Promoters (or Sales promoters) are representatives of a FMCG company who are stationed inside a Modern trade or large format retail outlet to perform a multitude of functions for the brand including shelf management (click to read more), stock audits, order taking, planning and executing sampling activities, putting promotions and enabling tertiary sales through consumer interactions. These boys and girls are often entry-level resources at early stages of their FMCG career. They often wear company branded clothing (t-shirts or aprons), are equipped with sampling utilities (from basic plasticware to sophisticated tools) and are often found standing in the aisle, engaging with the customers. Their role is somewhat similar to that of a retail merchandiser, although much less elaborate in the sense that a promoter only takes care of one or two brands and doesn’t replenish products from the back store.
Peri CRM offers a robust, scalable and easy-to-use promoter management module to Indian FMCG companies developed by observing, interacting and understanding the precise business requirements of all stakeholders including promoters, supervisors, line managers , senior sales and marketing managers.
Let’s look at some fundamental considerations on which Peri’s promoter management is based:
1. High attrition: Promoters of many FMCG companies are temporary placements, often on an agency’s payroll. Although they are assigned one or two large format stores, and are supposed to stick for a longer duration, they leave anywhere between few weeks to few months. This high attrition doesn’t motivate the companies to spend a lot of effort on training, development and automation.
2. Entry-level skill: In its prevalent form, promoter isn’t a highly lucrative job and entails a basic salary and benefits package. This means that it typically invites a lot of entry-level resources with nominal skill, experience and career aspirations. And they may not be able to pick up complex automation workflows which typically a sale representative or merchandiser or manager would.
3. Access to Mobile phone: In a country like India (which enjoys highest smartphone penetration across the world), it is a safe assumption that most promoters will have a smartphone at their disposal. But they may not have their phones handy throughout the day due to the restrictions imposed by some retailers.
With these fundamentals as core, Peri captures and automates the business processes of a typical FMCG promoter as detailed below:
-> Routine business process
Attendance: a promoter needs to declare that he or she is intending to go or already reached the designated store at optimal time and will commence duties in a short while. This gives the supervisor an early assessment of how many feet-in-stores is he managing today.
Checkin: next for promoter is to do a check-in at the retail outlet just before entering the outlet or standing near the store lockers where backpack, sampling stock, print collaterals and other accessories are stashed. This becomes an even more important step when smartphones are not allowed inside the store.
Day-start stock audit: a key job for promoter is to audit stock levels at the retail floor including cold coolers at checkout lanes, cold shelf locations, warm shelf locations and displays throughout the store. Once the refill or top-up quantity has been estimated, promoters inform the instore merchandiser to service the same or proceed to the back-store area and load the required stock from a receiver onto a trolley. It is recommended to take before and after photographs at each of the above shelf locations to demonstrate the value-addition done.
Shelf management: while the stock counting is being done, promoters are instructed to do shelf management as well including doing the placement as per planogram, rotating products as per the expiry dates, filling holes (a hole is anywhere on the shelf that is not completely fronted and faced) and collecting dispersed products (picked and left somewhere by a customer).
Tertiary sale: promoters are trained to keep a track of how many products are getting picked from the shelf defined as tertiary sales, especially the assisted sales where they played a part in convincing the customer for the purchase. This is a quantification of their efforts and companies often put a daily target on tertiary sale depending upon the store location, season and event.
Day-end stock audit: a recommended practice is to top-up, face and front all the holes at various shelf locations before going home. This ensure optimal availability during the un-attended period i.e. from the time promoter leaves till he resumes services the next morning.
Consumer feedback and surveys: during lean periods when shopper footfall is low, promoters are sometimes asked by marketing teams to run consumer surveys and collect feedback on certain key aspects of a particular product category like taste, quality, value-proposition and improvement areas. This also acts as a conversation starter where the promoter often suggests the consumer to buy a newly launched product or product on special offers.
Competition survey and benchmarking
-> Sales business process
Primary/Secondary order taking
Month-end stock taking