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Knowledge is Power: Using Retail Activity Optimization to be More Efficient and Effective in the Field

Knowledge is Power: Using Retail Activity Optimization to be More Efficient and Effective in the Field

Posted on : Tuesday, August 30, 2016 by : StayinFront

Retail Activity Optimization (RAO) technology can help your field reps prioritize visits, optimize in-store execution, and increase effectiveness of their in-store selling.

Knowledge Is Power

It’s no secret that knowledge is power—it’s about what you know, when you know it and, most importantly, how you use it. For CG companies, the right information delivered at the right time can drive ROI by empowering field reps to do more and sell more on every store visit and improve retail execution. 

Retail activity optimization (RAO), has been defined by Gartner as technology that provides field reps with critical data that allows them to determine the most efficient and effective way to plan their activities. A retail execution and monitoring solution with RAO features can help companies optimize in-store execution, reduce costs associated with visiting locations where there is low or no need, and increase the effectiveness of in-store selling.

Know Where to Go

The traditional route of a sales rep is a linear journey. Reps receive their routes and then start at the beginning and continue through their stops until they finish their calls for the day. However, because not all stores are equal, this leads to wasted time and money as reps travel to stores that require low or no attention while stores that have issues or greater sales potential are not visited.

RAO lets reps take a more nuanced approach to their territories and store visits. By accessing data from POS, internal and other syndicated sources directly from their mobile device, reps can identify and prioritize store visits based on parameters set by the company such as the number of days since the last visit, zero scans, etc.

Know What to Do

Once at the store, reps should know exactly what needs to be done at that store to drive the highest return for the store and the company.

With a system like StayinFront TouchCG®, reps download current store data straight to their mobile devices before their day begins. Store-level views show store performance, including “perfect store” scores, as well as any opportunities, tasks and issues that need to be addressed. Integration with Google Maps enables reps to easily access store locations and directions, so they spend less time behind the wheel and more time selling in stores.

Know How to Sell

To engage store managers in meaningful discussions, reps need to deliver new, valuable and fact-based information on what’s happening in that specific store. For example, a guided selling tool such as StayinFront PitchBook®, lets reps show a manager how their store is performing against others in their chain and other stores in their area. Reps can also show how their products can be more valuable by looking at a scenario of replacing a competitor’s product on shelf with their product and calculating the revenue impact on that store.

Retail Activity Optimization is a Game Changer

At a recent StayinFront customer forum, Dale Hagemeyer, partner at POI and former Gartner VP of Research, ranked RAO as one of the 5 game-hanging technologies poised to change the face of the CG industry.

Watch this video of Dale discussing how Retail Activity Optimization can help your sales team be more efficient and effective in the field.

About Dale Hagemeyer

Dale Hagemeyer leads the research, best practices, and advisory function at POI and has been active on the POI Board since its inception. Previously, he was a research vice president and managing vice president at Gartner for 15 years. There, he did research in the application of technology to the business processes of trade promotion and field sales automation for consumer goods manufacturers. Prior to Gartner he spent 14 years in management positions related to the promotion and distribution of products at Sunbeam Corporation, The Quaker Oats Company, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, and Kroger. He also fulfilled an international assignment in Mexico from 1995 to 1996. He has served on various industry advisory boards for trade associations and industry periodicals. Dale can be reached at