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Route to Market & Supply Chain Blog

The Definition of Excellence in FMCG Sales Execution

Posted by Ross Marie on Tue, Feb 27, 2024

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Finding the right Distribution Partner (DP) is one of the fundamental RtM decisions a FMCG Producer will make. Depending on the producers' knowledge, understanding, and experience of the local market, they may not be able to separate the good from the ugly.

To help Producers on this journey, we have provided 15 Critical Areas to grade or assess potential (or even current) DPs against.

What Defines a DP with Excellence in Sales Execution?

Here are 15 defining characteristics of an FMCG Distribution Partner (DP) that will deliver sustained sales increases:




  • STRUCTURE: The RtM Team has a suitable structure, organisation, time, and equipment to cover the entire universe allocated by the Producer.

  • RETENTION: RtM Team staff turnover does not represent a major concern for either company.

  • REWARD: The field Team has effective incentives in place that focus on achieving producer KPIs.

  • NEW BUSINESS: DP shows a clear knowledge, willingness, and capability to gain new customers and increase Producer Numeric and Weighted Distribution.


  • TOOLKIT: The DP RtM Team is equipped and trained for outlet execution and activation, including order capture, order method, POS material placement & management, planograms, portfolio & pricing process & initiatives, trade incentives & promotions, trade engagement options, etc.

  • CONTROL: Clear rules are in place explaining the correct use, and records, of POS Toolkit and other sales aids provided by the Producer, including sales asset placement.


  • TRADE CENSUS: There is a living outlet database, regularly updated, which covers the market and splits the outlets by channel, and this matches Producer channel definitions.

  • SEGMENTATION: The outlets are segmented based on criteria agreed with the Producer and this split corresponds to a service package for each segment.

  • TERRITORIES: The sales force has clearly defined, resourced, and performing territories.

  • ROUTES: Effective route planning is carried out and routinely refreshed for all Sales Reps. The route planning journey is aligned with the Producer.

  • FREQUENCY: Call frequency is aligned with customer sales patterns and operational and strategic goals.


  • SUCCESS: DP has relevant KPIs in place to allow measurement of success and reward per DP Sales Representative.

  • SUPPORT: The DPs KPIs support the overall key strategic, tactical, and operational requirements of The Producer, including investment and margin (front & back).



  • TRAINING: There is a real capability to participate in and deliver relevant training programmes to the RtM team, and this includes coaching by senior DP or external employees.

  • SHARING: Data and market intelligence is openly shared between DP and Producer to improve and sell more, including outlet sales data, pricing, margin, trends, etc.

The degree to which the above characteristics apply to each DP will determine the actions that need to be taken and the individual DP plan elements that must be put in place.

We have a very specific approach for identifying, assessing, improving, empowering, and driving FMCG DPs, to deliver shared goals.  If you would like to know more please click on our Distributor Partner (DP) Development Programme.

What should you do now?

  • If you need specific Route to Market help, please reach out to me here, or to Enchange here.  We are Route to Market experts with 30+ years of experience.  We deliver sales growth on a consultancy or interim management fee basis.  We work globally, using our local experts.
  • If you want to discover more of our RtM advice and solutions, please click here.


Tags: Ross Marie, 20 Steps to RtM Excellence

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