Territory Planning for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies is about dividing up a piece of geography into different subsets, based on certain criteria, usually geographic proximity. It allows FMCG companies to effectively and efficiently service their customers, whilst allowing the organisation to target specific resources at each individual territory.
Territory planning saves time and money by avoiding overlaps where more than one resource from the same company tries to service or sell to the same client. It also helps to ensure that all outlets within a specific geography get covered, by assigning management of a territory to one resource. It facilitates local knowledge capture, new outlet openings, closures, understanding competitor activity, capturing consumer and other trends, to name a few. Territory Planning also allows the assignment, measurement and management of Route to Market targets (volume, share, brand distribution, display, range, POS material placement, etc.).
One of the key elements of Territory Planning is simplicity. For example, pick a piece of geography, maybe a city in a state, a district in a country, or one small island out of many, and then assign one TM&D rep to manage and be responsible for that Territory and all the outlets in it. If you need to also assign additional resources like Telesales Reps, Merchandisers, Sales Promoters, Channel Managers, Key Account Managers, and Telemarketing Reps, etc., be careful who carries the overall responsibility. Any territory needs overall management.
Here are some examples of questions you can ask under Step 8 – Territory Planning:
- What is the DIME Approach (Direct, Indirect, Mix & Everything in between) in your Market? What does that mean for territory planning? Which outlets do we cover, and which outlets are covered by indirect channels?
- Do you have an influence on the territories of your indirect channel? Can you increase your influence? Are these distributors fully cooperative partners? Are they exclusive?
- Based on the RtM approach that we are taking, are we looking to take on new distributors or replace existing ones, and what impact will that have on our territory planning?
- Are there any existing sales territories in place? Have they been reviewed as part of Step 1 in the 20 Steps to RtM Excellence? If so, what are the results?
- Based on the review of the current territory map, what are the key areas for improvement? How would these improvement areas translate into new or revamped territories?
- Are there any specific issues that we need to be aware of when reviewing the territories, whether internal (regional, resources, launches, etc.) or external (competitive actions, distributors, government/political, etc)?
- How does the local geography impact on forming territories?
- Are there specific infrastructure constraints that we need to be aware of?
- Are there any existing external geographical factors that would potentially shape any territory formation? Is the geography split into islands, into counties, into districts, into regions, via postcodes, etc?
- Are we reviewing or designing territories for field force members who will call to retail outlets (sales reps, TM&D reps, merchandisers, sales promotion, etc.) and/or will there also be territories for back office support and remote activities (telemarketing, telesales, customer service, etc.) or for a combination of both?
- Which resource will be assigned to overall territory management? Who will be accountable? Will Key Account or Channel Managers have some or a joint responsibility for certain outlets across territories?
- Are we looking to cover the entire geography or are we looking to target specific cities or population concentrations, or volume levels, or other criteria, or a combination of these?
- Based on the results of the outlet and channel classification, what impact is there on my current territory map?
- How would a potential new territory map look with the required resources to service the outlets?
- What would the call frequencies for each outlet look like across the territories and what are the target calls per day?
- Are there different activities that need to be assigned to different call frequencies? If so, what are they?
- Given the above, have we accurately defined the size, scope and geography of each of our territories?
My goal here is to get leaders in the Route to Market environment thinking about all the elements involved in RtM strategy, one of my key messages is to keep it simple, but we still need the detail.
This post is part of my blog series on the 20 Steps to Route to Market Excellence model. This post focuses on Step 8 ‘Territory Planning’. You can read about the previous steps here. I hope you find this useful, and I welcome any views and comments below.
Next week I will cover Step 9 ‘RtM Structure’. Please subscribe to the blog on this page, to ensure you don’t miss the latest updates on RtM excellence in execution and the 20 Steps model. If you would like to know more about the 20 Steps click here.