Sales Force Effort Optimization By Identifying Store Activities With Maximum Sales Impact

Case Study

Sales Force Effort Optimization

Business Objective

Our client is an F&B distributor in the United States with exclusive partnerships with many brands. Sales representatives sourced data by conducting regular audits of retail outlets and filling out comprehensive surveys containing questions around product availability, placement & prominence, promo compliance etc.

The goal was to optimize the effort and focus on those activities at the retail outlet that had the maximum impact on sales (measured in comparison with past, or cross-sectional metrics like BDI (brand development index)

Challenges

  • Information on pricing, marketing & promotional activities which have significant impact on sales is not fully available.
  • All monthly sales metrics are percentage changes over rolling 12-month values, minimizing variations in sales trends
  • Missions and task questions were unstructured and non-hierarchical, with duplicates
  • Responses for the task questions are generally constant with time

Solution Methodology

  • Performed text processing to clean and de-duplicate task questions and link them to corresponding products.
  • Harmonized and prepared data for modeling by linking product sales to corresponding task responses
  • Designed an end-to-end framework and built a suite of models to identify the importance of various sales force audit tasks (which in turn map to action taken by retail outlets) on key performance metrics – sales vs year ago, and BDI (growth within category)
  • Designed an interactive dashboard (Tableau as well as Webapp based) to visually showcase the importance of the tasks across geographies and channels

Business Impact

  • Key activities that contribute to ~2-3% incremental sales identified (on a base on a multi-billion total sales)
  • Key difference in activities identified by Product x Channel x Geography to enable differential execution of the product portfolio by the sales force
  • Enabled the distributor engage in a dialogue with the brands around the most important sales force activities to improve effectiveness through sharper focus on those vs broad based audit
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