For fast moving consumer packaged goods companies, Route Sale drivers are literally the face of customer service. Route Sale drivers (who may also be referred to as Van Sale Drivers, or Direct Store Delivery (DSD) drivers) are traveling sales reps making regularly scheduled visits to their customers, making sales right off the truck.
The tools that your reps use sends a strong message to your customers about your care and concern for their needs. You’re already in the door because you have a great product that has generated some nice local, regional, or national buzz. But now the key is to create brand loyalty–if you want to stay in the door.
The right tools will guide your Route Sales reps toward providing an excellent customer experience. A properly equipped Route Sale driver would be expected to have flexible and easy to use software covering a comprehensive range of both selling and non-selling activities. Doing so will allow them to better anticipate the needs of the customer, better understand the competition, and build stronger relationships with the customer.
To be successful, the driver will need tools for:
- Route Execution Planning – activities before reps depart to perform the store visits. The reps should be able to see all communications and tasks specific to their planned route visits for the day, as well as stop sequence for the day as well as any local knowledge the rep has specific to their route that day (e.g., a store manager who has different hours that day only).
- Training Tools – reps should be able to access centralized information about new product launches, company selling standards, or any other critical compliance information that needs to be fully understood.
- Communications and Messaging – ability for management to create Surveys, Tasks and Messages to a specific subset of routes, customers, users and products in order to obtain profiles and characteristics relevant to the goals and objectives of the company.
- In-Store Inventory Management – capability to manage and control inventory of product at the customer level, as well as the start of the sales process. This should include features such as the ability to capture inventory stock levels at an individual stock level, visibility to store planograms, as well as the ability to capture product quality/integrity control (expired, etc.) and provide reporting based on customer, route and product.
- Capture Orders – enter an order into the system, capturing the customer requirements, products and quantities necessary for processing and invoicing. This should also include the ability to enter a new order for future delivery with the ability to propose to their customers new orders based on history or last sales.
- Capturing Payments – Allow capturing collections as part of the order process as well as providing the capability for accepting payments as part of the on account collections process.
- Manage Deliveries – Have the ability to delivery product to customers based on pre-existing orders placed in the system, including handling of the inventory movements.
- Manage Returns – Ability to manage different return scenarios depending on the process allowed, such as Swap product due to out of date or damaged, Pick-Up due to oversell, or Pick-Up due to other reason such as Product Recall.
- End of Day Routines – After the routes are executed, a set of activities known as End of Day Routines which includes the classification of no-visits to customers scheduled in the route planning, setting up the tasks and activities for the next day and perform the inventory and cash collection balancing prior to the Route Settlement process.
Investment in smart, meaningful route selling processes and technology now, can only help accelerate your journey as your business grows from a local brand, to regional, national or even an international powerhouse.
To learn how xkzero Mobile Commerce can help you improve your route sales processes, or to schedule a demo to see how we integrate with Acumatica, Sage X3 or Sage 100, contact us at 847-416-2009 or through our contact us page.