832: DSM helps Greenhorn DSRs build new territory by using Big Data

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Results are in. Big Data works great when training New Sales Reps IF YOU STOP and TAKE TIME TO RUN THE REPORTS AND ANALYZE THE DATA—and SHARE IT while training your GREENHORNS.

A DSM that AFDR has been working with for a number of years tried a new approach training and managing two Greenhorn DSRs in his district for the past year. A big part of his experiment consisted of sharing company data and focusing on their distributor’s MOST SOLD PRODUCTS to help build their territories.

The Goal was for two newly hired Greenhorn DSRs to build a territory by selling the products their distributor was best at in their market area. We used sales history data to pinpoint exactly which products these were by running a report of all products sold in the last six months and sorted the report in descending case order. This report showed us what products they sold the most of by cases down to the least sold product.

We ran reports to get the data we needed in order to get a benchmark of first year sales figures for the last five Greenhorn DSRs they had hired. This report showed that at the end of their first year those five Greenhorns averaged 606 cases per week (121 per day @ 5 sell days), ringing up about 20k per week.

These two new Greenhorns did remarkably better at the end of their first year!

Greenhorn #1 has opened 32 new accounts and is moving 2,030 cases per week (406 per day @ 5 sell days), with sales averaging 67K per week.

Greenhorn #2 has opened 25 new accounts and is averaging 1,030 cases per week (206 per day @ 5 sell days) and is averaging a very respectable 34k per week.


We sorted that sales history report into the TOP 100 MOST SOLD products and another report was sorted by the TOP 300 MOST SOLD products. We also utilized the first report for in the case if a prospect used a product that was not in the top 300 items sold, the Greenhorns were taught to try selling the first like product on the 100 MOST SOLD list first, if that didn’t work try the second most like product, then third and so on.

This DSM spent the first 3 weeks of their employment teaching these Greenhorns every aspect of the TOP 100 items by sharing all the data and information with them plus including why they started with these products first.

Data and information shared and taught:

  • All data from the sales history reports, MOST SOLD items to the least sold items
  • Built a data base of each of the Top 100 products in Excel with photos they took, contact info of the names of the brokers or Reps who sold them, and which of their buyers purchased that item
  • They opened cases and cut/sampled the products and learned what any codes/code dates meant on products
  • Used company data to figure the top 3 customer segments that each product was being sold in
  • Data that showed the average price that each product was sold for and the month(s) that was the highest selling price during the past year
  • Data on any item on the list that might be purchased from multiple suppliers, then listed all of the suppliers
  • If they backhauled the item or how it was delivered to their warehouse and on what day
  • What slot in the warehouse it was in
  • What season (if applicable) the product was harvested and where
  • Organized any POS they could get

Bottom line: They learned the story about each product and became experts on them.

Data points that we found interesting were:

  1. Both Greenhorns sold about half the number of different products (SKUs) over the entire year, averaging 1,450 vs. 3,900 the other DSRs at that distributor were selling at those sales volumes.
  2. Both Greenhorns’ margins averaged 2% higher than other DSRs selling at the same volume.
  3. Returns and Adjustments were less than 1%, which is about 2.5% to 3% better than other Greenhorns in their first year.
  4. Out-of-stock averaged less than .08% for both Greenhorns.

If one of your company’s goals is to sell more cases of the same products, you might want to try this method.

This DSM and I wanted to be sure to remind folks that BIG data info is a constantly moving target and you must continually update it and adjust accordingly.

DSRs, Be a Resource...and Sell Something!


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