Some form of daily activity report should be required from all levels of salespersons including territory salespersons, key account managers and field sales managers, partly asa record of activity and partly for management control purposes.
A key account executive is likely to fill in form of contact report, which is basically brief record of who was met, points discussed,agreements reached, and subsequent action required (including a note of who should progress the action).
Any field sales manager working with subordinate with the objective of monitoring performance and providing training and motivation should prepare a brief training review record noting strengths and weaknesses observed and training given. This record should be kept as part of ongoing performance review and development programmes.
If a field sales manager is making visits to retail or other trade customers with a view to establishing levels of display and distribution, his or her observations should be recorded on simple form to be reviewed with the appropriate salesperson as soon afterwards as practical.
Prompt feedback is an essential element of training and development processes if the feedbacks to have current relevance to activities and performance. When a field sales manager is conducting follow -check audit on a recent day’s work by territory salesperson (which is particularly appropriate in many consumer goods markets), the best recording aid is to use the manager’s copy of the relevant daily activity report, and mark observations on the copy as appropriate.
At the level of the territory salesperson, the daily activity report is most important to:
Daily activity reports can also be designed to record information covering:
There is no ideal format for a salesperson’daily activity report. Design and layout(whether in paperwork form, or using a computer reporting system as now used in many selling organizations) should be suited to the information and management control needs of the business. What is important is that every salesperson has an obligation to record relevant daily activities and achievements asa personal discipline and management control.
Some companies do tend to adopt the approach that their salespersons are well known to the company, and can be trusted to be working. The purpose of a daily report is not to show distrust: it is to provide a means of accurate measurement of activity that can then provide a focus on ways to improve skills and productivity, to improve returns from that very valuable company resource –the sales team. A simple design format is illustrated in Table.
The advantage of a daily activity report is that it focuses attention over a relatively short time span, and adds a sense of urgency to selling as the salesperson is faced with writing his or her results down as the day progresses.
Some information should always be recorded, such as the customers visited and the orders taken (with a note of value or volume,such as bottles sold, if that is easier to record against target). The information recorded in the other columns can focus attention on priorities in any month, such as distribution, display and promotional factors.
Using the daily activity report
There are many variations on this format that might suit a company, but most will be similar in content.
In the example of Table, particularly suited to retail selling:
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