About Alliance Sales & Marketing
Alliance Sales & Marketing is a full-service sales and marketing agency with a large, nationwide footprint. Alliance works with many big-name consumer packaged goods companies to optimize their retail merchandising practices and ultimately increase revenue. That means routinely analyzing in-store data and conditions to identify areas that can be streamlined and improved to drive business efficiency and sales figures.
Alliance Sales & Marketing’s business model revolves around deep, data-based analysis and crafting impactful retail road maps and successful go-to-market strategies.
Their work takes field teams all over the country visiting big box retailers, supermarkets, and specialty stores. Managing an operational footprint on that scale—while maintaining a granular view of displays, product shelves, and in-store conditions—is no easy feat.
To achieve the high level of visibility needed to meet customer goals and showcase tangible ROI, Alliance stakeholders Maggie Ruper and Joe Adamsen knew a mobile execution management upgrade was necessary.
Although Alliance Sales & Marketing’s field teams are stocked with some of the most skilled and experienced professionals in the industry, there was plenty of room for improvement when it came to workflows and internal processes.
For instance, Alliance’s existing execution management model lacked any sophisticated image-capturing capabilities. This prevented frontline employees from quickly and efficiently documenting store conditions with complete accuracy.
Many of Alliance’s field headaches stemmed from a reliance on a spreadsheet-based reporting system. The manual data entry and slower workflows involved in this process required a lot of tedious work to be completed in order to generate powerful reports for clients.
Such bottlenecks stood in the way of Alliance stakeholders delivering in-depth market analysis reports in a timely, efficient fashion.
Moreover, Alliance had employed an execution management app in the past, but found the results lacking. In particular, the program was extremely resource-intensive and ran very slowly when launched on a field agent’s Microsoft tablet.
The app’s large size also created headaches for field teams who could not make room for other important files because of inadequate storage space.
The app had shortcomings in other areas as well. It was not compatible with some of Alliance’s other business-critical platforms and databases, preventing teams from seamlessly transferring field data to other systems or compiling all relevant data without a great deal of extra work.
Finally, administrators struggled to achieve complete visibility into field operations as a result of the application’s lack of user-friendly interfaces and dashboards. They often found themselves asking other team members for help retrieving field documents and images or generating analytics reports.
Ruper and Adamsen knew that any software upgrade needed to address current pain points and be intuitive enough so any employee could effortlessly add it to their current workflow. FORM MarketX more than fit the bill.
Both field teams and office-based administrators agree that GoSpotCheck’s interface has been incredibly easy to use, leading to widespread adoption across the organization. Any concerns about having a fractured reporting system with various personnel using different platforms have been comprehensively addressed.
“From the rep’s point of view, we’ve heard nothing but how it’s easy to work with in the field,” said Ruper. “It doesn’t take them the time that the other program we had was taking. It’s just very easy for them to use.”
Alliance employees are more empowered than ever to analyze field reports and extract useful data. FORM MarketX’s filtering capabilities—to sift through collected data—enable administrators to quickly comb reports and find specific information. In this way, FORM MarketX helps remove reporting bottlenecks and pave the way for data to be efficiently gathered, disseminated, and leveraged.
Implementing FORM MarketX has also paid off for field team managers. The mobile platform makes it easier than ever to keep tabs on frontline employees and check which stores they visit. Not only does this keep field teams on task, but it helps Alliance accurately track which locations have been visited and which require attention.
“We cut the amount of time we previously spent loading and pulling information in half.”
Since adopting FORM MarketX, Alliance Sales & Marketing has witnessed a number of benefits in various corners of the organization. Retail teams use the mobile execution platform to monitor sales and promotions at the store level and document the success or failure of different marketing strategies.
The introduction of intuitive image-capturing tools allows frontline employees to verify that listed prices are both accurate and reflect current promotions. Field teams are also able to use FORM MarketX to diligently check that shelves remain stocked and that any display gaps are quickly addressed.
Having this level of insight into store conditions enables Alliance to confirm that sales, promotional, and marketing strategies are executed correctly at the ground level.
Field teams also use FORM MarketX to monitor inventory changes and proactively flag out-of-stock items with distributors and manufacturers, keeping in-demand products on the shelves and filling voids.
“We have the capability to make notes so that we know what is out of stock,” Adamsen said. “Then, we can make sure everything is set up correctly in the distributor’s system and we can check in with the manufacturer to make sure they’re shipping the product correctly.”
FORM MarketX has brought about profound increases in both productivity and efficiency. Because the mobile platform allows for lightning-fast data entry and dissemination, Alliance’s team spends less time filing reports in the field than with the previous platform.
In fact, Alliance has effectively cut the amount of time needed to load information in half. It used to take upwards of 24 hours for field reports to populate in databases.
The FORM MarketX team has provided exceptional support services throughout the process, offering incredible assistance whenever needed.
“[FORM MarketX representatives] have been great to work with. We’re glad we made the change to FORM MarketX.”
—Joe Adamsen, Director of Natural
See it all in action.
The role of paper and spreadsheets is shrinking across a variety of industries. Companies today rely more and more on integrated digital solutions to manage
Editor’s note – This blog combines and abbreviates the tips and knowledge we published in three previous articles: