Market Visit Checklist

I often get asked what to look for when you go on a market visit in emerging markets. Here are a number of factors to look for:

  1. Channel –Get an understanding of the channel landscape. Note the channel characteristics and service levels in each channel. Also review the channel layout and opportunities that it provides.
  2. Product flow – Understand where customers/wholesalers buy products from.
  3. Reasons of purchase – Explore why they are purchasing the products from particular suppliers.  There could be a number of reasons. e.g. credit, relationship, basket of goods
  4. Number of sales calls – Explore how they receive service, if the company is calling on them.
  5. Quality of call – Observe and rate the service quality, if possible. Does the salesman provide any additional services e.g. merchandising?
  6. Responsibility – Identify who is responsible for what, e.g. account development, merchandising, and delivery. Determine direct sales force interaction, visits and roles.
  7. Cash & credit – Identify who collects the cash and when. Are any customers on day or week credit?
  8. Information flow – Explore how information flows, e.g. from salesman to the warehouse.
  9. Pricing – Review the price points and compare with competitor products.
  10. Top-ups – Explore if they only get service from the respected company or if they also receive / make top-ups from a wholesaler when they run out.
  11. Inventory levels – Review the inventory levels by SKU.  Are there any SKUs that are underperforming? What is the reason?
  12. Inventory visibility– Observe what is visible (e.g. displayed) and what percentage is in the storeroom.
  13. Delivery – Explore who delivers or collects the product. How long does the delivery process takes?
  14. Distance – Determine the distance to the wholesaler or stock point.
  15. Execution levels & standards – Explore the current execution levels.  Observe whether there are any visible execution standards in place by channel. How are execution standards tracked?
  16. KPIs – Look for any visible KPIs.  How are they tracked or monitored?
  17. Equipment – Review the equipment in the outlet, including cold chain and display racks.
  18. Technology – Explore whether there is any sales automization or m-banking being used.
  19. Aids – Explore if the company uses any POS or sales aids to communicate the message.
  20. Incentives– Identify any dealer incentive schemes or programs that may be in place.

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