Companies of all kinds conduct retail audits to to provide documented verification that point-of-sales meet corporate compliance policy and marketing strategies are properly implemented at stores. To start retail auditing you have to provide your field managers with guidelines for what is to be done, to define store visits frequency and to determine channels for delivering store audit data back to the office.
Many companies don't use retail audits data effectively, especially when using paper-based audits or relying on all-purpose software like MS Word or Excel. This results in loosing part of retail audit data, fraudulent reports, time gaps between a store visit and appropriate company's actions. Others spend too much money on retail audit software so the costs of software overweight the gains made from using it. Here are the best practices that can help companies maximize the value and efficiency of retail audits.
- Use SaaS software applications to organize the retail audit workflow. A great number of retail audit tools and software solutions empower field reps to perform audits faster helping field team leaders to manage tasks and assignments, ease collaboration and track goals in a more efficient manner. Picking out SaaS solutions definitely makes sense because you can access it anywhere, your field sales reps can get the information they need on the go, and all the data is synchronized automatically.
- Opt for retail audit software with CRM capabilities. There are many retail audit tools on the market these days and many of them have, in addition to standard territory management, CRM capabilities and/or the possibility to connect with existing CRMs through APIs and export/import.
- Move your retail audit data to the Cloud. If you adopt a Cloud solution for retail audits you can count on the best service availability even if your company is multinational and runs in different countries and time zones. Being on the Cloud also makes it possible for field sales reps to work offline, and the system will automatically synchronize once an Internet connection is established.
- Make data-driven decisions using analytic tools. Retail audit software solutions don’t end with streamlining workflows and CRM providing team leaders with an opportunity to receive instant reports and manage operational priorities in real time. The web-based dashboards and reports help you identify productive employees and perform workflow analysis, taking informed strategic decisions using reliable up-to-date data.