Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Setting Monthly Objectives for Pre-Sell Route Salesmen

When setting monthly sales objectives or goals for route salesmen remember first and foremost to keep it simple. You want the salesman to be able to use the objectives on a daily basis as a working document. Every salesman must understand how his route relates to the overall strategy of your company's business plan and sales objectives for each route should correspond directly to your plan. You have to develop objectives that drive sales and keep "score". Compensation must be coupled with attaining these objectives. Following are some rules to abide by when building monthly sales objectives:

  • Use historical data with trends broken down by daily, weekly, and monthly sales figures. A rule of thumb is to use your top ten packages. A true salesman needs to know how many cases he needs to sell on a particular day to hit his goals.

  • Always include a distribution drive on packages that need placement.

  • A list of displayable accounts, the ones that have a display and the ones that need a display.

  • A few gimmies. For example: a clean vehicle, participation in company directives, fraternizing with fellow employees, community service, and night calls.

  • Build a pull up schedule and include it in the objectives.

  • Tie in no more than two supplier incentives, one major and one minor, per month. And always include your largest supplier. Trust me.

  • Target 10-20 accounts for needed POS merchandising and cleaning, broken down by class of trade or volume. Example: five large accounts, 10 medium, and 5 small.

  • It is imperative that you tie a salesman's compensation to attaining monthly goals. This way the real salesman step up and you find out who the order takers are.

  • Always, always, always give weekly projections to let them no how they stand and calculate the exact results to give to the salesman at the next monthly meeting.

  • Repeat every month. Once you've made it through a year, you just refresh the sales data and make any needed changes.

Congratulations, you have a working document saturated with much needed information on sales trends, distribution, retail initiatives, and incentive quotas. It is the only way I know how to keep my score in this "game".

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