The first field marketing service that enables a brand’s sales team to focus on selling rather than merchandising during key promotional periods
Optimising resources has never been more important for FMCG brands. With so many external forces putting pressure on margins – from the increasing online presence to the rise of private labels – it’s crucial that manufacturers streamline operations to make the most of every dollar and maximise return.
To help brands address these growing demands, CROSSMARK recently launched Find-a-Rep, the first field marketing service that enables a brand’s sales team to focus on selling rather than merchandising during key promotional periods. By tapping into CROSSMARK’s large pool of readily available merchandisers for certain tasks, such as setting up bins or end-of-aisle displays, brands can deploy their high value in-house reps to leverage incremental sales opportunities in store. The ability for brands to use this service in such an ad hoc fashion – effectively dipping in and out as the need arises – augments these cost efficiencies.
“It’s a bit like the air tasker model,” explains CROSSMARK’s director of operations Luke Johnson. “All of our reps have undergone Coles and Woolworths inductions and visit these supermarkets regularly for other clients so they are primed and ready to go. They know how to build a display, they know the store managers and grocery managers, and they don’t require any training.”
“Our bespoke mobile app provides so much intelligence about our merchandising teams’ availability and capacity – what hours and days they can work and what projects they have coming up, that it made sense to offer our clients a flexible and intuitive service that they can take advantage of during specific times,” Johnson continues. “The client has the freedom to book our merchandisers directly, or we can do it for them. It’s a win-win situation; the merchandisers receive more work and brands can optimise their resources as needed. The brand’s sales rep can simply explain what needs to be done, either over the phone or in store, then move on to the next sales opportunity.”
Find-a-Rep is particularly valuable for brands during peak sales times such as Christmas, Halloween or ‘back to school’. When promotions are coming up, or there is simply a need for more people in store to service products due to a short term increase in demand, they can use call on field reps to help.
“This new initiative is proving very popular,” reveals Johnson. “Some suppliers have started to use it in a more structured way – for example, using one of these reps once a week as a back-up to help their own team in store – whilst others use it purely for peak promotional periods.
“Ultimately, any time that a brand’s own team is moving product around is time that they are not selling and driving profit.” he continues. “We encourage brands to use it any way they like to help make operations more efficient both in terms of cost and time. It’s a tough time to be in retail at the moment and this is a great tool for manufacturers to have at their disposal.”
Luke is a leader with a proven track record of implementing business improvement initiatives. Strong consulting background with a demonstrated ability to add value in a variety of industries. Luke brings his analytical and innovative thinking to shape the future of CROSSMARK field operations.