route-optimization

Route Optimization Techniques: The Right And The Wrong

In any FMCG company, sales play an important role. According to a recent study, only 30% of the salespeople are able to achieve their set targets, and the rest 70% miss them. Is it just because of the lack of skills of the sales reps? Not really.

 

The reality is the underutilization of the sales reps on the field. One of the root causes of this underutilization is not optimizing their sales routes which often leads to wastage of time, money, and many other resources.

 

What is Route Optimization?

Optimizing the route of the sales reps in order to increase their face-time at the retail stores and reduce their travel time, is known as route optimization. An improvement in the sales rep’s route serves three purposes:

  • increase returns on investment on the sales team
  • increase face time with retailers & reduce the time taken for order collection
  • increase the productivity of sales reps

 

Route Optimization, if done the right way, can function as the most important tool for optimizing the market coverage.

 

 

Many companies follow the traditional route optimization techniques of optimizing the sales rep’s route and eventually fail in achieving their sales targets. Being said that, there are some companies that follow the modern way of optimizing the routes and getting the maximum benefit out of it.

 

The Traditional Technique-

The typical route optimization technique involves area managers marking out the territory and then planning the different routes for the sales reps. As this is done manually, there is no consideration regarding the GPS location of the retail store or the operating hours of retail stores. For example, different stores may have different order-taking hours or opening and closing hours which needs to be considered within the beat plan.

 

The technique of manually optimizing the route is highly inefficient. Some businesses try to optimize the routes manually, but it affects the efficiency, scalability, accuracy, and productivity of the sales reps.

 

The nature of this approach is very unorganized which leads to a reduction of the face time that a sales rep could have with the retail store. The returns on investments made by the FMCG/CD brand are also affected considerably. Overall, it affects the sales of the FMCG company.

 

The Modern Technique-

An alternative to the traditional method is using route optimization software. 

 

A route optimization software reduces the time required to plan the route for sales reps. It identifies the best routes with the least distance according to the planned visits. It ensures that the sales rep can visit a maximum number of stores on a given day and helps in increasing the face time of sales reps with the store, leading to more engaging conversations. It typically functions on a route optimization algorithm which, with the help of multiple data points, creates the most optimized routes for sales reps. 

 

The geo-locations of all the retail stores are captured through the customer profiling engine of the BeatRoute application. Capturing the exact lat & long coordinates of the stores helps the route optimization software to decide the best possible route for the sales reps.

 

customer gps location map

 

Multiple retail stores may fall under specific classes segmented by the FMCG/CD companies. The customer profiling and segmentation module take the classes of different stores into consideration to further optimize the route in an efficient way.

 

The route optimization software also takes the visit time and visit frequency into account and finally plans the visit route for sales reps based on these fundamental parameters, which are often skipped in the manual techniques.

 

Conclusion

Concluding the benefits of the route optimization software, it is quite easy to say that a Route Optimization Software helps in maximizing the productivity of sales reps by scheduling the visits in the most optimized and planned manner. It helps in visit planning while utilizing all the available resources, thus increasing the returns on investments for business leaders. 

 

BeatRoute’s Route Optimization Software is one of the best route optimization software that business leaders can count on. It takes account of all the factors like geo-location of stores, geo-fencing, classification of stores, special pre-requisites, and plans the most efficient route(s) and also lets the sales leaders know the number of sales reps needed to cover the stores based on distance, proximity, and availability.

 

BeatRoute’s Route Optimization software is ideal for business leaders to maximize their returns on investment and increase the productivity of sales reps by maximum utilization of the available resources.

 

As a business leader, do you also want to increase the productivity of your sales team by choosing the right route optimization techniques? If yes, then click here to book a demo of the world’s best route optimization software.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

How does route optimization software work?

Route Optimization Software uses an algorithm to find the most optimized route based on the different parameters set by the company on account of its customers. It minimizes the complexity of route planning for sales reps by using advanced algorithms and mechanisms which is not manually possible.

 

What includes the right route optimization techniques?

The right techniques for route optimization involve usage of data-driven constraints like geo-location, customer visiting conditions, geo-fencing, visit frequency, etc, along with multiple other factors. Using a route optimization software ensures that all the important factors are considered which eventually increases the productivity of sales reps.

 

Are google maps the right technique for Route Optimization?

Google maps can provide the best-optimized route for individual purpose but in the case of companies catering to hundreds of customers with the area constraints and other prerequisites of the customers, companies need to have dedicated software which can select the best-optimized route for a sales rep. It also makes the job of a sales leader easy to monitor the activities of their sales reps.

 

Is manual route calculation the right technique for Route Optimization?

Manual route optimization may lead to lags in the scheduling of sales reps. It may also affect the cost planning by a business leader as the fuel costs may increase due to the imperfect selection of routes. On the other hand, it becomes equally time-consuming and difficult to consider all the prerequisites of thousands of stores while designing a route.

 

Which is the best Software for Route Optimization?

Although there are many software’s which provide route optimization services, there are very few who provide services like capturing the location of all stores, geo-fencing, classification of stores, and considering special prerequisites of all the stores. BeatRoute’s Route Optimization Software is designed specifically for enterprise FMCG/CPG organizations and delivers the highest efficiency in the route planning process of organizations.

Author

Nikhil Chaudhary

I am part of the Inside Sales Team at BeatRoute. I love interacting with industry leaders, discovering their challenges as they try to increase their field sales output, and enabling them to solve those challenges using enterprise grade technology. Feel free to write to me at nikhil@beatroute.io