Welcome to my blog series on Route to Market (RtM), which includes Sales, TM&D (Trade Marketing & Distribution), in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector. I have created a model called the 20 Steps to Route to Market Excellence.
The purpose of which is the provide FMCG leaders with a framework to develop, review and/or build their RtM capability. The model is not prescriptive but offers guidance around the areas that could be examined, and my blog posts should be used to stimulate ideas for each step.
Over the past number of months, we have gone through the first 17 steps of my model. The focus of this post is Step 18 ‘Training & Upgrading’.
Training in RtM means examining each area within the RtM strategy, or in this case, reviewing each Step in the 20 Steps to RtM Excellence Model, and detailing the exact training requirements, who requires training, who will deliver the training and when and how it will be delivered.
Upgrading refers to an approach to ensure Continuous Improvement and innovation across our RtM. It encourages new ideas and approaches to be developed, tested, captured, evaluated, rolled out and monitored across the RtM approach. We often refer to this process as NRD (New RtM Development). This is how we spread success and capture entrepreneurial flare, in the largest and even most structured organisations.
The aim is to give our people the tools and empower them in the most effective ways.
Here are some examples of questions you can ask under Step 18 – Training & Upgrading:
- What are the current training programmes already in place covering RtM? How many are internal training and how many are those that require an external trainer? To what extent have we identified any training gaps in the RtM space?
- Based on the previous Steps in the 20 Steps to RtM Excellence, what are the training requirements arising to support each step? For example, do we have the competency to conduct Distributor Assessments? If not, what are the training requirements here?
- We have an agreed approach to RtM, based on Step 5. As such what are the key areas that we feel will require training? Where are the major differences in approach that require the development of new competencies? What are the related training requirements?
- Who classified our retail universe? Did we do this internally or use an outsourced resource? How will this be maintained? What training is required to maximise its usage and to keep the outlet classifications up-to-date?
- How did we design our channel classification? What does each channel mean in terms of activities, call frequencies, investment, volume, targets, in other words what are the rules? What are the related training requirements that apply?
- What does our approach to territory planning mean for the entire RtM team? How does it impact on their roles? Is our approach to RtM target setting fully understood? Has it changed? What is our approach to Revenue Management? What are the TM&D budgetary controls and processes? What are the training requirements to all of these key issues?
- How do we currently train our field force? Do we use the ‘steps of the call’ method? Do our sales teams use technology in the field? Do they know how to maximise its use? What are the related training requirements?
- Is our approach to sales incentives fully understood? Have we made recent changes to the scheme? Does our RtM team understand our tool kits, how and when to use them? What are the training requirements here?
- How have our trade incentives changed? Do we use 3DPs and do our TM&D team understand how to maximise their benefits? Do they understand how to develop and run partnership programmes with distributors? What are the training needs here?
- How has our approach to Key Account Management (KAM) changed? How do we ensure our KAM approach is fully understood by the entire TM&D team? How do we approach negotiation training in KAM and the wider TM&D team?
- How do we roll out our NRD (New RtM Development) approach and how do we train the TM&D team? How do encourage, foster and achieve cross-functional integration?
- What mechanisms have we considered for training? For example, will all members of the RtM team be trained together? To what extent is individual training support needed? To what extent are the training and development needs of individuals identified as part of performance management? Is this routinely considered as part of performance appraisals? If not, why not? Will there be specific programmes designed for field force representatives and back office RtM staff?
- Who owns the RtM training process and related programmes? To what extent is it driven by Human Resources?
- To what extent is performance evaluation and related training and development needs part of the Organisation’s or Sales Department’s culture?
- Who will deliver the training? How will this vary across each of the steps? What are the internal training capabilities? Do we have resources that we can call on in our wider company, maybe at HQ or centre of excellence level? If we need to look external for training requirements, do the required skills exist locally in our market?
- What is the overall training plan covering each Step? What is the related training plan and schedule?
- What is the overall plan for the development and upgrading of skills related to RtM? What is our NRD (New RtM Development) approach?
- What are the rules of the NRD process?
- Do we currently have a process around empowering our TM&D team to develop new RtM ideas and solutions? If not, how do we introduce this new or redeveloped concept?
- How do we test new RtM ideas? What is the process for this? Where does the budget come from? How is this monitored?
- How do we define NRD success? Who determines this and upon which criteria it is based?
- What happens to the successful and performing NRD ideas? How are these rolled out? To what extent are they rolled out? Are they rolled out, for example, nationally, regionally, selected territories or channels?
- How do we measure results from the NRD roll-out? At what point does NRD become business as usual? Are there specific hurdle rates that need to be passed? Who determines this?
- What is our process for continuous monitoring and re-evaluation of rolled out NRD ideas?
- What is our overall approach and strategy for Upgrading/NRD?
I hope you find this useful, and any views and comments are most welcome.
Next, I will cover Step 19 ‘Functional Integration’. 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.