Call planning consists of specifying which products each sales force has to promote to which customer segment, as time unfolds. The year is typically divided in sales cycles that range from 6 to 18 weeks. A good call plan comes close to management objectives, typically expressed as detail volume per customer segment. Those numbers may be broken out further by type of details: primary, secondary, and reminder.
Two tools are worth mentioning. The FSP (Field Sales Plan) is a tool we developed to help generate call plans. The tool greatly simplifies the task of editing the call plan: it handles monthly & trimester plans simultaneously, auto-completes product names, catches typos, detects inconsistencies, etc. The user can at any time evaluate the call plan under construction against management objectives. The tool also generates several standard reports.
The FSP optimizer takes the FSP editor one step further. The tool takes over the task of building call plans. Indeed, it automatically generates call plans that come close to management objectives. The user is offered not one, but several candidate call plans.