Field activity management plays an integral role in the success of an alcohol beverage brand. While the exact duties of this position vary among industries and individual businesses, field activity managers, also known as market managers and brand managers, are responsible for managing all field operations. This can range from overseeing sales rep efforts, gathering and analyzing customer data and cultivating relationships with retailers. With new technology, this position has evolved and become even more data-driven and effective in identifying which sales, marketing and distribution strategies work and which could use some adjusting. That is why we are going to provide a closer look at how you can optimize your own field activity operations as a brand manager or market manager in the beverage alcohol industry.
Main Functions of Field Activity Management
Any field activity manager needs to be flexible and respond to what is happening in the field. As a result, they may perform a variety of different tasks on any given day as they remain agile while also leading a team of beverage alcohol brand ambassadors or liquor reps. With that in mind, here are some common functions that can be a part of this role.
- Fulfillment orders. A field activity manager may be expected to supply distributors and visit retail locations to make sure that products are properly stocked. This is also the perfect opportunity to conduct some field research and better understand the client.
- Retail promotions. While retailers and sales reps will often handle the actual set up and maintenance of in-store displays and promotional events, like liquor tastings, the field activity manager has to monitor all these activities. This is essential to making sure everything goes smoothly and the brand is being represented correctly and consistently.
- Merchandising. Your team may include merchandising experts, but the field activity manager should also be participating in these efforts and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of product placement.
- Marketing and sales support. Referrals are still one of the best ways to grow your customer base. Field activity managers can build relationships themselves and support sales staff as they work to earn referrals. Developing effective incentives for liquor sales reps and keeping them motivated can be a significant part of marketing your beverage alcohol brand.
- Data collection. Data is your biggest weapon when it comes to understanding the competition, customer behavior and effective marketing strategies. Fortunately, there are mobile devices and software solutions, like Overproof, that make collecting information easy. It is up to the field activity manager to make sure that all field representatives are using these tools to consistently and effectively perform market research and add to field activity reports.
- Maintenance. Essentially, this means being ready to problem solve on a daily basis and finding new ways to improve practices. This could include managing and maintaining customer relationships, participating in product maintenance or maintaining various components of the supply chain. These types of tasks are essential when it comes to nurturing existing relationships. Anyone looking to truly optimize this management position should be committed to spending time with their field teams, gathering customer feedback and staying on top of emerging technology in order to make continuous improvements.
- Fostering team collaboration. The importance of a happy, motivated and properly equipped field team cannot be underestimated. Everyone should have access to the hardware and software that will make their jobs easier. In today’s modern world, that includes the ability to engage in real-time communication, which is essential to providing the best in customer services while also preventing a sense of separation that can occur between the office and field team.
- Field team tracking. It is up to the manager to understand where field teams members are throughout the day. Field activity reports help to prevent any missed appointments or other unmet obligations. Accurate field activity tracking can also quickly resolve any disputes or clear up confusion so that everyone is held accountable.
- Proof of service. Another component of tracking has to do with confirming through documentation and signatures that tasks have been completed. Mobile forms and other technology can be used to generate field activity reports, keep accurate records, prevent mistakes, support existing customer relations, acquire new customers and much more. Ultimately, this is the best way to help your brand stay ahead of the competition.
Best Ways to Optimize as an Alcohol Producer
With so many different tasks to juggle, any field activity manager has to focus on working smarter and not harder. A packed schedule may have the manager spread too thin and not investing the right amount of time in activities that end with a closed deal. One way to optimize field operations is to have liquor reps carefully record their activities and track results so that everyone has a better idea of what leads to a successful sale. The Overproof app is one tool that can support this type of data collection and analysis.
The Overproof app allows field reps to take and share notes, send commitment confirmations, share real-time updates on fulfillment, track sold and unsold accounts and recurring orders all from a smartphone. Overproof Insights uses AI driven technology to track trends and provide valuable performance data. Field activity managers can take a deeper dive into understanding what is working and how to work smarter. The entire team can spend more time on productive activities that lead to sales and less time on busy work that doesn’t provide results.
When it comes to tracking and optimizing the performance of off-premise promotional events, Overproof Tastings has brand managers covered. With this mobile app and online portal, the market manager can create winning sampling programs and gain access to valuable consumer insights, product feedback, and talent performance data on their brand ambassadors.
Data can also play an important role in forecasting. It is easy to get caught up in the sales pipeline and continue to go through the steps without taking a closer look at the data behind what works and what doesn’t. By taking advantage of depletion reports, creating an optimized sales process and putting the right monitoring in place, you can understand exactly how many calls and in-person visits usually lead to a sale and begin predicting business. Sales reps can develop clear strategies and focus more of the energy on connecting with the client.
It is often said that you should “trust the process,” but what if you could go one step further and “win the process”? Constant monitoring, analyzing and adapting the team’s daily field activities with the help of the Overproof app, Overproof Tastings and Overproof Insights can help you do just that. By pinpointing and promoting actions that directly drive success and reducing the time spent on less effective tasks, everyone can enjoy success.
What is field activity management?
Essentially field activity management includes overseeing all the operations of a brand that happen outside the office and out in the field.
What are the different operations within field activity management?
Operations will vary among industries, but here are some common operations in the alcohol beverage industry: order replenishment, merchandising, marketing, research and data collection, maintenance, rep tracking, task tracing and team communication and collaboration.
How do you optimize your field activity operations?
The key is to use an alcohol database and technology to record and monitor efforts and make adjustments as necessary. Making data-driven decisions about the best ways to spend time can help everyone succeed.