?
Essentially you’re in the field to collect facts, and without proper representation of these facts, all these activities can become meaningless. We also use data to answer questions we have, and to find important conclusions. These conclusions that we find are what will further guide our future decisions, and provide us with more confidence in our decision-making process
What is the difference between good and bad data, and why is it important to have good data?
When compiling data, it is extremely important to be accurate and complete. Teams need to objectively evaluate the data for what it is, not what we want it to be or hoped it would be. The only way to do this is to have consistency across all field visits with all reps, so that every piece of data is being evaluated the same.
What kind of metrics should managers track relating to their products?
- On Shelf vs not on shelf?
- Where in store? In shelf set planogram?
- Additional placements in store?
- SKUs on shelf
- Units packed out?
- Case/unit velocity/week
- OOS, or other issues?
What kind of metrics should managers track relating to their team performance?
- Store Contact
- Consumer Feedback
- Units packed out
- Additional placements
How can brands get their hands on data about their company and team?
Data can really be mined from two sources: either from the retailer, or from the field reps.
Retailers encapsulate the high-level data, essentially sales. What velocity is your product moving at? How much product is getting packed out a week? Are your distributors getting shipments there on time? Things like that.
How can brands get their hands on retailer data?
There are a few different ways to get data about retailers. The first is from distributors. Although they're not directly retailers, they're involved because they're the ones shipping the products to the retailers. From this, distributors get a lot of data, which you could use to estimate sales.
For example, a smaller mom and pop shop might not track their sales on a weekly basis, but your distributor knows exactly how many cases went to that store in a given week. If you know what's on shelf there, you can calculate exactly what has been sold.
Often times, large retailers keep track of sales data themselves, and can give you access through their sales portal. This scan data is extremely accurate, and can give you a precise picture of exactly what has been sold each week.
Finally, you can collect feedback from retailers through your field reps. While it might not be as objective as scan data from the retailer, you can find out how people feel about your brand at the store level.
How can brands collect and organize data from the field?
Retailer data is great because it provides high level macro information about your product. But as a team, what you might be more concerned with is the detailed, day-to-day data that your field reps collect.
In our case, when collecting data out in the field, we want to make sure all of our reps are being consistent and honest so the data they collect is as accurate an useful as possible.
How can managers use data to shape their strategy?
They can use the insight they pull form their data to delegate resources on a daily and weekly basis, and make confident decisions for the betterment of the company.
Ultimately, data is the key to an efficient and effective sales team. And by collecting good data, and using it properly, you can be more successful in the field.