Business Development Managers (BDMs) (also known as Regional Managers/State Managers) have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. Overseeing sales and operations, tracking sales targets, hiring, training and supervising store managers as well as organising and adjusting inventory across all stores in their region. Depending on the size of the region, at any given time a single BDM could be looking after well over a hundred stores and travelling large distances to reach every store. A BDM’s relationship with its stores can make or break whether a store remains loyal to a banner or moves on somewhere else. With all these duties and so much time spent on the road, BDMs need an easy way to track the activity around the printing of shelf edge promotional tickets, so they can identify which stores are having problems and what the specific issues are.
What BDMs require is a ticketing platform with advanced reporting functionality, that can tell them which of their stores aren’t printing the correct promotional tickets. The practice of sending pre-printed stock or price files directly to stores has many disadvantages. Namely, there is absolutely no visibility over whether stores are printing off and/or hanging their promotional material. When stores aren’t printing or hanging the pre-printed tickets assigned to them, they are missing out on potential sales. It also means that there is a high likelihood that shoppers will experience misalignment between above the line advertising and in-store promotions. Stores that are non-compliant not only run the risk of annoying customers with incorrect pricing, the loss in revenue also reflects poorly on BDMs who have enough to contend with, without physically checking the shelf edge at each individual store. This scenario is, obviously, an impossibility. Additionally, non-compliant stores also run the risk of attracting the attention of the ACCC for guideline violations. So how can BDMs easily oversee the ticketing activity of their entire store network?
Ticketing platforms help BDMs identify problem areas and prioritise their store visits in the following ways:
Identify stores that haven’t printed
Identify stores that didn’t print the entire catalogue
Identify stores that changed the price or offer in their store before printing
Lock catalogue ticket pricing and other fields where appropriate to prevent unauthorised changes
Provide proactive training for the stores that need it the most
Let’s take a closer look at each of these areas in more detail.
Stores that haven’t printed
One of the biggest obstacles BDMs face is not having any visibility over what promotional tickets stores are printing and hanging. When support offices send out centrally produced ad packs or send stores price files, there is no transparency as to what stores are doing with that material. While most stores will hang the tickets as required, some won’t and without visiting every store for each new promotional cycle, there is no way of knowing which stores are repeat offenders. When using a ticketing platform to distribute promotional tickets to a store network, BDMs can have a far clearer view of which stores are staying compliant and printing their promotional tickets and which are not. By using a platform with reporting functionality, BDMs are able to have a high level view of usage and activity.
Stores that didn’t print the entire catalogue
Similar to stores that don’t print or hang their promotional tickets are stores that only print or hang a portion of their catalogue promotions. Stores get busy, tasks get started and not finished and ticketing a shelf edge can be easily overlooked. A platform that allows BDMs to report on printing in real-time and immediately identify stores that have only printed off a portion of their catalogue promotions is a huge advantage. A BDM will know exactly which stores need to be contacted to make sure promotions run on time, in full. There’s no more effective way to make sure stores are adhering to a banner’s ticketing processes.
Stores that changed the price or offer in their store before printing
Another risk BDMs face when managing an expansive network is stores that change the price on promotional tickets before printing. When it comes to pre-printed stock being shipped to stores, this isn’t a concern, the issue is whether stock is being used. However, when it comes to sending stores price files to make their own tickets, BDMs have no way of knowing if stores are changing the prices that have been set by support office. Ticketing systems that have a hierarchical structure, where a support office pushes ticket batches to stores and oversee activity at a high level, allows BDMs to have an awareness of which stores are changing prices when they shouldn’t be. These systems help support offices and Managers to identify problems in the ticketing process, so they can then intervene immediately to correct the error.
Locking catalogue ticket pricing and other fields, where appropriate, to prevent unauthorised changes
Support offices that want to prevent any changes from being made to assigned ticket batches can do so, completely locking down their ticketing processes to ensure absolute compliance from their store networks. Regular price, promotional price and offer type fields (among others) can be locked so that BDMs don’t have to track stores that might be changing the data. When the necessary fields are locked, the only thing that needs to be reported on is print activity.
Provide proactive training for the stores that need it the most
A platform that provides reporting insights into their stores’ usage allows for BDMs to be proactive when it comes to stores that are struggling to learn the correct processes. Being able to report on stores that aren’t printing, are partially printing or are changing promotional pricing and provide additional training and targeted store visits can make a huge difference for BDMs who need to prioritise tasks and resource allocation. A ticketing system that gives a unique insight into a store’s ticketing activity and usage is invaluable.
Report. React. Resolve.
For BDMs, these are the three key functions that are required in a ticketing platform. Report on store ticketing activity, react to the data and resolve the issues that have been identified, all in real-time. Prioritise store visits and resources based on the insights provided by the system and streamline processes and procedures to vastly improve efficiency.