Why the Area Manager’s role is like playing Cricket

Why the Area Manager’s role is like playing Cricket

In the store, think on the green

Cricket might be known as a ‘batter’s game’ to most, but I find cricket has a team aspect that’s fascinating.

With 30 positions on the field, cricket’s 11 players can’t possibly cover every shot a batter can strike. The team captain decides where to field and the pitch comes alive. The strategy unfolds to limit the amount of runs a batter can score. A top plan keeps the crowd second-guessing,too.

Area Managers are strategy captains

This fielding reminds me of an Area Manager performing a store visit. The idea of the shop floor being the field, where one person’s vision for the store’s success is the name of the game.

Just like cricket, I’m impressed by the amount of effort it must take for these ‘strategy captains’ to get a retail game-plan together. The ‘field’ fills up with customers who may land anywhere inside the store’s physical location.

How do they make sure all those customers don’t congregate in one place all at once? Is the stock in the right part of the store where the right customer will see it? Are the shelves full? Is the latest stuff out? Are promotions up? Are the right people in the right place ready to sell – and in the right way?

Captains use performance stats in play

When you’ve got a bowler like New Zealand cricketer, Richard Hadley to play, for example, the performance stats tell you game strategy requires fast-bowling to keep the batter in check. Similarly, when an Area Manager thinks about how to approach a store visit, a strategic Area Manager will bring into play all their salesforce performance measurement statistics from a dashboard system in order to track the ‘run rate’ of sales. If some stores aren’t scoring highly, there’s a change in the spread of performance.

At RPS we often talk about how to set Area Managers up to win, which in retail translates to using dashboard statistics and performance coaching to move KPIs and numbers across a territory or single store.

We coach Area Managers to examine the store’s form, previous favourite ‘wins’ and best practice selling styles. This is a bit like bringing into play your salesforce strength and fielding everyone in the right position. Every store has a Hadley, or a potential star seller.

There’s another thing you need to factor in …

At RPS we’ve collected a wealth of data from our experiences in working with retailers for 30 years. Why our proven performance model works for Area Managers is down to strategic game-plans and performance coaching; which harmonises with your existing team and stores’ documentation.

The Area Manager now has a game-plan and a store checklist which needs following by the store’s staff ‘players’ who try to field as many ‘wins’ as possible. A great cricket strategy works when all the team’s players are deployed and have been performance coached to play to their strengths. This applies just as well to retail, with Area Managers who performance coach to a game plan seeing store KPIs increase. 

An RPS Area Managers Performance Programme delivers a proven performance model with performance coaching to drive top line sales and profitability in all retail environments.

If watching a team win through a perfectly executed game strategy is what makes a cricket match so enjoyable (in case you were wondering) it’s the same feeling we get when we see Area Managers set up to win. In our experience, those who improve staff retention and KPIs can win between 10-30% increases for their territory.

 Area Managers Programme feedback:

Our delegates walked away with a 90-day game-plan and this has resulted in a significant increase in sales performance” – HR Director, Harrods.

We can help you get those wins in your stores, too. You can book your people on an RPS Area Managers Performance Workshop by calling 01344 849397 or email Scott Reid scott@rps-global.com to discuss a tailored in-house programme.

The RPS performance system, based on Olympic sport performance principles, has delivered great results for retailers for over 30 years.

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