It’s that time of year again. You know it; you love (loathe?) it.  It’s time for annual survey season.  If you’re loving surveys, it is likely because you’re doing them right and they’re having the desired effect.  If you loathe them, it’s probably because they seem like a lot of effort for very little reward.  What if you could take three nominal actions and in so doing, turn your survey activities into sales-driving actions?  I bet you’d love the survey process then!  Here are three simple changes you can make to your process to wring as much as 15% increase in sales via your surveys by improving the execution of your sales drivers in each account.

  1. Change Informational Questions into Actionable Questions
    Think about how you can ask questions in your survey that will yield answers which can be immediately acted upon.  Replace vague questions that tick boxes against a list of “brands on display”  with concrete ones such as, “Are 5 or more cases of Joe’s Whiskey prominently displayed at the front of the store?”  The answer to the first question provides some information. The answer to the second helps you ensure your strategy is being executed to the letter, and provides clear actionable direction on what needs to be executed if a gap exists.
  2. Wisely Choose Which Accounts to Survey
    Survey activity is time consuming and labor intensive.  Focus your efforts in this regard only on the accounts that matter most, and design different surveys for different account segments to ensure the focus is on what really matters in each account being surveyed. Spend a bit of time before surveying to define and then identify your key accounts, and develop questions that are specific to that segment.  This way you’ll get the most bang for your survey buck as it were.
  3. Update the Tools Your Team Uses for Optimal Efficiency
    Eliminate inefficient, error-prone paper based surveying processes. Using a technology to capture the results not only ensures better data collection, but also allows the whole sales team to access the information in near real-time with analytics and details reports baked in.  Far quicker than waiting for all the paper to be collected from all markets and then filtered by corporate management before insights are shared (often weeks after survey completion). Tech tools effectively ensure gaps are quickly identified and rectified. A proper tool will also facilitate the collaboration required between suppliers and distributors to close execution gaps in each account so that opportunities can be addressed quickly. Lastly, a good tool allows for the survey taker to snap photos of displays, shelves and menus as they are answering questions so that the real world is visible to those analyzing the results.

For greater detail on how to leverage a more effective and tech-savvy survey process for the 21st century, download our latest white paper, “Optimizing Survey Strategy to Drive Increased Sales” which offers greater elaboration on these three changes.