Retail Territory Management

“Area manager” to the Retail Territory Manager, or is it the same?

Like many, I began my career in the commercial world as “Area manager”. Didn’t know very well that it was, but soon I discovered that the role of “a territorial area responsible for area…” or as you wish to call was the troubleshooter for some clients on a piece of the country.

Meet orders, resolve logistical issues, review and renegotiating terms of billing, resolve claims by defaults, distribute material POS campaigns, etc was the axis of the daily work. Occasionally you rotabas to avoid affinity with your customers asking that left an area that explain you how were customers who left and you assume.

Spent some time came a few consultants who accompanied me for a few days. They asked about my activity, which was doing the time and how much of that time was really dedicated to sell or promote the sale. Request me business plans per customer, identifying opportunities in each area of influence of the Distributor, plans to improve the margin and reduce the stock, design of local marketing actions…

After leaving, a rare feeling left. It was as if they had confused person or project. They asked for things that I did because I knew I had to make them, and because he didn’t have the time with my day to day. Who would solve all the problems of my clients in my area?

The question that then I was, really needed a person to solve that or is better to devote your time to your customers, distributors and points of sale increase and improve their results?

With the passage of time I became one of those consultants who helped me to refocus my work and started to support commercial organizations to implement the change in the role.

Is this change really necessary? Definitely Yes. These may be the reasons:

1. Add value to the Distributor or point of sale: companies are usually small or medium and, in many cases, family, made herself and teams without commercial and managerial training. They need external support to identify commercial opportunities, make decisions knowing the financial impact on your business and execute the actions in time to run.

2. Help them grow: need to see beyond the environment of its point of sale and their routes, where may be generators of traffic, customer profile and needs, and optimize your time to the customer.

3. Reduce the “time to market” offer to the customer: sell the company’s offering and why of marketing activities, ensure brand arrives homogeneously to the market, provide consistency in the offer.

4. Reduce the business risk: help the Distributor and/or point of sale to optimise your stock, pricing in a logical manner beyond that by impulses from the market, to make cross-selling of optimal assortment to each customer.

5. Implement “photo of success”: the companies employ many resources on analyzing the market and segments that compose it to recommend proper assortments. We argue this “photo” to the Distributor or point of sale and that understand the benefits to your business and customer.

And who solves the problems of everyday life? Perhaps should be silver that are “problems” and that “incidents”. In the current business model, there are challenges for the business, to make it cost effective, viable and challenging. The five previous points contributing to this. Other activities are “accessory”.



Juan Ruiz del Portal Gyenes is partner of Overlap and Overlap Spain General Director. Before his career in consulting he worked for four years in a Cia’s retail, from Territory Manager network development.



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