Where Retail meets Tech

September 27, 2017

How sales reps take on a role of in-store merchandising experts

Written by Lexane Sirac

After last week's video of our chat with Eric Devos about how mobility simplifies field forces' work at Danone, we thought you'd appreciate the other expert interviews that we shot at the IFM trade show last year.

Today, we are happy to introduce you to Benjamin Morguen, Category Manager at Pernod. In this video, this former sales rep tells you how sales representatives at Pernod take on a role of in-store merchandising experts by building planograms that are tailored to their clients’ specific needs and challenges.

As shoppers’ expectations evolve into evermore customized in-store experiences, sales representatives must increasingly adapt central recommendations to local client stores to sustain greater control of the shelf in retail. It is a tough challenge for field sales reps who spend most of their time on the road making store visits. They must find extra time to determine how to create the best retail merchandising strategy for their clients’ business and shoppers’ needs. That includes adapting / building planograms. But building planograms that consider local in-store environments and that align with the plans designed by central teams in record time necessitates a space planning solution that sales reps can easily use. As most space planning solutions are designed for category management teams, it can be tough for field sales reps to adopt and use them efficiently.

In this webcast, Benjamin Morguen shares great insights about Pernod's ambition of empowering sales reps as in-store merchandising experts, and how Planorama's space planning solution and planogram automation tool act as enablers of this strategy by allowing field reps to collect information from the POS to optimize planograms locally.

(Video is in English. Full transcript below.)


Do you also want to use space planning solution and planogram automation tool to empower and improve sales rep performance? We'll be happy to talk.


PlanoManager : get the tool that help you build planograms within minutes


Here's a full transcript of the webcast above:

Interviewer: Good morning everybody! I’m Jeanne Baron and thrilled to be with you today. Welcome at Planorama webcasts. With me Benjamin. Benjamin Morguen. Thank you very much to be with us. We’re here live from the 2016 trade show in Paris. It is called IFM. You are Category Manager Marchés for Pernod.

Benjamin Morguen: Yes, exactly.

Interviewer: So, my first question for those who don’t know about Pernod, but I really doubt it. What is Pernod?

Benjamin Morguen: Pernod is part of Pernod Ricard Group, which is one of the world co-leaders in the premium spirits industry. Pernod sells around 46 million liters per year and has a turnover of around 350 million Euro.

Interviewer: It’s a lot. It’s a huge company. So talking about the role of a sales rep… :How do you see all that? How do you see the role of it? 

Benjamin Morguen: The first role of the sales representative is really to support the store and the point-of-sale and to optimize the revenue of the spirits department. And he has one action to do it, one lever is merchandising. First, about merchandising, he has to make sure that the national recommendation that has been crafted with the retailer in collaboration with the different manufacturers, like Pernod, is well executed in the point-of-sale. It’s really important that the layout of the spirits department is organized…, fits with the national recommendation because there are logical reasons for it. For example, we are talking this morning – someone was talking about the innovations (new products) – their importance for the consumer. And to find the innovations (new products), you gather all the innovations in the same place.

Interviewer: So Benjamin, does it mean that you have to adapt the national recommendation to the local business? But how do you do that? Specifically.

Benjamin Morguen: Yes, because when we are talking about executing,  it doesn’t mean that you have to stick at 100% to the national recommendation, because as you know, we have a rich country in terms of differences…

Interviewer: Absolutely. 

Benjamin Morguen: and depending on the region your store is in and the city - even within a region, between two cities, you can have a lot of differences. And I’m not talking about the rural and urban areas that are really different. So we have a lot of differences notably regarding the consumers. So for the same category you can have two really different market shares. So, it’s important that the store adapts the plan of the spirit department and to do that the sales representative is really important. He really has to do some customized recommendations in order to take into account the national recommendation, but also to take into consideration the local specificities.

Interviewer: And talking about the data, information and all the sources, you have two main sources that you use, you have PlanoConvert and PlanoManager. It’s from Planorama. It seems like it works for you. Can you tell us about them? 

Benjamin Morguen: Yes it really works, it really works because it really allows your sales representative to spare some time. We were talking about the comparison between the sales representative and the category manager… 

Interviewer: Absolutely… 

Benjamin Morguen: The main difference is that the sales representative spends a lot of time visiting the stores. So it means that he has little time to dedicate to the strategy and notably the merchandising (strategy). And you know when you think of merchandising, you have to create a realogram that is the reality of the the spirits department. You have then to analyze it and you have to create a planogram, which is the ideal version that you want for your store. With Planorama, we have two solutions, as you said. We have PlanoConvert that enables you, by just taking a picture of the shelf, to convert it into ….

Interview : …a planogram.

Benjamin Morguen : And then you can analyze it with PlanoManager really easily. You have figures that enable you to see the reality and to do some recommendation. And this tool is really user-friendly, so it means that you can adapt and really make a recommendation for your customer.

Interviewer: And also I think that it seems like, hearing what you are saying, it simplifies also the exchange between you.

Benjamin Morguen: Communication becomes easy and it’s really important in a company to have communication between headquarters and the field. Yes we were talking about the category manager giving insights to the sales representative. And you have also something interesting, the feedback of the sales representative to the category managers so they can see the reality of the field. So that’s really important and that is allowed by the two tools of Planorama.

Interviewer: Also, how do people react to those applications?

Benjamin Morguen: You mean our sales representatives?

Interviewer: Yes. 

Benjamin Morguen: So far we are just implementing the solution…

Interviewer: So it’s brand new.

Benjamin Morguen: Yes and Planaorama is helping us train the sales representatives. But what was funny was that... it was a pleasant surprise, notably regarding the efficiency of the tool. And what is funny is that the sales representatives who are already using the tool are selling the solution to the other sales representatives of the company. So it’s perfect for us.

Interviewer: That means that it works and it’s perfect. Makes life easier.

Benjamin Morguen: Exactly. 

Interviewer: Definitely. Benjamin Morguen, thank you so much...

Benjamin Morguen: Thank you.

Interviewer: ...for your patience and for all your explanations today.

Benjamin Morguen: Thank you for your invitation.

Interviewer: You’re more than welcome. It was my pleasure. I will see you in another hour for a new interview, so stay tuned on the Planorama webcast. Thank you so much.

Do you also want to use space planning solution and planogram automation tool to empower and improve sales rep performance? We'll be happy to talk.

PlanoManager : get the tool that help you build planograms within minutes

Topics: category management