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Principle 1 of Effective Field Force Planning

Friday 12 March 2021 Field Force Planning

David Jones's picture
By David Jones

Principles of Effective Field Force Planning Pt.1 of 7 

Field sales teams are very expensive to run, even if they are operated and structured efficiently. These costs have the potential to spiral out of control without the appropriate tools and processes in place to achieve efficiency. However, even with the right tools and processes, decisions about strategy and operational matters can mean that you end up with a bloated, inefficient sales team that delivers way less than it could do, at much higher cost – a real LOSE:LOSE.

It's these decisions and choices that we will cover in this Seven Principles of Effective Field Force Planning blog series. 

Generalists or Specialists

Our first principle is one for anyone who is considering putting separate teams into different retail sectors, such as wondering whether to have a combined convenience/grocery multiples (or modern/traditional trade) team (generalists), or whether to have a separate team for each sector (specialists). There are probably a number of reasons why you are considering these strategies, but it is worth incorporating the impact on headcount and mileage of the different approaches into your decision-making. Our findings, based on thousands of projects over the years, are shown below:



It is not surprising that generalists will do less driving, as they will have smaller territories, but does the likely reduction in fuel and headcount costs, allied to increased call rates, outweigh the potential increase in revenue per call from specialisation?

The next blog will look at the level of utilisation that a typical company’s sales team is operating at.

Further information

If you want to hear more about how CACI's Field Force expertise can help you, get in contact now.


Should you have generalist or specialist sales teams? Can efficiencies be achieved by choosing one over the other? Let's look at the evidence as part of the seven principles of effective field force planning series pt.1 of 7.

Principle 1 of Effective Field Force Planning