In the beginning
Walkers crisps are the largest food brand in the UK with sales of over £500m per year—something that PepsiCo UK are very proud of considering Walkers starting point was a butchers shop in Leicester!
Walkers crisps first hit the streets of the UK during the Second World War, and so began a long love affair with this much loved brand.
Now a major brand within the PepsiCo organisation who itself enjoys revenues around $27 billion, and is a world leader in convenience foods and beverages.
PepsiCo’s success is the result of superior products, high standards of performance, distinctive competitive strategies and the high integrity of its people.
The company seeks to produce healthy financial rewards to investors whilst providing opportunities for growth and enrichment to its employees, business partners and the communities in which it operates.
The success continues
Today, Walkers is Britain's favourite crisp and the UK’s largest food brand, they employ over 4,000 people in 15 locations and an estimated 11 million people eat a Walkers product every day.
The company is renowned for its innovation which has step changed the crisp and snack market with the new flavours and tastes they regularly bring to us. Much of Walkers success is due to the energy and enthusiasm generated by its people who are recognised as the most valuable asset of the company.
In a market where pace, change and challenge are the norm, Walkers work hard to retain their number 1 market position and are committed to the continual development of its people; ensuring they have the best tools and motivational aids for maximum achievement.
Investing in its people
Walkers base their sales training techniques and initiatives on a formal methodology and refresh these on a regular basis. It didn’t take Walkers long to realise that in order to maximise their sales training investment there was a need to measure the effectiveness of the program which aimed to improve individual and team growth, development and motivation.
Anthony Cook, Sales Training Manager at Walkers said, “With a direct and indirect sales force approaching 600 people it became clear that a formalised system was needed to measure and keep track of the sales training program”.
Walkers wanted to make sure everyone was treated as an individual and their true potential achieved whilst ensuring the right people had the right information at the right time to make the best possible decisions.
The need for accurate and timely information
Walkers approached Anatec Software Ltd, an organisation with a track record of solving business problems through innovative and best of breed technology solutions, and who set about scoping their requirements.
Up to this point data was being exchanged via monthly faxes, collated into departments and territories, and then entered onto spreadsheets. The process was laborious, time consuming and, inevitably open to error. It was difficult to see historical information and almost impossible to accurately track an individual’s progress.
There was also limited visibility of how much time Sales Managers spent coaching and developing team members, an area the business believed to be crucial in the personal development and motivation of an individual, and therefore collectively, of corporate success.
To develop a comprehensive and robust solution that would track and monitor two major areas; Sales Training and Sales Managers Time Analysis.
Specifically the new system would need to:
- Capture data easily
- Be flexible and easy to use
- Manipulate data to provide a quick and current graphical view
Create standard reports:
- that would give an accurate view of an individual’s development
- highlighting skills, qualifications and certification achieved
- to track sales manager activity and time analysis
- which would identify gaps in personal development
- to keep track of historic data
On the fly queries and bespoke reports enabling:
- managers to get information at a given moment in time
Sales Training Tracker takes shape
Following a detailed and comprehensive requirements and design analysis phase – getting this right would be critical to the overall success of the project and an area that Anatec takes very seriously by following formalised techniques and proven methodologies – Walkers Sales Training Tracker was implemented.
Richard Lee, Technical Director at Anatec said, “This was an exciting challenge for us, the derived benefits were entirely tangible and would be visible across the organisation, this meant the system must be easy to use, reliable and robust from day one. Working together, we are proud of what we have achieved.”
Sales Training Tracker in action
Anatec exceeded Walkers expectation by delivering a system that complemented Walkers commitment to nurture their own talent by helping an individual to realise their full potential.
Sales Training Tracker has been built using industry standard software and techniques, it sits within open environment and each month a segment of the database is distributed to sales managers for completion. Each manager sees only the segment that relates to their department, ensuring security and privacy is maintained.
In a single view a manager can see exactly which team member is at what stage of development. New data can be added quickly which is updated and reflected in a straightforward report with a graphical view that’s easy to interpret.
Historic information is also visible in a single view that sits alongside current status of every individual on the program.
The Sales Training Tracker reporting tool is powerful and flexible and upon request can be tailored by the internal Administrator of the system to meet any number of requirements. This truly is self-sufficient system which needs little external intervention or ongoing maintenance.
The requirements are simple.
Managers must complete:
- How much time has each individual spent this month on training
- Which training module was delivered
- Whether training resulted in a certification
- Who delivered the training
- Did the sales manager participate
- How much time did the sales manager spend with each team member
- What other activities were completed by the sales manager in support of his sales team (this could be in the field or other tasks)
From an administrative view point, Maria Graham, Sales Training Administrator at Walkers said, “The task of administering the application simple and straightforward. Sales Training Tracker is very user friendly and flexible providing accurate visibility of sales training across the organisation.”
In addition to providing a platform for managing and tracking individual and team development, Sales Training Tracker includes a comprehensive suite of reports that acts as a proactive management tool to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to progress and improve their skills.
Managers and senior executives across the organisation now have an easy graphical view of sales training activity and how that activity results in nurturing a sales force that in turn helps Walkers retain its number 1 market position.
Anthony Cook said, “Sales Training Tracker helps us to keep on top of training requirements and development, Anatec has provided us with a performant, simple, and easy to use solution that is tailor-made for our requirements.”
Walkers Sales Training Tracker continues to be an important support tool and forms an integral part of their management reporting ensuring its future within this challenging environment. Anthony Cook concluded, “Anatec has always demonstrated an honest and committed approach. Their contribution has enabled us to continue to offer a high level of service to our people, which after all is fundamental to Walkers business success.”