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Principle 2 of Effective Field Force Planning

Tuesday 16 March 2021 Field Force Planning

David Jones's picture
By David Jones

Principles of Effective Field Force Planning - Pt.2 of 7

In part one of this blog series we discussed whether you can optimise your field sales team by splitting them into generalists and/or specialists. This second instalment looks at the next principle - the level of utilisation we see companies' sales teams operating at.

Sometimes we see companies that are expecting too much from their field sales teams, with workloads up to 110% of the time a rep has available! This is clearly impossible – unsurprisingly, these companies typically have a very high level of staff attrition, and disgruntled customers. More commonly, companies have field sales teams that are underused, often being busy for as little as 60% of their day. Why would a company pay their reps a full-time wage when they are really only effective part-time?

Now, CACI isn’t advocating aiming for 100% utilisation (when we talk about utilisation, we are including time in call, time driving and also lunch, administration, team meetings etc) – this is unrealistic. Calls don’t always go to plan, so a bit of contingency is sensible – our experience suggests a utilisation between 90-95% of a salesperson’s day is achievable. As mentioned earlier, we regularly see teams that are very much underworked and, less often, teams that are being asked to do more than is possible. However, the average level of utilisation before working with CACI is, as shown in the graphic, only 80% – this is quite a gap from what is possible, and means companies could be doing more calls with their existing team or the same call levels with a lower headcount – sell more, or save money, that’s your call!


The next blog will look at the challenge of developing fair and balanced territories.

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Optimising your sales team naturally leads to more sales. But how can you achieve this and what level of utilisation should you be aiming for? Pt.2 of the seven principles of field force planning series.

Principle 2 of Effective Field Force Planning