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Unlocking the power of the sales organization to outpace market growth.

By fundamentally changing how the sales force works and is managed, the company has unleashed a formidable selling powerhouse in the field.



The company is part of a global FMCG business operating in a key market in Asia.  Its sales organization consist of an array of vertical and horizontal functions which include sales force, sales operations, channel marketing, route-to-market, market equipment, warehouse & logistics, and sales execution audit.  The large sales force has more than 1,000 salespersons deployed across a vast geographical area of over 180,000 square kilometres made up of over 15 cities and about 1000 counties.  The company has a customer base of more than 150,000 outlets covering all key channels from modern trade, traditional trade and wholesale, to on-premise, and at-work.


In recent years, the sales force suffered several major challenges including high staff attrition, weak discipline, and poor morale.  All these have resulted in missing key sales performance targets, and weak market execution.  When the sales force is this unreliable, the very survival of the company is at stake. 



Clearly a new strategy and approach was needed to put the power back into selling machine.  Our approach for this challenge was to first interview the leadership to gain a clear understanding of the business direction, and possible causes for the underperformance.  That was followed by going deep into the operations, understand the structure, processes and market environment.


What we uncovered eventually led us to a strategy that required going back to the basics and augmenting this with key new technologies. The resulting strategy and key initiative include:


  1. A clearly defined role for every level within the hierarchy of the sales force.

  2. The development of new capabilities for each level within the team.

  3. To identify and communicate the key performance indicators (KPI’s), their measurement and enforcement, as well as the corresponding incentives.

  4. Digitisation of all sales tools and ensure their effective integration into the sales function.

  5. Empower on-the-ground leadership to resolve any issues promptly, fairly and consistently.


By changing the way the Sales Force works and is managed in the field, the company has reaped several key benefits.


There has been a noticeable uplift in the sales team morale and attrition has been reduced to within the company’s global benchmarks.  Correspondingly, other key performance indicators were brought into line with the company’s expectation, including market coverage, strike rates, and in-market execution, etc.


Furthermore, a new and more effective Route-to-Market model was designed for increasing growth was successfully implemented.


Most important, as a direct result of the  transformation in the sales force, sales grew more than 20% compared to previous year, while at the same time outpacing market growth.  Lastly, EBIT grew double digits due to improved balance in the portfolio mix.


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